- Dumb Luck Wins
- Tough Luck Losses
- Out Prevention Percentage
- Infield Outs Prevented
MLB In-Laws: Players Who Have Married Relatives of Other Players The Longest Streaks without a Strikeout to Start a Career, 1950-2011
Young players are frequently overmatched in their first exposure to major league pitching, which makes it all the more impressive when a player starts his career with a long stretch of plate appearances without a strikeout.
I researched the longest such streaks in MLB’s boxscore era (1919 onward). The second part, covering 1950 until 2011, will be in a post later this week.
I divided the results into two posts for a couple reasons. First off, we only have play-by-play for games from 1950 and later, so for these earlier games, we can’t say exactly how many K-less plate appearances players had in most cases. Secondly, there was a marked increase in strikeout rates that began in the 1950′s and has continued pretty much unabated since. After 1950, long streaks without a strikeout became increasingly rare (in fact, only a couple streaks from 1950 and later would be long enough to make the list below).
The “1st Gm” column is the date of the player’s 1st MLB PA (not necessarily his MLB debut). The “Last K-less Gm” is the date of the game before the player had his first MLB strikeout. The “Games” column is the number of games the player had with at least 1 PA before striking out the first time.
Because we don’t have play logs for the games, I can’t say exactly how many PAs each player had before his first strikeout. Instead, I gave a range of possible values based on the number of PAs the player had in the 1st-strikeout game. I ranked the players by the minimum number of strikeout-free PAs they had–the first number in the PA column below. This first number assumes that the player struck out in the first PA of the game following the K-less streak. The second number in that column is the maximum number of PAs, which assumes that the strikeout didn’t occur until the final PA of the game.
I also included the number of walks before the first strikeout and the player’s team, just for kicks. Here’s the list:
|Rk||Player||1st Gm||Last K-less Gm||Games||PA||BB||Tm|
Most of these guys made this list because they are “put the ball in play” types; in other words, they didn’t strike out mainly because they didn’t work many deep counts. Thus, they also didn’t walk much. So it’s especially impressive for Stephenson to have 12 walks, since that means he must have seen a fair number of deep counts and still avoided the strikeout in each one.Mark Reynolds
Oh, and did I mention that Hutchinson was a pitcher? That’s right, a pitcher avoided a strikeout for his first 64 major-league PAs. That’s just amazing. For his career, Hutchinson hit .263 / .334 / .326, which isn’t exactly good (75 OPS+) but is phenomenal for a pitcher. He had 30 career strikeouts in 734 PAs, for a rate of just 4%. Even by the standards of that low-strikeout era, that’s excellent. For instance, it’s a lower K% than the most well-known contact hitter from that era, Joe DiMaggio
Probably the greatest player on this list is Tommy HolmesBrady Anderson Mike Schemer Dixie Carroll Joe Sewell
For fun, I looked up the record for most career PAs without any strikeouts. The recordholder since 1919 seems to be George HocketteMike Eden Dave Oliver
Tune in later this week for the second part, which includes a surprising name near the top of the list.
Tagged with: Bill Burgo Bill Drescher Dave Oliver Dixie Carroll Doc Marshall Fred Hutchinson George Hockette Joe Dimaggio Joe Sewell Johnny Peacock lack of strikeouts Mark Reynolds Mike Eden Mike Schemer pre-modern era Puddin Head Riggs Stephenson start of career streaks strikeouts Tom Jordan Tommy Holmes Wally Gilbert Willie Jones
This blog is devoted to the invention and use of unusual baseball statistics. These Junk Stats are designed to reveal the not-so-meaningful quirks that make baseball so fascinating.
JunkStats is written by Jacob Peterson, who also writes for the Braves blog Talking ChopBeyond the Boxscore
For more about the site or the author, read the About page
What I’ve Done For You Lately
- The Braves Won 2 Straight Games With No RBIs
- The All-Time Labor Day Team
- Jason Vargas Could Make Home Run History
- The Most Runs Scored On A Small Number Of Hits
- Most Team Games Scoring Exactly __ Runs In A Season
- The 2012 Astros And The Longest Extra-Inning Loss Streaks
- The 2012 Orioles And The Longest Extra-Inning Win Streaks
- Most Doubles Allowed By A Pitcher In A Game
- Most RBIs While Driving In All Of A Team’s Runs
- Player Hits Three Homers, Team Scores Three Runs
GraffitiA's Albert Pujols bad pitching Billy Wagner Brad Lidge Braves Carlos Zambrano CC Sabathia Craig Kimbrel Diamondbacks Dodgers dumb luck wins Giants good bad games Greg Maddux Hank Aaron home runs Indians Kelly Johnson Kenny Rogers Livan Hernandez Mark Reynolds Mets names Phillies Pirates Prince Fielder Randy Johnson Rangers rare feats Reds relief pitching Roberto Clemente Roy Halladay Ryan Howard Sammy Sosa streaks strikeouts Theme Teams tough luck losses Twins walks week in JunkStats Willie Mays Yankees