Sports Outside the Beltway

Albert Pujols sets new record for 1st basebman assists.

He broke the previous mark set by Bill Buckner in 1985. From AP-

Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals has set the major league record for assists by a first baseman, getting his 185th of the year in the regular-season finale against Milwaukee.

Pujols topped the record set by Boston’s Bill Buckner in 1985, flipping to pitcher Joel Pineiro covering the bag on Jody Gerut’s groundout leading off the fifth. He earlier eclipsed the National League record of 180 assists by Mark Grace of the Cubs in 1990.

Pujols, a Gold Glove winner in 2006, received a long standing ovation after the Cardinals announced the achievement on a scoreboard.

A high assist total doesn’t automatically mark a 1st baseman as either a good or bad gloveman. Bill Buckner had bad ankles which caused his mobility to be limited and his defense to be subpar. Dick Stuart, Marv Throneberry were poor defensive players with high totals of assists. On the other hand Keith Hernandez was a perennial gold glover and had above average assist totals.

The most common assist for a first baseman is to the pitcher, but he also garners them with throws to 2nd(The shortstop) and to the catcher at home plate. The location of where the 1st baseman gets his assists is important to determining based on his stats if his defense is good or not.

Sound confusing? Welcome to the world of baseball defensive statistics.

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