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No Zeros in the Box Score

Posted by Raphy on July 6, 2011

In Andy's "Every starter has 2 or more hits" thread last night, Statboy asked the following question:

"Has there been a game where one team had no zeros in the box score (every player with at least one hit, run, and RBI)?"

While finding all of the games that meet this criteria is quite a challenge, there is a subset of these games that make an interesting PI exercise. The difficulty in a search like the one that Statboy is proposing is that generally we do not know how many players appeared in each game. Therefore, even if we find the games with the most players with at least one run, hit and rbi, there still can be many players who appeared in that game that did not meet the criteria. That being said,  it is possible to limit a PI game finder search to games in which there were only nine players, by searching for players who both started and finished a game.

Use the batting game finder and search for:
1) Find Number of Players Matching Criteria in a Team Game
2) Started
3) Finished
4) H>=1
5) R>=1
6) RBI>=1

Only keeping teams with 9 matching players (and sorting by date) gives us the following list:

Rk Tm Opp Date #Matching
1 CAL TEX 1978-09-14 9
2 CHW PHA 1945-07-07 (2) 9
3 BSN STL 1936-08-25 (1) 9
4 BOS PHA 1934-07-06 9
5 STL BSN 1933-07-23 (1) 9
6 BOS CHW 1929-06-05 9
7 CHC CIN 1926-04-23 9
8 PIT CHC 1921-04-19 9
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/6/2011.

This is complete list of teams since 1919 to play exactly nine players and have no zeros in the box score.
Does anybody know about games with more than nine players?


17 Responses to “No Zeros in the Box Score”

  1. Ryan Says:

    In the most recent game (CAL v. TEX), it took:

    A) a thirteen-run ninth, with
    B) all runs being team unearned (flyout, single, E4, E5, followed by 13 runs),
    C) and the final zero of the boxscore being erased 12 hitters after what would have been the third out (Lansford getting his RBI with a sac fly to score the 12th run of the inning).

  2. Neil L. Says:

    Raphy, thanks for the nitty-gritty details on how to generate your list from searches. Spelling out the steps and putting the searches in the proper order helps me to improve my PI acumen (which is pretty low).

    Interesting how rare this team event is throughout baseball history.

  3. Scoop Says:

    One question and one comment about the first game on the list:

    Question: In the Rangers' pitching box, their pitchers combine to give up 13 ER, but their team total is 3. What's up with that? Is that just a glitch in the system? Or is there something I don't know about ER?

    Comment: Look at that line for Len Barker. 0 IP 5 H 5 R. Ouch.

  4. Hartvig Says:

    I'm a little surprised to see only one DH era team on the list. But I love seeing some old familiar names: Charlie Grimm appeared in both of the first 2 games this happened plus you get appearances by Possum Whitted, Rabbit Maranville (twice) and Rabbit Warstler (also twice), not to mention Whispering Bill Barrett. Fun stuff.

  5. Dan Says:

    @3 Scoop, total runs (R) allowed by the Rangers is 16, which is correct in the box score. The total earned runs allowed (ER) is 3 since the 13 runs allowed in the 9th were unearned. So the total of 3 ER is correct, but the individual ER of 3, 2, and 5 for Umbarger, Cleveland, and Barker respectively, seem to be incorrect unless I am missing something.

  6. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Scoop. that's an obscure little twist in the unearned runs rule. You'll see that the SP was removed from the game with one out and after two errors. So there should be three outs, inning over. That means every run which scores after that point is unearned from the *team's* perspective. But each new pitcher that enters that inning (three of them) was not the beneficiary, for lack of a better word, of those errors. The errors extending the inning were committed before he entered the game. So his slate is clean, and the runs he allows are considered earned on his personal ledger.

  7. statboy Says:

    Thanks for posting this, Raphy! For years I looked at team's box scores in the newspaper and tried to find one without a zero. Never had any luck.

  8. statboy Says:

    It's cool how the Cardinals had nothing but 1s and 2s in that 1933 game.

  9. JDV Says:

    That 1978 game was on the first stop of a four-city road tour for the Angels. The last stop, Chicago, would claim the life of RF Lyman Bostock, who was shot and killed on September 23 while visiting family in nearby Gary, IN. He was 27.

  10. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Only game I could find in which a team was shut out and each starter had exactly one hit.

  11. Jeff Says:

    The nine Yankee starters in from August 2009 all had one hit, one run, and one RBI.

  12. Whiz Says:

    "Does anybody know about games with more than nine players?"

    If you don't use the start and end game restriction, you get 1 team with 11 players each with at least one R, H and RBI, and 18 teams with 10 players. Looking at the games, all had at least one player with a zero somewhere. One or two of the teams had 10 non-zeros and only one player with a zero. So the eight games in your table are the only ones (1919-present, of course).

    The list of these games is at

    A lot of high-scoring games there.

  13. Raphy Says:

    @12 Thanks Whiz! Excellent thinking!

  14. Raphy Says:

    @11 Jeff- Check Johnny Damon again.

  15. Raphy Says:

    @10 Kahuna - There have been two teams since 1919 that were shutout with every starter getting exactly 1 hit:
    1) Detroit Tigers- June 8, 1961
    2) Pittsburgh Prates- August 8, 1977 (The game you mentioned)

    There have also been two other teams that were shutout despite every starting player having at least 1 hit .
    1) Minnesota Twins - August 31, 2005
    2) Pittsburgh Pirates - May 16, 1935

  16. scott Says:

    A team from either Chicago or Boston was in attendance for the first seven games.

  17. GrandsBiscuits Says:

    I would guess this has something to do with the fact that batting averages were very high during the '20s and '30s.