Wednesday, August 23, 2006

the race

With Craig Biggio sitting 7 HBPs away from 288 plunks, the all time record, and 93 hits away from 3,000, one of the most famous milestones in baseball, the question on the minds of many is which mark will he reach first?

If he does reach 288 plunks before 3000 hits, he will at least tie the record for most HBPs between a players 2900th and 3000th hits. Biggio already has one plunk since his 2900th hit, and no one among the 26 players to reach 3000 hits had more than 8 between their 2900th and 3000th hits.
It's probable that none of them actually had 8 - Tris Speaker passed 2,900 hits sometime during the 1924 season and finished that year at 2,961. He collected his 3000th hit on May 17, 1925, and had 4 HBPs in both the 1924 and 1925 season. It is possible that all 8 of those plunks came between his 2900th and 3000th hits, but it's more likely that some did not. Eddie Collins also got his 3000th hit in 1925 after hitting his 2900th the year before and totaled 7 plunks in those two seasons, and Honus Wagner may have had 7 plunks between his 2900th hit in 1913 and his 3000th on June 9, 1914, but the data isn't available to know for sure.
Among those we have complete records for, Cal Ripken holds the record for most HBPs between his 2900th and 3000th hits with 6. George Brett is right behind him with 5 and Rickie Henderson, Rafael Palmeiro and Willie Mays all had 4. Wade Boggs, Roberto Clemente, Stan Musial, Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield and Hank Aaron all got from 2900 to 3000 hits without being hit by a single pitch, so Biggio is already 1 ahead of that group in this (extremely obscure) category.

There are 7 players who made it to 2900 hits but never reached 3000. Willie Keeler had 10 HBPs in the year he reached 2900 (1909), but was not hit in the only season he played after that. Aside from Keeler, only 1 other player (Frank Robinson) has had 10 plunks in the season they recorded their 2900th hit. Biggio will need 3 more this season to break that record. Robinson did not get hit by a pitch after his 2900th hit.


At 8/23/2006 01:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best blog on the net.

At 8/24/2006 02:05:00 AM, Blogger Ted said...

Your commitment to plunk-o-metrics is truly inspiring.

Here's to Biggio breaking every record in the book.


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