Tuesday, April 17, 2007

what's so great about 2,942 hits?

It's not a nice memorable round number, like 3000 hits. But Craig Biggio's career began in 1988 and he's played in every season since then, and leaderboard for career hits from 1988 to 2007 now looks like this:

Craig Biggio - 2,942
Rafael Palmeiro - 2,941
Roberto Alomar - 2,724
Barry Bonds - 2,614
Steve Finley - 2,532

Baseball often seems to run on milestones, and 3000 hits is an undeniably important one, but one of the problems with milestones is that baseball changes over the years. Some people like to segment the years into statistical eras, and some of the more hardcore stats people figure you can compare different seasons across the decades and centuries by simply normalizing everything to the averages of the seasons they occurred in. Simply. And then you have to adjust for the various differences in the ballparks everyone played. That sound simple, right? But if you're a baseball player, and you can look at the years you played and see that no one in baseball had more hits than you, that means something no matter what the "park factors" and changes in yearly averages tells you. Everyone who played in the years you did played by more or less the same rules and against more or less the same competition, so if no one else had more hits than you during the sum of the years you played, you've done something special, and joined a pretty amazing list of overlapping careers that spans back to the beginning of baseball.

Again, 3000 hits is 3000 hits. But Rickey Henderson got 3,055 in his years in the majors, while being out hit by 3 different players. Wade Boggs was out hit by Tony Gwynn during his years, and Tony Gwynn was 2nd to Cal Ripken. On the other hand, Kirby Puckett had just 2,304 hits in only 12 seasons - but that was 52 hits more than anyone else had in those 12 seasons. Similarly Bobby Doerr's career total was only 2,042 but that was still 34 more hits than anyone else had in those 14 seasons Doerr played. There's certainly no shame in 2nd place in this category - 22 of the 28 guys who finished 2nd in hits during the years they played are in the Hall of Fame, and Roberto Alomar's odds are pretty good to make it 23. Along with Gwynn, Boggs, and Alomar, that list includes Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Robin Yount, Rod Carew, Nap Lajoie, Willie Mays, Nellie Fox and Tris Speaker.

Unless Palmeiro makes a comeback and retakes the lead from Biggio, Mr. Astro will retire as the 29th player ever to lead the league in hits during the span of his career, and the first to lead the league in both hits and HBPs during the years he played. Of the other 28, only 5 are not in the Hall of Fame - one because he's banned, one because he hasn't been voted on yet (and tested positive for steroids).


Batters with the most total hits in the seasons they played
:
Player
SeasonsTop 5 in those years
Cal McVey
869
1871-1879Cal McVey 869,
Deacon White 845,
George Wright 831,
Cap Anson 780,
Ross Barnes 779
Cap Anson*
3418
1871-1897Cap Anson 3418,
Jim O'Rourke 2642,
Roger Conner 2467,
Dan Brouthers 2296,
Paul Hines 2134
Jimmy Ryan
2502
1885-1900, 1902-1903Jimmy Ryan 2502,
Ed Delahanty 2404,
George Van Haltren 2350,
Jake Beckley 2323,
Jesse Burkett 2321
Ed Delahanty*
2596
1888-1903Ed Delahanty 2596,
Jesse Burkett 2547,
Jake Beckley 2501,
George Van Haltren 2497,
Hugh Duffy 2257
Jake Beckley*
2930
1888-1907Jake Beckley 2930,
Jesse Burkett 2850,
Willie Keeler 2749,
Ed Delahanty 2596,
Lave Cross 2591
Jesse Burkett*
2850
1890-1905Jesse Burkett 2850,
Jake Beckley 2573,
Willie Keeler 2470,
Ed Delahanty 2458,
Lave Cross 2344
Willie Keeler*
2932
1892-1910Willie Keeler 2932,
Jesse Burkett 2681,
Fred Clarke 2543,
Honus Wagner 2473,
Nap Lajoie 2456
Honus Wagner*
3415
1897-1917Honus Wagner 3415,
Nap Lajoie 3185,
Sam Crawford 2961,
Ty Cobb 2361,
Willie Keeler 2240
Ty Cobb*
4189
1905-1928Ty Cobb 4189,
Tris Speaker 3514,
Eddie Collins 3314,
Zack Wheat 2884,
Max Carey 2658
George Sisler*
2812
1915-1922, 1924-1930George Sisler 2812,
Rogers Hornsby 2574,
Sam Rice 2455,
Harry Heilmann 2400,
Ty Cobb 2273
Sam Rice*
2987
1915-1934Sam Rice 2987,
Rogers Hornsby 2905,
Babe Ruth 2858,
George Sisler 2812,
Frankie Frisch 2686
Frankie Frisch*
2880
1919-1937Frankie Frisch 2880,
Sam Rice 2740,
Goose Goslin 2726,
Babe Ruth 2670,
Al Simmons 2631
Paul Waner*
3152
1926-1945Paul Waner 3152,
Mel Ott 2871,
Charlie Gehringer 2830,
Jimmie Foxx 2640,
Doc Cramer 2603
Doc Cramer
2705
1929-1948Doc Cramer 2705,
Mel Ott 2667,
Luke Appling 2571,
Paul Waner 2512,
Joe Medwick 2471
Luke Appling*
2749
1930-1943, 1945-1950Luke Appling 2749,
Doc Cramer 2536,
Mel Ott 2373,
Billy Herman 2345,
Joe Medwick 2306
Joe DiMaggio*
2214
1936-1942, 1946-1951Joe DiMaggio 2214,
Johnny Mize 1949,
Luke Appling 1830,
Enos Slaughter 1768,
Ted Williams 1763
Bobby Doerr*
2042
1937-1944, 1946-1951Bobby Doerr 2042,
Joe DiMaggio 2008,
Stan Musial 1829,
Luke Appling 1818,
Johnny Mize 1813
Stan Musial*
3630
1941-1944, 1946-1963Stan Musial 3630,
Richie Ashburn 2574,
Nellie Fox 2535,
Mickey Vernon 2421,
Red Schoendienst 2292
Richie Ashburn*
2574
1948-1962Richie Ashburn 2574,
Stan Musial 2549,
Nellie Fox 2395,
Alvin Dark 2086,
Yogi Berra 2015
Hank Aaron*
3771
1954-1976Hank Aaron 3771,
Willie Mays 3126,
Al Kaline 3000,
Roberto Clemente 3000,
Frank Robinson 2943
Pete Rose
4256
1963-1986Pete Rose 4256,
Carl Yastrzemski 3073,
Rod Carew 3053,
Lou Brock 2908,
Al Oliver 2743
George Brett*
3154
1973-1993George Brett 3154,
Robin Yount 3142,
Dave Winfield 3014,
Eddie Murray 2820,
Dave Parker 2712
Dave Winfield*
3110
1973-88, 1990-95Dave Winfield 3110,
George Brett 3025,
Robin Yount 2947,
Eddie Murray 2924,
Andre Dawson 2653
Eddie Murray*
3255
1977-1997Eddie Murray 3255,
Paul Molitor 3178,
Wade Boggs 2800,
Tony Gwynn 2780,
Andre Dawson 2754
Paul Molitor*
3319
1978-1998Paul Molitor 3319,
Eddie Murray 3082,
Tony Gwynn 2928,
Wade Boggs 2922,
Cal Ripken 2878
Cal Ripken*
3184
1981-2001Cal Ripken 3184,
Tony Gwynn 3141,
Wade Boggs 3010,
Paul Molitor 2852,
Harold Baines 2741
Kirby Puckett*
2304
1984-1995Kirby Puckett 2304,
Tony Gwynn 2252,
Wade Boggs 2213,
Don Mattingly 2072,
Brett Butler 2005
Rafael Palmeiro
3020
1986-2005Rafael Palmeiro 3020,
Craig Biggio 2795,
Barry Bonds 2742,
Roberto Alomar 2724,
Tony Gwynn 2582
Craig Biggio
2942+
1988-Craig Biggio 2942,
Rafael Palmeiro 2941,
Robero Alomar 2724,
Barry Bonds 2614,
Steve Finley 2532
*- Hall of Fame

Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki would join this list if their careers' ended after last season, but either of them could lose their lead by the time they hang it up.

The years HBPs have been tracked are spanned by only 17 players who led the years they played in getting hit. Only 2 of them are Hall of Famers, but that's just because great get-hitters have been consistently under-apreciated.


Batters with the most total HBPs in the seasons they played

PlayerSeasonsTop 5
Fred Mann
43
1882-1887Fred Mann 43,
Bill Gleason 42,
John Reilly, 41,
Yank Robinson 39,
Curt Welch 36
Tommy Tucker
272
1887-1899Tommy Tucker 272,
Hughie Jennings 243,
Curt Welch 148,
Jake Beckley 146,
Steve Brodie 118
Hughie Jennings*
287
1891-1903, 1907,
1909-10, 1912, 1918
Hughie Jennings 287,
Tommy Tucker 167,
Dan McGann 161,
Jake Beckley 151,
John McGraw 134
Dan McGann
230
1896, 1898-1908Dan McGann 230,
Hughie Jennings 160,
Frank Chance 118,
Kid Elberfeld 108,
Fred Clarke 103
Jake Stahl
94
1903-06, 1908-10,
1912-13
Jake Stahl 94,
Kid Elberfeld 86,
John Titus 84,
Dan McGann 81,
Frank Chance 77
Steve Evans
111
1908-1915Steve Evans 111,
Art Fletcher 72,
Bert Daniels 72,
Buck Herzog 70,
Sherry Magee 66
Art Fletcher
141
1909-1920, 1922Art Fletcher 141,
Buck Herzog 113,
Steve Evans 11,
Tris Speaker 81,
Sherry Magee 79
George Burns
110
1914-1929George Burns 110,
Bucky Harris 99,
Wally Schang 97,
Art Fletcher 96,
Jack Fournier 84
Jimmie Dykes
115
1918-1939Jimmie Dykes 115,
Bucky Harris 99,
Kiki Cuyler 85,
George Burns 80,
Bing Miller 80,
Joe Sewell 80
Bucky Harris*
99
1919-29, 1931Bucky Harris 99,
Jimmie Dykes 78,
George Burns 72,
Bing Miller 71,
Johnny Mostil 70
Jimmy Welsh
47
1925-1930Jimmy Welsh 47,
Kiki Cuyler 47,
Jimmie Dykes 42,
Joe Sewell 40,
Bing Miller 39
George Watkins
44
1930-1936George Watkins 44,
Jimmie Dykes 42,
Dick Bartell 39,
Kiki Cuyler 36,
Tony Piet
Frank Crosetti
114
1932-1948Frank Crosetti 114,
Dick Bartell 81,
Mel Ott 52,
Billy Jurges 51,
Ival Goodman 49
Minnie Minoso
192
1949, 1951-64,
1976, 1980
Minnie Minoso 192,
Nellie Fox 139,
Sherm Lollar 107,
Frank Robinson 100,
Eddie Yost 85
Ron Hunt
243
1963-1974Ron Hunt 243,
Frank Robinson 121,
Bill Freehan 107,
Cesar Tovar 82,
Joe Torre 72
Don Baylor
267
1970-1988Don Baylor 267,
Ron Hunt 142,
Chet Lemon 139,
Carlton Fisk 124,
Brian Downing 101
Craig Biggio
282
1988-Craig Biggio 282,
Jason Kendall 209,
Andres Galarraga 164,
Fernando Vina 157,
Brady Anderson 154


Jason Kendall is probably going to be the next to join this list, but he still needs to gain 16 plunks on Biggio to be the HBP leader of the Jason Kendall era. But once again, Biggio is the only player on both lists - the only one to lead his era in both hits and getting hit.

And, just because they shouldn't be left out, here are the players who finished 2nd in career hits for the years they played, with the player who out hit them during their years:
Player
Hits
SeasonsLeader
Hits
Ross Barnes
859
1871-77, 1879, 1881Deacon White
863
Jim O'rourke*
2643
1872-1893, 1904Cap Anson
2834
Roger Connor*
2467
1880-1897Cap Anson
2638
Bid McPhee*
2250
1882-1899Cap Anson
2381
Sam Thompson*
1979
1885-1898, 1906Ed McKean
2011
Ed McKean
2083
1887-1899Hugh Duffy
2116
Nap Lajoie*
3242
1896-1916Honus Wagner
3354
Sam Crawford*
2961
1899-1917Honus Wagner
3159
Hal Chase
2158
1905-1919Ty Cobb
2713
Tris Speaker*
3514
1907-1928Ty Cobb
4040
Rogers Hornsby*
2930
1915-1937Sam Rice
2987
Goose Goslin*
2735
1921-1938Al Simmons
2773
Al Simmons*
2927
1924-41, 1943-44Paul Waner
3066
Mel Ott*
2876
1926-1947Paul Waner
3152
Bob Elliot
2061
1939-1953Stan Musial
2223
Ted Williams*
2654
1939-42, 1946-1960Stan Musial
2877
Nellie Fox*
2663
1947-1965Stan Musial
2818
Willie Mays*
3283
1951-52, 1954-73Hank Aaron
3509
Roberto Clemente*
3000
1955-1972Hank Aaron
3260
Frank Robinson*
2943
1956-1976Hank Aaron
3451
Vada Pinson
2757
1958-1975Hank Aaron
2991
Lou Brock*
3023
1961-1979Pete Rose
3372
Carl Yastrzemski*
3419
1961-1983Pete Rose
3990
Rod Carew*
3053
1967-1985Pete Rose
3481
Robin Yount*
3142
1974-1993George Brett
3149
Wade Boggs*
3010
1982-1999Tony Gwynn
3067
Tony Gwynn*
3141
1982-2001Cal Ripken
3179
Roberto Alomar
2724
1988-2004Raphael Palmeiro
2843

Labels:

5 Comments:

At 4/17/2007 12:45:00 PM, Anonymous Blue Genie said...

What's the record for longest post ever during the Craig Biggio era?

 
At 4/17/2007 01:31:00 PM, Blogger pbr said...

In total word count or inches of screen space?

You don't have to celebrate if you don't want to, but I say it's a special occasion, meriting a ridiculously long post. It's not every day someone breaks the record for most hits during the time he played. Unless you really want to narrow it down and look at the record for most hits during Craig Biggio's at-bats... then he does break that every day he gets a hit.

So to answer your question, I don't know.

 
At 4/17/2007 03:27:00 PM, Blogger rbs said...

FWIW: Bidge got his first hit off Orel Hersheiser on June 29. That was the year Hersheiser won 23 games and the Cy Young.

I have a ticket stub somewhere to prove that I was there that day, probably wondering who the hell the rookie was catching. But Retrosheet says that Bidge and Billy Hat-cher were the only guys that day.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1988/B06290HOU1988.htm

Hmmm, Retrosheet also says it was Bidge's fourth ML game. And it looks like Ashby didn't play from June 21 that year until August 30. Looks like Bidge got his big break because Ash was injured, and Alex Trevino was apparently not the guy that management wanted catching full time.

 
At 4/17/2007 03:28:00 PM, Blogger rbs said...

But Retrosheet says that Bidge and Billy Hat-cher were the only guys _to get a hit_ that day.

 
At 4/17/2007 09:34:00 PM, Blogger TexSport Publications said...

Biggio got it on the shoulder by Jorge Julio.

Number 283

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home