HBPs of Note: June 26, 2009
Russell Martin of the Dodgers was hit by a pitch thrown by Roy Corcoran yesterday, giving Martin his 20th career HBP. But more importantly, Martin’s plunk was the 1000th in major league history recorded by a player born in Canada. Congratulations, Canada, on your 1000th Major League plunk. Now, many politicians might plan to use this moment to serve their own interest by scaring Americans into believing that Canadians are sneaking across the border to take HBPs from hard working American baseball players but he truth of the matter is that Canadians have been getting hit by major league pitches for as long as there have been HBPs recorded. 14 plunks were recorded by Canadians in the year 1884, and from then to 1920, Canadians were the 2nd most plunked nationality, trailing Americans and just ahead of the Irish. But no Irish player has been plunked since the year 1918, while the Canadians have stuck around and gotten plunked another 612 times since that year. I guess the Irish all switched to Hockey or something. From 1920 to 1994, only 3 Canadians per year were plunked, and at the height of the little-talked-about US/Canadian cold war between 1952 and 1961, there were NO Candadians plunked in the Majors. But then NAFTA came into effect in 1994, and every full season since then has seen at least 10 plunks go to Canadian batters. Canadian plunks peaked in 2004 with 43, and Larry Walker holds the single season and career Canadian records with 14 plunks in 1995, 1997 and 2001, and 138 in all. So anyway – this is an event to be celebrate, not used in some crazy political scheme to build a border wall to keep out our neighbors from the north.
Mark Teixeira also got plunked yesterday, and that was the 1400th by someone born in Maryland. It was also his 60th. Teixeira has been hit 7 times this season, so he’s on pace to break his career high of 14 set in his rookie season in 2003.