Sunday, April 25, 2010

Take one for the record books

With Craig Biggio's painful march towards history, via first base, having ended two shy of Hughie Jennings' venerable hit by pitch record, the active HPB leader is Jason Kendall. Here's the top five all time:

1. Hughie Jennings 287
2. Craig Biggio 285
3. Tommy Tucker 272
4. Don Baylor 267
5. Jason Kendall 249

Kendall, the Kansas City catcher, is 36 and was hit 17 times last year. If he can last another two or three seasons after this one, he has a shot at the record. But it's tough for a catcher to keep a starting spot at this age. The next active players on the list:

14. Jason Giambi 165
20. Alex Rodriguez 150
21. Derek Jeter 144

If people start plunking 34 year old A-Rod with a serious vengeance, he could make a charge at the record (and the mound), but it's pretty unlikely. It's a long, long way down to anyone else getting hit at a record setting rate. And, as the New York Times points out, with the steroid era winding down, HBPs are in decline too. Biggio fell short of history - let's all cheer on Jason Kendall.

No comments: