By JERRY TAPP
(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)
— The NBA has decided that voting for this year’s major awards (MVP, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, etc.) will not include games that are played at the end of July (and into August) which will complete the 2019-20 season. Instead, the league has stated that these awards will be based on performances from the start of the 2019-20 season through March 11, 2020, when the league shut down due to the pandemic. This may be good news for Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. The reigning league MVP was one of the favorites to take home the MVP this season until the halt in play. Should he win the MVP award again this season, he would become only the 12th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP awards. The other 11 are: Steph Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Bird, Chamberlain and Russell are the only players to win the league’s MVP award in three consecutive seasons.
— In just two seasons with the Brewers, Christian Yelich has won a National League MVP Award and finished second the other year; he has amassed 80 home runs and 52 stolen bases with the Brewers in two seasons. In these two years, Yelich has accomplished what only 10 other Brewers players have … a career with the Brewers with 80 or more HRs and 50 or more stolen bases. The other Brewers players with 80 HR and 50 stolen bases in their Milwaukee careers: Ryan Braun (344 HR-215 steals), Robin Yount (251-271), Cecil Cooper 9201-77), Greg Vaughn (169-62), Paul Molitor (160-412), Corey Hart (154-83), Rickie Weeks (148-126), Don Money (134-66), Jose Valentin (90-75) and Carlos Gomez (87-152).
— Brandon Woodruff was the Brewers Opening Day starting pitcher for this season, becoming the seventh different pitcher to start the first game of the season for the Crew in the last seven seasons. The Opening Day Brewers pitchers over the past six seasons: 2020: Brandon Woodruff, 2019: Jhoulys Chacin, 2018: Chase Anderson, 2017: Junior Guerra, 2016: Wily Peralta, 2015: Kyle Lohse, 2014: Yovani Gallardo.
— Hall of Fame quarterbacks every once in a while have a bad game… a terrible game. Did you know that since 1966 (the start of the Super Bowl era) there have been seven Hall of Fame quarterbacks who had a game where they had no TD passes and five or more interceptions in that game? The seven: Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, Joe Namath (he did it twice!), Ken Stabler, Bart Starr, Fran Tarkenton and Johnny Unitas.
— Some of you may find this hard to believe, but Brewers manager Craig Counsell is the longest tenured manager in the National League. Counsell was hired to manage the Brewers on May 4, 2015. The second-longest tenured skipper in the N.L. is Miami’s Don Mattlingly; he was hired as the Marlins’ manager on November 2, 2015. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was also hired in 2015 (November 23, 2015) and is the third-highest tenured manager in the N.L. Over in the American League, Oakland’s Bob Melvin tops the list as not only the A.L.’s longest-tenured manager, but all of baseball. He was hired by the A’s on June 9, 2011. Following Melvin on the list in the A.L. are Terry Francona (Cleveland-October 6, 2012), Kevin Cash (Tampa Bay, December 5, 2014) and Scott Servais (Seattle-October 23, 2015).
— LeBron James is averaging 10.6 assists per game this season. If he ends the season averaging 10.0 or more assists per game, he will become only the second player age 35 or older to average 10 or more assists per game for a season. The other player? Steve Nash. He averaged 10.0 or more assists per game in a season when he was 35, 36 and 37 years of age.
— Here’s a really interesting trivia question for you to share with your friends, especially if you are all Brewers fans: Can you name the three players who played 1,000 or more games with the Brewers but never made an All-Star team as a member of the Brewers? The answer: Jim Gantner (1,801 games), Charlie Moore (1,283 games) and BJ Surhoff (1,102 games). Surhoff was an all-star with the Baltimore Orioles in 1999. He played for the Brewers from 1987-95.
— Last season in the NFL there were four quarterbacks who passed for 4,500 or more yards: Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers and Jared Goff. Since the AFL-NFL merger (1970), there have been 62 times when a QB has passed for 4,500 or more yards in a season. Five of those happened in the 1980s, three in the 1990s, 11 in the 2000s, and there were 43 times it happened from 2010-19. Of those 62 QBs, 26 of the 62 were age 22-29, 35 of the 62 were age 30-33, and 22 of the 62 were age 34 or older.
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