Baseball fans know career records like Cy Young‘s career win total of 511, Walter Johnson’s 110 shutouts, or Nolan Ryan‘s record of 5, 714 strikeouts. But few if any know that Guy Wehring has a career record too. Guy is the career leader in hit batsmen with 277. He accomplished this record pitching from 1887-1901. And just because he pitched and died before any of us were born and that it was not set in the modern era does not belie the fact he holds the record.
Who holds the record for issuing the most intentional walks? That dear friends is relief pitcher Kent Tekulve with 179 (1974-1989). How a relief pitcher can hold a record like this is curious, but he did pitch 1,437 innings. The player receiving the most intentional passes was Barry Bonds with 688, far surpassing Hank Aaron‘s total of 293. Just another Hank Aaron record the cheater broke.
There are records I did not know existed, but someone at MLB is keeping track. The following only holds true for the modern era. The number of fly ball outs a pitcher has recorded belongs to Livan Hernandez with 3,248 and the batter who has aired out the most is Carlos Lee with 2,785. Switching to the ground Tim Hudson has recorded the most ground outs with 4,355 and the batter with most ground outs is Juan Pierre whose current 3,253 is 17 ahead of Derek Jeter, with Ichiro third.
We know Mariano Rivera is the career leader in saves with 652, but did you know Arthur Rhoades is the career leader in holds with 231? Thought not. Now you can one up your buddies.
One modern pitcher holds two records I find fascinating. Mark Buehrle holds the career record for getting hitters to hit into double plays with 310 and he holds the record for picking runners off base with 88. Andy Pettitte who gets praise for his ability to pick off runners is second with a mere 51, far behind Buehrle. Tip of the hat to Mark for his two distinguished records. Cal Ripken has hit into most double plays, logging in at 350. Alas no record found on which runner leads in getting picked off.
But there is a record for most pitches thrown, the record holder being C.C. Sabathia with 43, 552. Again a modern record, which I am sure if numbers had been kept we would see Cy Young’s name at the top. The batter who has seen the most pitches is Bobby Abreu at 33, 582, seventeen ahead of Ichiro.
Another blast from the past, like Wehring, is from the forgotten era, and that is Tony Mullane’s (1881-1894) record of 343 wild pitches. Who knew they kept track of wild pitches in those days?
Most balks is 90 by Steve Carlton, doubling the 45 of second place holder Bob Welch.
Most sacrifice flys goes to Eddie Murray with 128, beating out former teammate Cal Ripken who had 127.
And finally one record that will never be broken is 512, the number of sacrifice bunts held by Eddie Collins (1906-1930). The game has little small ball left, it is a power game. But throughout baseball history it is a game of numbers. And now you have some more to chew on.