Yesterday, August 8, 2012, Alex Cobb threw a pitch that hit Rajai Davis in the 3rd inning, and that was the 1000th regular season HBP ever recorded at Tropicana Field. It’s been 5,245 days since Fred McGriff was the first batter plunked at the Trop, on March 31, 1998, and it that span no other park has been the site of more plunkings. Rogers Sky Centre Dome has hosted 967 HBPs in that span, and Fenway Park has had 953, but no other park has had more than 900 HBPs in the time Tropicana Field has gone from 0 to 1000.
Here are the full HBP totals by ballpark from 1998 through August 8, 2012:
|Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||898|
|U.S. Cellular Field||877|
|Sun Life Stadium||839|
|Oriole Park at Camden Yards||839|
|Minute Maid Park||758|
|Angel Stadium of Anaheim||756|
|Great American Ball Park||607|
|Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||580|
|Citizens Bank Park||556|
|Hiram Bithorn Stadium||35|
And to celebrate the accomplishment of one Kiloplunk at Tropicana Field, below are a few facts about the first 1000 plunks in park history.
- The first 7 innings in Tropicana Field history went by without anyone getting hit by a pitch, but Fred McGriff took the first plunk in park history when Roberto Duran hit him in the 8th inning on March 31, 1998. McGriff got hit three times in his Rays career, and all three were at Tropicana Field.
- 548 of the first 1000 plunks at Tropicana Field have hit visiting teams, with the Red Sox being the favorite target at 75 HBPs. The Yankees have been hit 53 times, and the Orioles 52 and Blue Jays have been hit 52 times each. (Although the Jays 52nd plunk was number 1,001 in park history, which Cobb threw last night to celebrate plunk 1000.)
- Including Rajai Davis yesterday, 241 of the first 1000 batters plunked at Tropicana Field have scored a run after reaching base on the HBP. There have been 37 plunks with the bases loaded at the park, split 19 for the Rays and 18 for their guests. Runs scored after plunks are split 132 for visitors and 109 for the home team, but if both the Rays and their guests have scored at almost exactly the same rate – 24.11% of the Rays home plunks have scored runs, and 24.08% of plunked visitors have scored.
- On August 20, 1999, John Flaherty stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, score tied at 4, and the bases loaded. Royals reliever Scott Service hit him with a pitch, driving in the winning run, for the first walk off plunk in Tropicana Field history. And their hasn’t been another walk off plunk since then, so it was the only walk off plunk in park history.
- Plunk #100 in park history was thrown on June 24, 1999 by Bryan Rekar and hit Shane Spencer of the Yankees
- Jason Kendall is the only player with 2 RBI plunks at Tropicana Field.
- Paul Wilson holds the park record for hitting batters, with 24. He only played three seasons for the Rays, and only hit 30 batters in all, but managed to throw 80% of those plunks in home games. Casey Fossum threw 23, Ryan Rupe and Rolando Arrojo each hit 21 batters at the Trop, and Victor Zambrano threw 20. James Shields is the active leader, tied for 5th with Zambrano at 20 plunks.
- Plunk #200 in park history was thrown by Dave Eiland on August 29, 2000, and hit Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. Earlier in that game, Gerald Williams became the first batter to get ejected from a game for charging the mound after a plunk at Tropicana Field. Pedro Martinez threw that one, and Williams was probably upset about being the 198th instead of the 200th plunk in park history. If only he’d realized that by not charging the mound, he could have stayed in the game and had a chance for #200. Eiland was ejected for hitting Nomar, and several other plunk related ejections occurred in that festival of plunkings.
- On April 23, 2005, Kevin Millar was hit by a pitch for the 11th time at Tropicana Field. At that point, he was tied for 2nd place on the park’s all time HBP list, even though he had never played for the Rays. Those 11 still stand as the most career plunks as a Tropicana Field visitor. Alex Rodriguez is the only other batter with 10 plunks as a guest at Tropicana.
- Plunk #300 in park history was thrown by Yankee pitcher Orlando Hernandez on May 9, 2002, and hit Ben Grieve
- On August 15, 2008, Jonny Gomes got hit by 3 pitches in the same game, becoming the only player ever to get hit 3 times in a game at Tropicana Field.
- On May 22, 1999, Steve Sparks of the Angels came to town and threw 4 plunks at Tropicana Field. He hit Jose Canseco, Paul Sorrento, Miguel Cairo and Kevin Stocker. On July 19, 2003 Victor Zambrano hit four visiting Rangers, becoming the first Rays pitcher to hit 4 batters in a home game, and the only Rays pitcher ever to throw a four plunk game. There have only been 9 games since 1998 in which a pitcher hit four batters, but two of those games were at Tropicana Field.
- Plunk #400 in park history was thrown on June 14, 2003, when Marlon Anderson was hit by Josh Fogg of the Pirates. Anderson, Jason Kendall were ejected in the ensuing celebration, which was ruled to be a bit overblown for just a 400th plunk in park history.
- Since 1998, there has never been a season in which fewer than 50 plunks have occurred at Tropicana Field. 2010 had the fewest plunks of any season in park history with 50. In 2003, 92 batters were plunked at Tropicana, and that was at the time a live ball era (post-1920) record for plunks in a season at a single ballpark. But 94 batters were hit at RFK Stadium in 2005.
- Johnny Gomes is the only player to get hit 10 times in a single season at Tropicana Field. He did that in 2005. Casey Kotchman had 8 plunks at Tropicana in 2011, making that the 2nd best season for plunks at that park.
- Plunk #500 in Tropicana history hit Doug Mientkiewicz of the Red Sox on August 4, 2004, thrown by John Halama
- Gomes also holds the career record for plunks at Tropicana, with 28. Carlos Pena has 24, Rocco Baldelli 17, Carl Crawford 16, Sean Rodriguez 15, Ben Greive 13, Jose Guillen 12, and Kevin Millar, Julio Lugo, Toby Hall and Casey Kotchman have 11 each.
- On May 20, 2007, Marlins pitcher Sergio Mitre retired the Rays side in the bottom of the 7th while throwing only 3 pitches. The 2nd of those three pitches was an HBP to Jonny Gomes. That’s just weird, an HBP during a 3 pitch inning.
- Plunk #600 in park history was recorded on October 2, 2005 when Jesus Colome hit Baltimore’s Sal Fasano
- The Red Sox have hit 142 batters at Tropicana Field, leading all visiting pitching staffs. The Jays have hit 105, and the Yankees have hit 100. There have been 15 HBPs in park history that led to ejections before the next play, and of those 15 incidents, 9 involved the Red Sox.
- Saint Timothy Wakefield holds the visitors record for plunks thrown, with 9.
- Plunk #700 in park history hit Carlos Pena on June 27, 2007 and was thrown by Mark Buehrle of the White Sox
- The longest streak of plunk-free games in Tropicana Field history was 11, from May 23 to June 13 2008. Matt Garza broke the streak, plunking Dan Uggla on June 14, 2008. September 28, 2010 to April 16, 2011 was the only other streak of 10 consecutive games at Tropicana without an HBP.
- On May 9, 1998, Brady Anderson recorded his 100th career plunk when Jim Mecir hit him at Tropicana Field. The Rays also threw Alex Rodriguez’s 100th career plunk on May 4, 2006 at Tropicana. Shawn Camp threw that one.
- Plunk #800 for Tropicana Field landed on Carlos Quentin of the White Sox on April 19, 2009, thrown by Matt Garza.
- On July 17, 2000 at Tropicana Field, Ryan Rupe threw a pitch that would be career plunk number 150 for Andres Galarraga. The Braves and Rays celebrated the next day by hitting each other 5 times – the first of three five plunk games in park history.
- Jason Kendall recorded his 208th and 211th career plunks at Tropicana Field on September 9, 2006 and May 5, 2007. Those are the highest career plunk totals ever reached on a Tropicana plunk.
- Plunk #900 in Trop history hit Dan Johnson on April 17, 2011, thrown by Matt Capps of the Twins.
- Omar Olivares, Pedro Martinez, and Casey Fossum all threw their 50th career plunks at Tropicana Field, but Fossum’s was the most special because he hit Derek Jeter.
- Randy Johnson threw his 171st career plunk at Tropicana, hitting Joey Gathright on May 4, 2006. That’s the highest career total for a pitcher reached on a plunk at Tropicana. Tim Wakefield threw his 154th and 168th there.
- The latest plunks ever thrown in Tropicana Field history were in the 15th inning, and all three of the 15th inning plunks ever record there were in the Rays – Red Sox game on July 17, 2011. Brandon Gomes hit Kevin Youkilis in the top of the 15th, and Alfredo Aceves hit Evan Longoria and Casey Kotchman back to back in the bottom of the 15th.
- The second inning has been the most plunkful inning in Tropicana history, with 123. 120 have been hit in the 7th, 118 in the 6th, 117 in the 3rd, 115 in the 1st, 112 in the 8th, 96 in the 4th and the 5th, and 82 in the 9th. 22 plunks have been recorded in extra innings. (The 96 in the 5th inning include plunk number 1,001 last night)
- First Basemen have been the most popular plunk target at Tropicana, with 132 HBPs, followed by Designated Hitters at 127 and Short Stops at 124. No pitcher has ever been plunked there, and Center Fielders have only bee hit 94 times. 12 batters have been plunked pinch hitting at Tropicana Field.
- On September 15, 2010, Derek Jeter was credited with an HBP on a Chad Qualls pitch, even though everyone knows it never really hit him. It still counts as number 896 in park history though.