Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Baseball Trivia: The Kingston Quartet

As best as record-keeping shows, there have been four players born in Jamaica to make it to the Major Leagues. Devon White leads the Kingston Quartet – yes, they all were born in the capital city – with a career bWAR of 47.3, 71 triples, and 346 steals. Not at all a distant second is Charles Theodore “Chili” Davis, who leads the four of them with 424 doubles, 350 dingers, 1372 driven in, and a .274/.360/.451 slash line (leads in all three aspects of the slash line).

Rolando Roomes only played 170 games over three big-league seasons, hitting nine home runs, but four of those were two-run jacks and one of the Earl Weaver persuasion. Devo and Chili each have three World Series rings, but Roomes and our as-yet-unnamed man narrowly missed – relatively – winning a championship. Roomes was released on waivers by the Cincinnati Reds early in their 1990 title run.

Our elusive right-hander made the majors with the Red Sox in 2008, just after Terry Francona’s second ascension to the throne in heaven as the greatest manager ever. He only lasted another half-season in Beantown, but he would enjoy Francona as his manager again in Cleveland. An imposing presence on the mound – 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds – he would end his eight-year career with a record of 64-74, 10.1 bWAR, 4.31 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 1.398 WHIP, and 1004 strikeouts. He leads the Kingston Quartet by a massive margin of innings pitched with 1199.0 more than Chili Davis.

His pitch repertoire consisted of four main offerings: a sinker, slider, four-seamer, and changeup. The sinker was his primary pitch and he threw it within the range of 45-55% of the time but definitely relied more heavily on it against right-handed hitters. His heavy sinker sat between 88.5 to nearly 93 mph and contributed to a career ground-ball rate of 56.3%. His last season in the majors is the only one we have StatCast data for and he surrendered an 88.8 mph average Exit Velocity, which may need to be taken with a grain of salt since 59.1 IP for that season is certainly in the realm of Small Sample Size-itis.

In his rookie season, he became the first Red Sox pitcher to make his first four career starts all at Fenway Park and not record a loss in any of them. He pitched at least six full innings in all of those four starts and three of them were Quality Starts. While still pretty early on in his playing days, he spoke at the Pentagon’s weekly prayer breakfast, so he’s legit on the security clearance side of things.

Before walking away from the game as a player, he did sign minor league deals with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers. He retired on the 400th Anniversary of the end of the Polish-Muscovite War with the Truce of Deulino, December 11th, 2018.

It is with gratitude to Baseball Reference, FanGraphs, Wikipedia, Brooks Baseball, and as unique and continued resources in formulating trivia posts.

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