Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Phil Rizzuto

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Phil Rizzuto

Phil Rizzuto was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans' Committee in 1994.

The first table below presents Phil Rizzuto's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Phil Rizzuto
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1941NYA23
133
16.915.20.5261.0
2.4
16.315.80.5070.41.8
1942NYA24
144
21.116.10.5672.7
4.2
19.317.80.5211.02.5
1946NYA28
126
15.715.40.5040.3
1.6
15.215.80.491-0.11.2
1947NYA29
153
20.417.60.5371.4
2.9
19.518.50.5130.41.9
1948NYA30
128
15.215.40.4970.1
1.3
15.115.50.494-0.01.2
1949NYA31
153
20.817.80.5401.8
3.3
19.718.90.5090.62.1
1950NYA32
155
22.317.60.5582.7
4.2
21.818.00.5472.23.8
1951NYA33
144
19.916.90.5411.9
3.4
18.318.60.4960.31.7
1952NYA34
152
20.118.00.5281.2
2.7
18.919.20.4970.01.6
1953NYA35
134
15.112.80.5421.4
2.6
14.413.60.5140.71.8
1954NYA36
127
10.510.00.5110.4
1.3
9.610.90.468-0.50.4
1955NYA37
81
4.94.90.5000.1
0.5
4.95.00.4970.10.5
1956NYA38
31
1.91.80.5040.1
0.2
1.72.00.451-0.10.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,661
204.8179.60.53315.1
30.6
194.7189.70.5075.020.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
52
6.15.60.521 0.86.66.30.510 0.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,713
210.9185.20.533
31.4
201.3196.00.507 21.2


Phil Rizzuto is a difficult player to evaluate. After two solid seasons at ages 23 and 24, Rizzuto then missed three seasons - Rizzuto's age 25, 26, and 27 seasons - because he was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Looking at the above table, it looks like World War II may have not only cost Rizzuto three prime seasons, but it may have affected his play afterward. At a minimum, Rizzuto's 1946 season (age 28) seems to have been a step below his 1941 and 1942 (age 23-24) seasons as Rizzuto tried to re-adjust to major-league baseball after three years away. I have never read anything about a specific war injury, but, for example, using the oldest of old-school stats, Phil Rizzuto's batting average prior to World War II was .295 (.307 in 1941, .284 in 1942). His average in 1946 was .257 and, outside of his MVP season of 1950 (when he batted .324), his next-highest post-World War II batting average was .275 (in 1949).

To be as fair as possible, then, to Rizzuto without outright making up numbers, I will limit the comparisons in this article to Rizzuto's 1947 - 1956 seasons and compare those seasons to other players' careers from age 29 onward.

It is also important to evaluate players within the context in which they played. I think it is best to compare players across a long enough time period to minimize the risk of "cherry picking" a time period most favorable to a player. Ideally, one would want to center the relevant time period over the player's career. Unfortunately, this is not possible in the case of Phil Rizzuto, because the necessary data are incomplete prior to Rizzuto's career. Taking all of this into account, I chose a 30-year period from 1946 through 1975 and compared Rizzuto to other players aged 29 and older within these seasons. This is, admittedly a bit weird and/or forced, but I'm not making an advocacy case for or against Phil Rizzuto's Hall-of-Fame membership here; I'm just trying to get a good sense of what his strengths were as a player and how good he was at those things.

Phil Rizzuto was good at the "little things" - as you'd perhaps expect from a player whose listed height and weight are 5'6", 150 lbs - including baserunning and fielding.

Baserunning
The next table shows the top 25 players in baserunning wins over non-pitcher average after age 29 from 1946 - 1975.

Baserunning
(Wins over Non-Pitcher Average, age 29 and older, 1946 - 1975)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Lou Brock22.516.10.5842.9
2Bert Campaneris11.76.70.6382.5
3Maury Wills23.919.10.5551.9
4Willie Mays17.213.00.5681.8
5Tommy Harper10.87.20.5991.7
6Luis Aparicio17.613.90.5581.5
7Willie Davis9.96.60.6011.5
8Hank Aaron15.311.90.5631.5
9Pee Wee Reese14.310.90.5661.4
10Dom DiMaggio10.27.20.5841.3
11Bill Bruton12.39.40.5661.2
12Davey Lopes5.32.70.6591.2
13Joe L. Morgan8.05.70.5851.0
14Jackie Robinson13.210.90.5470.9
15Hank Bauer8.05.90.5730.9
16Sam Jethroe5.33.30.6120.9
17Don Buford11.99.80.5490.9
18Red Schoendienst9.07.00.5630.8
19Vic Power8.56.50.5660.8
20Phil Rizzuto9.77.80.5550.8
21Cesar Tovar9.98.00.5520.8
22Matty Alou10.28.40.5500.8
23Lenny Green4.63.10.5990.7
24Jim Rivera9.68.00.5470.7
25Johnny Pesky5.23.70.5820.7


Even trying to limit the comparison above to relative contemporaries of Phil Rizzuto creates something of a problem in the above table. Phil Rizzuto finished in the top 5 in the American League in stolen bases five times over the time period covered in the above table at an excellent success rate. But stolen bases were very rare in Major League Baseball in the 1940s and early 1950s. As the most extreme example, Phil Rizzuto finished second in the American League in stolen bases in his MVP year, 1950, with 12 stolen bases! Twenty years later, the top 10 in stolen bases in the American League all had at least double that. For his career, Phil Rizzuto's success rate on stolen base attempts was 72.0%, which is quite good; he just didn't attempt that many steals.

Phil Rizzuto was excellent at all aspects of baserunning - advancing on wild pithes, going 1st-to-3rd on singles, etc. He was especially good at what I call Component 9, baserunner advancement: the ability to go 1st-to-3rd on singles, go 2nd-to-3rd on fly outs, etc. The next table, then, shows the top 10 players in Component 9 baserunning (age 29 and older, 1946 - 1975).

Baserunner Advancement
(Wins over Non-Pitcher Average, age 29 and older, 1946 - 1975)
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Willie Davis3.61.80.6730.9
2Phil Rizzuto4.02.20.6460.9
3Minnie Minoso4.12.30.6380.8
4Dom DiMaggio4.02.20.6400.8
5Bert Campaneris3.11.50.6750.8
6Maury Wills6.14.40.5830.8
7Willie Mays6.14.60.5710.7
8Bill Bruton4.53.10.5940.6
9Vic Power3.32.00.6230.6
10Al E. Smith3.42.10.6200.6


Fielding
Gold Glove awards were first awarded in 1957 and were first awarded separately by league in 1958. Phil Rizzuto's last major-league season was 1956. Had they started awarding Gold Gloves a decade or two earlier, it is highly likely that Phil Rizzuto would have won his fair share. As measured by Player won-lost records, Rizzuto led the American League in net fielding wins at shortstop three times and finished second two other times.

The next table shows the top 10 shortstops in net fielding wins at age 29 and older from 1946 - 1975.

Fielding, SS
(Net Fielding Wins age 29 and older, 1946 - 1975)
eWins eLosses eWinPct Net Wins
1Pee Wee Reese54.746.50.5418.2
2Mark Belanger22.116.70.5695.3
3Lou Boudreau21.317.50.5493.8
4Dal Maxvill31.027.50.5303.5
5Roy McMillan37.834.90.5202.9
6Phil Rizzuto50.247.30.5152.9
7Maury Wills52.149.30.5142.8
8Bert Campaneris29.026.40.5232.5
9Bud Harrelson10.08.30.5451.7
10Bobby Wine18.016.60.5211.5


Phil Rizzuto was good at all aspects of fielding. But, continuing with the theme of Rizzuto doing the "little things" well, he was especially good at turning double plays - what I call Component 7. The next table, then, shows the top 10 shortstops in net Component 7 wins (with the same age and date restrictions as in earlier tables).

Component 7 Fielding, SS
(Net Fielding Wins age 29 and older, 1946 - 1975)
eWins eLosses eWinPct Net Wins
1Phil Rizzuto8.46.80.5511.6
2Dal Maxvill4.63.20.5881.4
3Pee Wee Reese7.96.90.5341.0
4Bobby Wine3.02.20.5730.8
5Willy Miranda3.22.50.5650.7
6Alvin Dark6.96.20.5250.6
7Bud Harrelson1.40.80.6330.6
8Mark Belanger2.62.10.5540.5
9Woodie Held2.11.60.5660.5
10Alex Grammas2.62.20.5470.4


I'll close, then, with the same table, expanded to include all players at all ages for whom I have calculated Player won-lost records. Keep in mind that Phil Rizzuto is missing three years of his prime in the comparison here.

Component 7 Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses eWinPct Net Wins
1Cal Ripken13.210.10.5663.1
2Phil Rizzuto12.19.30.5652.8
3Ozzie Smith14.712.10.5492.6
4Tim Foli10.68.10.5682.5
5Dave Concepcion12.610.20.5542.4
6Pee Wee Reese12.810.50.5492.3
7Lou Boudreau11.18.90.5562.2
8Rick Burleson8.66.30.5742.2
9Andrelton Simmons5.33.40.6121.9
10Dal Maxvill6.64.70.5861.9




All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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