Posted by Andy on June 26, 2009
Here are the leaders in four-hit games since 1954:
Games Link to Individual Games +-----------------+-----+-------------------------+ Pete Rose 73 Ind. Games Paul Molitor 62 Ind. Games Wade Boggs 62 Ind. Games George Brett 61 Ind. Games Rod Carew 58 Ind. Games Hank Aaron 49 Ind. Games Kirby Puckett 47 Ind. Games Roberto Clemente 47 Ind. Games Willie Mays 46 Ind. Games Tony Gwynn 45 Ind. Games Al Oliver 44 Ind. Games Willie Davis 43 Ind. Games Ivan Rodriguez 42 Ind. Games Maury Wills 41 Ind. Games Lou Brock 41 Ind. Games Dante Bichette 41 Ind. Games Carl Yastrzemski 40 Ind. Games Ichiro Suzuki 40 Ind. Games Luis Aparicio 40 Ind. Games Eddie Murray 39 Ind. Games
Ichiro registered his 40th such game last night to pull into a tie for 17th place. I found the 1 other active player on here, I-rod, a bit of a surprise.
If you're curious, the next active players on the list are A-rod with 37 games, Johnny Damon with 34, Todd Helton with 33, and Derek Jeter with 32.
Going back to the list above, it's interesting to compare the total number of 4-hit games to the total number of games each guy played.
I went ahead and calculated the percentage of a player's total games that ended up as 4-hit games, and ranked them by highest percentage:
Ichiro Suzuki 3.0%
Kirby Puckett 2.6%
Wade Boggs 2.5%
Dante Bichette 2.4%
Rod Carew 2.3%
Paul Molitor 2.3%
George Brett 2.3%
Maury Wills 2.1%
Pete Rose 2.0%
Roberto Clemente 1.9%
Al Oliver 1.9%
Tony Gwynn 1.8%
Ivan Rodriguez 1.8%
Willie Davis 1.8%
Lou Brock 1.6%
Luis Aparicio 1.5%
Willie Mays 1.5%
Hank Aaron 1.5%
Eddie Murray 1.3%
Carl Yastrzemski 1.2%
There are a lot of neat (if rather obvious) conclusions here:
- Ichiro is AWESOME.
- More recent players do better because with more offense, the number of PAs per game has gone up and therefore the ease of getting 4 hits in any particular game has also gone up
- Guys like Yaz, Aaron, and Eddie Murray make this top 20 list because they were good but also because they played in a lot of games
- Pete Rose, despite being way in the lead for games played compared to most of these guys still makes the middle of the pack, telling us that he was pretty damn good too.
- This stat also favors leadoff hitters since they get a higher number of PAs per game on average than anybody else.
- Just think for a moment about the difference between Ichiro's 3.0% and Yaz's 1.2%. Both of these guys make the top 20 for most 4-hit games since 1954 but Ichiro has done it almost 3 times as often as Yaz did it. (Of course, that's not totally fair to Yaz since Ichiro's rate is likely to slow down over the remainder of his career.)
It's amazing what you can learn when you dig just one level deeper into some of these numbers.