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Longest streaks as PH without getting on base

Posted by Andy on February 27, 2009

Check out this very surprising result. Here are the longest streaks where a guy appeared in a game as a PH, had at least one PA, and didn't get on base:

                   StreakStart  Streak End Games    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  SO   BB   SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Teams
+-----------------+-----------+-----------+-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 Mickey Mantle      1964-06-01  1966-07-06    28     28    0    0   0   0   0    1   13    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 NYY

 Steve Lyons        1990-07-18  1991-08-25    26     26    0    0   0   0   0    0    8    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CHW-BOS
 Dave Campbell      1971-08-05  1974-09-24    26     24    0    0   0   0   0    1    9    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 SDP-STL-HOU

 Luis Lopez         2000-08-01  2001-07-08    24     19    1    0   0   0   0    2    5    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 MIL
 Frank Tepedino     1971-04-06  1971-09-10    24     24    1    0   0   0   0    0    6    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 NYY-MIL

 Hiram Bocachica    2001-04-11  2001-07-28    23     24    0    0   0   0   0    0    8    0    2   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 LAD
 Jamie Quirk        1983-06-26  1986-05-10    23     22    0    0   0   0   0    1    7    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 STL-CHW-KCR
 Jay Johnstone      1982-09-25  1983-07-14    23     24    0    0   0   0   0    1    6    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CHC
 Ted Uhlaender      1972-04-18  1972-07-07    23     22    0    0   0   0   0    0    2    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CIN
 Paul Popovich      1970-09-04  1971-06-23    23     21    0    0   0   0   0    2    5    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CHC

 Juan Castro        1996-05-05  2001-05-02    22     20    0    0   0   0   0    1    7    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 LAD-CIN
 Tyler Houston      1999-06-12  2000-07-22    22     26    0    0   0   0   0    0   11    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CHC-CLE-MIL
 Richie Hebner      1985-08-15  1985-10-02    22     22    0    0   0   0   0    0    5    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CHC
 Tom Hutton         1979-08-22  1980-05-16    22     21    0    0   0   0   0    1    5    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 MON

 Alan Zinter        2002-08-16  2004-09-02    21     22    0    0   0   0   0    0   10    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 HOU-ARI
 Curtis Goodwin     1997-07-23  1998-08-04    21     21    0    0   0   0   0    0   11    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CIN-COL
 Jim Tatum          1995-07-21  1998-04-21    21     21    1    0   0   0   0    0    8    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 COL-SDP-NYM
 Milt Thompson      1996-05-20  1996-07-24    21     22    0    0   0   0   0    0    6    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 LAD-COL
 Todd Benzinger     1990-08-09  1991-05-31    21     20    0    0   0   0   0    2    2    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CIN
 Phil Linz          1965-07-25  1967-05-04    21     22    0    0   0   0   0    0    6    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 NYY-PHI
 Ray Jablonski      1959-07-16  1959-09-09    21     21    0    0   0   0   0    1    6    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 STL-KCA

 Corey Patterson    2004-06-15  2008-04-21    20     22    0    0   0   0   0    0   10    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CHC-BAL-CIN
 Gary Bennett       2003-04-07  2007-04-03    20     23    0    0   0   0   0    0    2    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 SDP-WSN-STL
 Bruce Aven         2000-04-22  2000-06-14    20     20    1    0   0   0   0    1    7    0    0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000 PIT
 Ted Simmons        1987-07-07  1988-05-05    20     19    0    0   0   0   0    1    3    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 ATL
+-----------------+-----------+-----------+-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                   StreakStart  Streak End Games    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  SO   BB   SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Teams
+-----------------+-----------+-----------+-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 Ivan Murrell       1973-04-13  1973-07-15    20     19    2    0   0   0   0    0    6    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 SDP
 Bob Johnson        1965-05-11  1966-05-15    20     18    0    0   0   0   0    2    1    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 BAL
 Cap Peterson       1965-07-22  1966-04-29    20     20    1    0   0   0   0    0    5    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 SFG
 Bob Hale           1956-07-27  1957-04-26    20     16    0    0   0   0   0    5    2    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 BAL            

How many guesses do you think you would have needed to come up with Mickey Mantle as first? Mind you, Mantle appeared in lots of other games in the interim and got on base plenty. This search considers only those games in which he appeared as a PH.

As a further complication, this list also includes games where the player may have stayed in the game and played another position when getting a 2nd (or more) plate appearance.

If we restrict the search to games appearing as a PH only, here's what we get:

                   StreakStart  Streak End Games    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  SO   BB   SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Teams
+-----------------+-----------+-----------+-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 Ivan Murrell       1973-04-13  1974-05-29    36     35    2    0   0   0   0    0   12    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 SDP-ATL                                     

 Paul Popovich      1970-06-06  1971-06-23    33     31    0    0   0   0   0    2    6    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CHC                                         

 Ted Uhlaender      1971-04-15  1972-07-07    30     29    0    0   0   0   0    0    5    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 CLE-CIN                                     

 Dale Sveum         1986-08-31  1996-09-25    28     28    0    0   0   0   0    0   16    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 MIL-PHI-CHW-OAK-SEA-PIT                     

 Quilvio Veras      1996-04-07  1999-09-29    27     26    0    0   0   0   0    1   11    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 FLA-SDP                                     
 Mickey Mantle      1964-06-01  1966-07-06    27     26    0    0   0   0   0    1   13    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 NYY                                         

 John Rabb          1984-04-29  1988-07-31    25     25    0    0   0   0   0    0   16    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 SFG-ATL-SEA                                 
 Choo Choo Coleman  1961-05-04  1963-05-04    25     24    1    0   0   0   0    1    7    0    0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000 PHI-NYM                                     

Ahh, Dale Sveum. Rhymes with shame. Or blame. Or lame.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 27th, 2009 at 8:33 am and is filed under Streak Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Longest streaks as PH without getting on base”

  1. Andy, You have a list of guys, one named Choo Choo and you focus on the name Sveum?

    When considering these streaks, I think that it is important to check the dates. It took Sveum 10 years to get those pinch hitting appearances, while it took most of the other guys only 1 or 2.

    Also, John Rabb's strikeout rates grabbed my attention. For his career Rabb struck out 21 times in 40 AB (53%) as a pinch hitter, but in only 20% (32 of 164)of his other at bats.

  2. I guess we can assume Mickey Mantle wasn't so good at riding the bench. The data on his subbing comes starting in 1956, the 6th season into his career. With 104 PA and 86 AB, he was a .221 AVG as a sub. And while you might say it was the end of his career that he was weak at hitting, he went 9-21 subbing in his final two years.

  3. JGeller - At that point in his career, if Mantle wasn't playing can we assume that he wasn't 100% healthy? Maybe that contributed to his low numbers.

  4. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    I think it's both. There does seem to be a pinch-hitter "penalty": Most players do not perform as well as PH as when starting. But on Mantle specifically, I was surprised he PH so many times over that brief period, and I assume he must have usually been ailing in some way that prevented him from playing the field.

  5. The ailing theory might be correct. In 1965 and 1966, the Yankees had a Gold Glove 1B named Joe Pepitone. For 1967 and 1968, the Yankees swapped the aging Mantle and Pepitone, putting Joe in OF and Mantle at 1B. After Mantle retired, Pepitone returned to 1B in 1969 and promptly won another Gold Glove.

  6. The title really shouldn't be "Longest streaks as PH without getting on base" because some of these guys did get on base via an error or fielders choice.

  7. stat boy is right, and some of them even managed to score a run or two in their hitless streak

  8. statboy, ZimJim, point taken, but it's a conventional usage, and quite common, else we'd have to say "on base and not by reaching on error or fielder's choice average" instead of "on base average" and the abbreviation OBANBROEOFCA would give us fits.