Do you have any idea how much baseball information there is in your brain? For even casual fans, numbers like 60 & 61, 714 & 715, 56 & .406 in ’41, 300 & 3,000 are forever part of the sport’s landscape. Statistics are what separates baseball from every other sport. Even avid followers of basketball can’t recite the all-time scoring numbers and football fans are stuck with over 50% of the positions having no real stats at all. Beyond all the famous history, baseball also leads the world in trivial information. Many a bar bet has been won or lost on the answer to a baseball quiz, as in “Which Pitcher threw a no-hitter and didn’t lower his ERA”? The answer, of course, is Bob Feller who hurled a no-hitter on opening day in 1940.
So, to have some fun as we wait for a possible 2020 season to begin, here’s a look at stats you don’t know. In other words, useless information that does you no good at all but might make you smile when you see a familiar name from the record books.
> Ty Cobb, Mel Ott, Al Kaline & Robin Yount all reached 1,000 hits before they turned 25. Cobb is the only player to reach 2,000 hits before the age of 30.
> Ted Williams has the highest lifetime On-Base Percentage at .482…Babe Ruth is 2nd.
Former Senators & Tigers SS Ed Brinkman had over 6,000 major league AB’s and hit .224.
Ron Herbel has the lowest batting average by a Pitcher at 0.29 (6-for-206).
> Harold Baines had 113 RBI’s in 1985 but didn’t have another 100 RBI season (103) until 1999…a 14 year gap.
> Padres OF Phil Plantier had 100 RBI’s in 1993 but only had 292 RBI’s in his entire career.
> Mike Potter had 23 career AB’s in 1976-77 with the Cardinals and never got a major league hit.
> Rob Deer was the easiest batter to strike out (1K every 2.5 AB).
> Craig Biggio was hit by pitches 285 times…it is the all-time record.
> Rickey Henderson hit leadoff home runs in both games of a doubleheader for the A’s in 1993…Brady Anderson did it for the Orioles in 1999.
> Stan Musial & Nate Colbert each hit five HR’s in a Doubleheader.
> Hank Aaron & Eddie Mathews hit home runs as teammates in the same game 75 times.
> Al Rosen, Jim Gentile & Davey Johnson all hit 40+ HR’s in a season but fewer that 200 in their career.
> Ron Fairly hit 215 career HR’s but never hit 20 in a season.
> While with the Dodgers, Tommy Davis hit a home run three times to give Sandy Koufax a 1-0 win…including a walk-off against Bob Gibson in 1962.
> Cardinals Pitcher Adam Wainwright hit a home run on the first major league pitch he ever faced (2006).
> In April of 2000, the Angels Mo Vaughn, Tim Salmon & Troy Glaus all homered in the same inning twice.
> In April of 1986, Padres Pitcher Craig Lefferts hit a walk-off HR in the 12th inning to beat the Giants…it was the only home run of his 12-year career.
> In April of 1999, the Cardinals Fernando Tatis hit two Grand-Slams in the same inning against the Dodgers.
> In 1948, Ted Williams had three plate appearances in the same inning against three different pitchers.
In 1953, Gene Stephens had three hits in one inning.
> In 1962, the Mets Frank Thomas was hit by the pitch twice in the same inning.
> In 2004, Ichiro Suzuki had 264 hits and 225 of them were Singles.
> In 1961, when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s HR record by hitting 61, he had zero intentional walks.
> In 1962, Harmon Killebrew hit .243 and led the AL in RBI’s with 126.
> In 2003, the Tigers Ramon Santiago finished last in the AL in BA, HR & RBI’s thus winning the Triple Crown Loser Award…Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith did the same for the Padres in 1979.
> In 1963, Red Sox OF Carl Yastrzemski led the AL in both Hits & Walks.
> In 1977, the Twins Rod Carew won the AL batting title by 52 points (.388) over the Angels Lyman Bostock (.336).
> Between 1969 and 1978, Bobby Bonds had 30-30 (HR & SB) seasons five times and played for five different teams.
> In 1978, Pirates SS Frank Taveras had 654 AB’s with 0 (zero) home runs.
> In 1995, Rockies OF Dante Bichette hit 40 HR’s and only walked 22 times.
In 1960, the Tigers Charlie Maxwell hit five (5) extra-inning home runs.
> In 1948, Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner of the Pirates hit 31 HR’s at home and only 9 on the road.
> Babe Ruth broke the season home run record in 1919 (29), then again in 1920 (54) and 1921 (59).
> During his major league career, Todd Zeile hit home runs for 11 different teams.
> Ray Boone and his son Bob combined for 256 lifetime home runs…Ray and his grandson Bret combined for 403.
> Hall of Fame Catcher Carlton Fisk hit 72 home runs after the age of 40…and his uniform number was 72!
> In three consecutive seasons, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson hit .408, .395 & .373 but didn’t win the batting title in any of the three (1911, 1912 & 1913).
In 1947, Braves Pitcher Johnny Sain won 21 games and hit .346 (37-for-107).
In a future visit, we’ll share some oddities from pitching stats. Don’t forget to send along the Old Duck’s commission on those bar bets.