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Roger Connor, Home Run King

Although I can't say I've been following all that closely, Barry Bonds just broke Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. The only story I'm less interested in is whether or not Commissioner Bud Selig would be there to witness number 756 (he wasn't). Before Hank was king, Babe Ruth's 714 homers topped the charts. But from whom did Ruth inherit the crown?

I consider myself a somewhat serious baseball fan. I was at Yankee Stadium for Phil Rizzuto Day in 1985, when Chicago White Sox pitcher Tom Seaver upstaged Scooter by winning his 300th game. (Also, the Yankees gave Rizzuto a cow, which stepped on his foot and knocked him over.) I've done the Tomahawk Chop in Atlanta. And I was in attendance for Roberto Kelly's Major League debut. (OK, I don't have a lot of evidence to support my "somewhat serious fan" claim. But I am anxiously awaiting Mint, the book about the rise and fall of baseball cards by my good friend Dave Jamieson, who previously wrote "Requiem for a Rookie Card" for Slate.)

Anyway, I had never heard of Ruth's record book predecessor. A former member of the Troy Trojans, New York Gothams/Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Browns, Roger Connor's record of 138 home runs stood until Ruth surpassed him in 1921. Connor's career ended in 1897. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976. Maybe real baseball fans knew this. Here are three other things I didn't know about Connor:

  • Connor is said to have hit the first-ever grand slam, in 1881.
  • According to George Vecsey of The New York Times, "In 1883, Connor was lured to New York, where he, Buck Ewing and John Montgomery Ward were so good that in 1885, their manager, Jim Mutrie, waxed rhapsodic about "my giants!" And that is how Barry Bonds's current team got its nickname."
  • "In 1883, he hit a magnificent shot in his first game with the Giants that caused jubilant patrons to pass the hat and buy him a $500 gold watch in appreciation." (BaseballLibrary.com)

On Monday, I promised a week's worth of questions, to start discussions that would help get us through the hot summer afternoons. We'd still love to get your nomination for our "_flossiest Places to Live" list. But today, inspired by Connor's overlooked greatness, let me ask about unsung historical figures. Who's been unfairly forgotten?

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Tips For Baking Perfect Cookies
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Perfect cookies are within your grasp. Just grab your measuring cups and get started. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education.

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Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked
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Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"
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