Steve Jobs died today.
He was only 56 years old.
I read the news on my iPhone. I am writing this on an iMac.
I love Apple. I drank the kool-aid and I am happier for it.
God speed, Mr. Jobs, you had the greatest mind of a generation – and you have the legacy to prove it.
To bring this back on topic: Also dead today at the age of 52 was English fast bowler, Graham Dilley.
Like most cricketers that were not superstars, per se, and reached their prime before 2007, I was unaware of Mr. Dilley until I read the news of his death on the, um, iPhone Cricinfo app.
Over an injury shortened career, Dilley appeared in 41 test matches for England, taking 138 wickets, and supported Ian Botham in the famous England Ashes victory at Headingley in 1981.
He was career, as mentioned above, was curtailed by knee problems and arthritis caused by his punishing delivery.
(Side note, when I first started following cricket, finding videos on YouTube was a fool’s errand. Now: anything you want, whenever you want. Interested in watching Dilley’s innings at Headingley? Cool, go watch it. Sachin’s first test century? No problem. Seriously: INSANE.)
Over that career, he delivered over 34,000 balls with said punishing delivery. When I first read that, I thought to myself: wow, that’s a lot of deliveries.
But is it really? Probably not, in comparison, considering his career was not all that long.
So what does constitute a huge amount of deliveries?
Well, Sir Richard Hadlee of New Zealand bowled 21,000 deliveries over his career – and those are just the ones that happened in a test match. Muttiah Muralitharan has over 44,000 test deliveries, and Anil Kumble and Shane Warne each have over 40,000 test deliveries, as well.
But, shoot, we are just getting started. Wilfred Rhodes had over 185,000 first class deliveries over his 32 year career, Fred Titmus over 173,000, and Derek Shackleton almost 160,000.
While looking this up, I started thinking, as I always do, about how this compares to the American sport of baseball.
Well, unfortunately, pitch count records were not kept until 1988 (yeah, I was surprised, too.) There is a formula that exists for ball-parking (hahaha) pitch counts for players who pitched before stats were kept (3.3PA + 1.5SO + 2.2BB) and according to that, Nolan Ryan threw 89, 514 pitches over his 27 year career [(3.3*22575) + (1.5*5714) + (2.2*2795)].
Considering Nolan Ryan was a one of kind ballplayer who could pitch for days and put up HUGE strike out and walk numbers, that has to the most by an MLB pitcher in the modern era – and I can all but guarantee no current pitcher will ever get even close to that.
This was not meant to say that cricket was superior in any sense, I was just curious.