Albert Pujols was hit by a pitch in the 4th inning last night’s game 1 of the World Series, giving him 4 postseason plunks for his career, and 3 plunks in the World Series. That puts Pugols in the company of Yogi Bera, Frank Robinson, Frank Chance, Fred Snodgrass, Willy Taveras, Max Carey, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson, Honus Wagner, Bert Campaneris, Derek Jeter and Elston Howard as the only players who have been plunked 3 times in World Series games. No one has been hit 4 times in World Series games. Pujols now has been hit in the World Series in three different years, and only Derek Jeter and Elston Howard had done that before this year.
Pujols was eventually driven in for the first run of the 2011 World Series, making this the 7th year in which the first run of the World Series was scored by a batter who reached base on a plunk. 3 of those have now involved the Cardinals. The first such World Series was the infamous 1919 series between the Reds and the White Sox. Morrie Rath was plunked by Eddie Cicotte leading off the first inning and scored the first run of that series – but that famous plunk was later said to be a pre-arranged signal indicating that the White Sox were throwing the game. Rudy York of the Red Sox scored the first run of the 1946 series after getting hit by Howie Pollet of the Cardinals and Al Smith of the Indians scored the first run of the 1954 World Series after an HBP against Sal Maglie of the Giants. In 1988, Steve Sax of the Dodgers scored the first run of the World Series after reaching on a plunk from A’s ace Dave Stewart. Both Sax and Al Smith were leading off the first inning, but as far as I know nobody has asked if those plunks were pre-arranged signals that the series was being thrown (the Giants won the series in ’54, so probably not).
In 2001, Derek Jeter got hit by Curt Schilling and came around to score the first run of that year’s series,
and in 2004 Orlando Cabrera scored the first run for the Red Sox after being hit by Woody Williams of the Cardinals*. Albert Pujols got his first World Series plunk in that same game.
*Correction – it’s been pointed out to me that Johnny Damon was on base ahead of Cabrera and they both scored on the Ortiz double – so Damon actually scored first, not Cabrera.
Tags: HBPs of note