Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pitchers who plunk 3000 hit club members

If Craig Biggio wanted to do something to really make his entry into the 3,000 hit club special, he'd get hit by a pitch in the same game he reaches 3,000. As far as can be determined from the available boxscores on the internet (retrosheet.org), no one has ever been plunked in the same game they reached 3000 hits. Retrosheet has the box scores for the last 19 games when someone joined the 3000 hit club, so it's possible that Paul Waner, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Nap Lajoie, or Cap Anson got plunked in the game they hit 3000, but it doesn't seem likely. If nothing else, Biggio could be assured he was the only player to do it after 1942.

The closest anyone has come to being plunked in their 3000 hit games was Paul Molitor - he got plunked by Salomon Torres the day before he got his 3000th hit. Torres plunked Molitor when he was sitting on 2,998, in an 0-3 performaces on September 15, 1996. That was a home game, and the 2-hit shutout Torres through that day Molitor's 3000th hit to September 16, 1996 - on the road.

Torres is also one of 4 pitchers who has hit a batter during the season he hit 3,000 and also plunked Craig Biggio. Biggio has been hit by both of the pitchers who plunked Tony Gwynn in 1999 - Shawn Estes and Ismael Valdez, and one of the pitchers who got Cal Ripken in 2000 - Cory Lidle. All but Valdez have plunked Biggio twice. Jorge Julio will join the list this season, as soon as Biggio gets to 3000. And, Julio and whoever else plunks Biggio this season will be the only ones to plunk Biggio in the same season they hit a batter who joined the 3000 hit club that year (although, in this case, both feats would have been accomplished on the same pitch).

The only Astros pitcher to hit someone in the season they reached 3000 was Jack Billingham. He hammered Hank Aaron in 1970. No pitcher among the available data has plunked two different batters in the seasons they hit 3000. While all of the eligible 3000 hit club members have gone on to the Hall of Fame, only one pitcher (since 1942 at least) has plunked a batter the year he joined the 3000 hit club and gone on to be inducted to the Hall - Don Sutton. Sutton hit Willie Mays with a pitch in 1970.

Here's the list of the 3000 hit club, and who hit them with pitches in the season they joined the club. Only three pitchers on the list are active this season - Joe Beimel, Salomon Torres and Tom Gordon.

PlayerYearPlunked By
Rafael Palmeiro2005Jeff Nelson, John Halama
Rickey Henderson2001Luke Prokopec, Joe Beimel, Felix Rodriguez
Cal Ripken2000Jose Paniagua, Cory Lidle, Jeff Zimmerman
Tony Gwynn1999Shawn Estes, Ismael Valdes
Wade Boggs1999Nobody
Paul Molitor1996Jeff Montgomery, Juan Guzman, Salomon Torres
Eddie Murray1995Nobody
Dave Winfield1993Nobody
George Brett1992Dave Stewart, Mike Flanagan, Floyd Banister, Scott Radinsky, Joe Hesketh, Sterling Hitchcock
Robin Yount1992Tom Gordon, Melido Perez, Mike Boddicker
Rod Carew1985Ed Vande Berg
Lou Brock1979Randy Jones, Jerry Reuss, Rudy May
Carl Yastrzemski1979Eduardo Rodriguez, David Clyde
Pete Rose1978Mickey Mahler, Gerry Pirtle, John Montefusco
Al Kaline1974Jim Colborn
Roberto Clemente1972Nobody
Willie Mays1970Cal Koonce, Dan McGinn, Don Sutton
Hank Aaron1970Jack Billingham, John Strohmayer
Stan Musial1958Jack Sanford
Paul Waner1942?
Eddie Collins1925?
Tris Speaker1925?
Ty Cobb1921?
Honus Wagner1914?
Nap Lajoie1914?
Cap Anson1894?

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