Archive for February, 2012

The most plunked batters born on February 29th

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

27 hbp – Al Rosen, born 02/29/1924, 1084th all time, played from 1947 to 1956
13 hbp – Pepper Martin, born 02/29/1904, 2033rd all time, played from 1928 to 1944
7 hbp – Terrence Long, born 02/29/1976, 2943rd all time, played from 1999 to 2006
2 hbp – Ralph Miller, born 02/29/1896, 4736th all time, played from 1920 to 1924
1 hbp – Paul Giel, born 02/29/1932, 5641st all time, played from 1954 to 1961

The most plunked batters born on February 28th

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

34 hbp – Terry Turner, born 02/28/1881, 801st all time, played from 1901 to 1919
17 hbp – Frank Malzone, born 02/28/1930, 1647th all time, played from 1955 to 1966
12 hbp – Moose McCormick, born 02/28/1881, 2154th all time, played from 1904 to 1913
10 hbp – Marty Perez, born 02/28/1947, 2437th all time, played from 1969 to 1978
8 hbp – Jim Wohlford, born 02/28/1951, 2761st all time, played from 1972 to 1986

The most plunked batters born on February 27th

Monday, February 27th, 2012

57 hbp – Matt Stairs, born 02/27/1968, 303rd all time, played from 1992 to 2011
21 hbp – Ron Hassey, born 02/27/1953, 1395th all time, played from 1978 to 1991
18 hbp – Denard Span, born 02/27/1984, 1582nd all time, played from 2008 to 2011
15 hbp – Cy Perkins, born 02/27/1896, 1841st all time, played from 1915 to 1934
14 hbp – Connie Ryan, born 02/27/1920, 1937th all time, played from 1942 to 1954
14 hbp – Chick Fullis, born 02/27/1904, 1937th all time, played from 1928 to 1936

The most plunked batters born on February 26th

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

64 hbp – J.T. Snow, born 02/26/1968, 243rd all time, played from 1992 to 2008
51 hbp – Mark DeRosa, born 02/26/1975, 385th all time, played from 1998 to 2011
36 hbp – Kelly Gruber, born 02/26/1962, 726th all time, played from 1984 to 1993
14 hbp – Sam LaRoque, born 02/26/1863, 1937th all time, played from 1888 to 1891
9 hbp – David Howard, born 02/26/1967, 2591st all time, played from 1991 to 1999

The most plunked batters born on February 25th

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

76 hbp – Andy Pafko, born 02/25/1921, 169th all time, played from 1943 to 1959
74 hbp – Shannon Stewart, born 02/25/1974, 183rd all time, played from 1995 to 2008
56 hbp – Cesar Cedeno, born 02/25/1951, 315th all time, played from 1970 to 1986
48 hbp – Bob Bescher, born 02/25/1884, 436th all time, played from 1908 to 1918
38 hbp – Ron Santo, born 02/25/1940, 659th all time, played from 1960 to 1974

The most plunked batters born on February 24th

Friday, February 24th, 2012

125 hbp – Honus Wagner, born 02/24/1874, 42nd all time, played from 1897 to 1917
52 hbp – Mike Lowell, born 02/24/1974, 373rd all time, played from 1998 to 2010
31 hbp – Bubba Phillips, born 02/24/1928, 909th all time, played from 1955 to 1964
18 hbp – Eddie Murray, born 02/24/1956, 1582nd all time, played from 1977 to 1997
15 hbp – Nick Esasky, born 02/24/1960, 1841st all time, played from 1983 to 1990
15 hbp – Joe Dolan, born 02/24/1873, 1841st all time, played from 1896 to 1901

The most plunked batters born on February 23rd

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

243 hbp – Ron Hunt, born 02/23/1941, 6th all time, played from 1963 to 1974
88 hbp – Rondell White, born 02/23/1972, 115th all time, played from 1993 to 2007
28 hbp – Bobby Bonilla, born 02/23/1963, 1035th all time, played from 1986 to 2001
26 hbp – Elston Howard, born 02/23/1929, 1132nd all time, played from 1955 to 1968
12 hbp – Roy Johnson, born 02/23/1903, 2154th all time, played from 1929 to 1938
12 hbp – Mike Tresh, born 02/23/1914, 2154th all time, played from 1938 to 1949

The most plunked batters born on February 22nd

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

36 hbp – Casey Kotchman, born 02/22/1983, 726th all time, played from 2004 to 2011
16 hbp – Kelly Johnson, born 02/22/1982, 1741st all time, played from 2005 to 2011
11 hbp – Roy Spencer, born 02/22/1900, 2289th all time, played from 1925 to 1938
8 hbp – Joe Lefebvre, born 02/22/1956, 2761st all time, played from 1980 to 1986
8 hbp – Daniel Nava, born 02/22/1983, 2761st all time, played from 2010 to 2010

Retirements

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

I’m way behind on retirement tributes. But coming soon, Tim Wakefield will get the post he deserves for the 186 regular season plunks he threw, and the 9 in the postseason. It might take me a while to put everything together for that. But for the moment, I just want to recap what’s been lost in the world of Major League Baseball in the past 5 years, and as always I look at that through the lens of HBP leaders.

First, the batters:
After the 2007 season, the greatest modern example of the art of being hit by a ton of pitches left the game, Craig Biggio. He got hit 285 times, and was 2nd only to Hughie Jennings on the all time list. Also, Barry Bonds left the game that year, and whatever else there is to say about him, he got hit by 106, which ranks 64th all time.
Then in 2008, Damion Easley took his 132 career HBPs and went home, tied for 36th place all time. Jeff Kent (125 HBP – tied for 42nd) and Luis Gonzalez (111 HBP – tied for 53rd) also left the game.
After 2009, Carlos Delgado hasn’t been seen in the majors, leaving with 172 HBPs, which is currently 14th on the all time list, and at the time it was the 2nd most by any left handed batter. Gary Sheffield also exited, with 135 HBPs. He’s currently 32nds on the all time list.
2010 marked the last time we saw Jason Kendall, Jose Guillen, David Eckstein, Jason LaRue, and Mark Grudzielanek – a combined total of 754 HBPS. 254 of those were Jason Kendall’s. He hasn’t officially retired but he’s spending this year as a special assistant coach with the Royals – which sounds an awful lot like retiring. He’s 5th on the all time list. Jose Guillen is the most plunked Dominican player ever, with 145 – 22nd all time. David Eckstein holds the AL record for plunks in a rookie season, and finished with 143 – tied for 23rd all time. Jason LaRue had 107 plunks, tied for 61st all time, and Mark Grudzielanek is tied for 65th with 105.
Then, after last year Melvin Mora retired (117 HBPs, 47th all time), and Miguel Tejada doesn’t have a job (121 HBPs, 45th all time). Aaron Rowand (126 HBPs, 41st all time) and Manny Ramirez (109 HBPs) are coming to spring training on minor league contracts, so we’ll have to wait and see on them. And that leaves 7 active players with 100 HBPs if we don’t count Rowand and Ramirez.

So we’ve got 7 active batters with over 100 HBPs, two more that might or might not be active, and 14 who retired over the past 5 years. Prior to 2007, the previous 14 batters to retire with over 100 plunks stretch back to Minnie Minoso in 1980.

On the pitching side, here are the 100 plunk club pitchers since 2007:
Randy Johnson – 190 HBP – tied for 5th all time, last pitched in 2009
Tim Wakefield – 186 HBP – tied for 7th all time, retired after 2011
Roger Clemens – 159 HBP – 14th all time, left after 2007
Jamie Moyer – 144 HBP – tied for 22nd all time, left 2010 – still planning a comeback*
Jamey Wright – 142 HBP – 24th all time – signed with the Dodgers for 2012
Pedro Martinez – 141 HBP – tied for 26th all time, last pitched in 2009
Chan Ho Park – 138 HBP – 30th all time, left the US majors in 2010
Greg Maddux – 137 HBP – tied for 31st all time, retired after 2008
Kenny Rogers – 127 HBP – 40th all time, retired after 2008
Jeff Weaver – 124 HBP – 44th all time, last pitched in 2010
Aaron Sele – 112 HBP – tied for 61st all time, retired after 2007
Vicente Padilla – 106 HBP – tied for 67th all time, and has a minor league deal with the Red Sox 2012
John Lackey – 101 HBP – 82nd all time, expected to pitch for the Red Sox in 2012

There are 3 active pitchers in that group, and 10 who have retired in the last 5 years. The prior ten 100-plunk pitchers to retire took 13 years, going back to Charlie Hough in 1994.

The point of all this, of course, is that if all these guys who have been hit by a ton of pitches or have thrown a lot of plunks all retire, I have less stuff to write about. But also, it leaves the impression that the 2nd Golden Age of Plunks is in decline. Fortunately, there are still a good crop of players capable of getting hit by a lot of pitches, and a few pitchers who can throw a some plunks. So if those of you among that group of players who are still in the league, and get hit by a good number of pitches, could please step up, instead of stepping out of the way, that would help me out.

*-Update – Apparently I missed the news that he’s in camp with the Rockies and competing for a potential starting job.  Still, he’s not unretired until he plays a regular season game.

The most plunked batters born on February 21st

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

94 hbp – John Titus, born 02/21/1876, 85th all time, played from 1903 to 1913
37 hbp – Alan Trammell, born 02/21/1958, 695th all time, played from 1977 to 1996
18 hbp – Joe Foy, born 02/21/1943, 1587th all time, played from 1966 to 1971
14 hbp – Franklin Gutierrez, born 02/21/1983, 1842nd all time, played from 2005 to 2011
11 hbp – Ted Savage, born 02/21/1936, 2294th all time, played from 1962 to 1971