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At least 1 RBI per game

Posted by Andy on February 24, 2010

Below is a list of the last 49 times in which a player had at least 1 RBI for every game played in a season. (To be clear, this is a simple calculation of RBI >= G and doesn't mean that he got at least 1 RBI in each and every game of that season.) I listed 49 because 3 guys did it in 1935 and I didn't want to expand the list to 52 seasons.

Click through to see the list and some observations.

Rk Player Year RBI G Age Tm PA AB R H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Taylor Teagarden 2008 17 16 24 TEX 53 47 10 15 5 0 6 5 19 .319 .396 .809 1.205 *2/D
2 Lou Marson 2008 2 1 22 PHI 4 4 2 2 0 0 1 0 2 .500 .500 1.250 1.750 /*2
3 Wladimir Balentie 2007 4 3 22 SEA 4 3 1 2 1 0 1 0 0 .667 .500 2.000 2.500 /*97
4 Ryan Jorgensen 2007 6 4 28 CIN 15 15 3 3 0 0 2 0 5 .200 .200 .600 .800 /*2
5 Jeff Baker 2006 21 18 25 COL 58 57 13 21 7 2 5 1 14 .368 .379 .825 1.204 *9/73
6 Doug Mientkiewicz 2000 4 3 26 MIN 15 14 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 .429 .400 .429 .829 /*3
7 Carlos Casimiro 2000 3 2 23 BAL 8 8 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 .125 .125 .250 .375 /*D
8 Manny Ramirez 2000 122 118 28 CLE 532 439 92 154 34 2 38 86 117 .351 .457 .697 1.154 *9D
9 Ozzie Timmons 2000 13 12 29 TBD 42 41 9 14 3 0 4 1 7 .341 .357 .707 1.064 /*97D
10 Mark Quinn 1999 18 17 25 KCR 65 60 11 20 4 1 6 4 11 .333 .385 .733 1.118 *7/D9
11 Manny Ramirez 1999 165 147 27 CLE 640 522 131 174 34 3 44 96 131 .333 .442 .663 1.105 *9/D
12 Brian Simmons 1998 6 5 24 CHW 19 19 4 7 0 0 2 0 2 .368 .368 .684 1.053 /*87
13 Juan Gonzalez 1998 157 154 28 TEX 669 606 110 193 50 2 45 46 126 .318 .366 .630 .997 *9D
14 Joe Hall 1997 3 2 31 DET 4 4 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .750 1.250 /*9
15 Juan Gonzalez 1996 144 134 26 TEX 592 541 89 170 33 2 47 45 82 .314 .368 .643 1.011 *9D
16 Jerry Goff 1996 2 1 32 HOU 4 4 1 2 0 0 1 0 1 .500 .500 1.250 1.750 /*2
17 Jeff Bagwell 1994 116 110 26 HOU 479 400 104 147 32 2 39 65 65 .368 .451 .750 1.201 *3/9
18 Kirby Puckett 1994 112 108 34 MIN 482 439 79 139 32 3 20 28 47 .317 .362 .540 .902 *9D/8
19 John Wehner 1994 3 2 27 PIT 4 4 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 .250 .250 .500 .750 /*5
20 Rick Reed 1991 2 1 26 PIT 2 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 1.000 1.500 /*1
21 Chip Hale 1990 2 1 25 MIN 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 /*4
22 George Brett 1980 118 117 27 KCR 515 449 87 175 33 9 24 58 22 .390 .454 .664 1.118 *5/3
23 Gene Locklear 1977 2 1 27 NYY 5 5 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 .600 .600 .600 1.200 /*7
24 Dick Calmus 1967 2 1 23 CHC 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 /*1
25 Mike Ryan 1964 2 1 22 BOS 4 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 .333 .500 .333 .833 /*2
26 John Paciorek 1963 3 1 18 HOU 5 3 4 3 0 0 0 2 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 /*9
27 Walt Bond 1962 17 12 24 CLE 54 50 10 19 3 0 6 4 9 .380 .426 .800 1.226 *9/7
28 Marv Throneberry 1955 3 1 21 NYY 3 2 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 1.000 .667 1.500 2.167 /*3
29 Jim Greengrass 1952 24 18 24 CIN 75 68 10 21 2 1 5 7 12 .309 .373 .588 .962 *8/7
30 Jack Merson 1951 14 13 29 PIT 52 50 6 18 2 2 1 1 7 .360 .373 .540 .913 *4
31 Ted Williams 1950 97 89 31 BOS 416 334 82 106 24 1 28 82 21 .317 .452 .647 1.099 *7
32 Walt Dropo 1950 144 136 27 BOS 609 559 101 180 28 8 34 45 75 .322 .378 .583 .961 *3
33 Vern Stephens 1949 159 155 28 BOS 711 610 113 177 31 2 39 101 73 .290 .391 .539 .930 *6
34 Ted Williams 1949 159 155 30 BOS 730 566 150 194 39 3 43 162 48 .343 .490 .650 1.141 *7
35 Joe DiMaggio 1948 155 153 33 NYY 669 594 110 190 26 11 39 67 30 .320 .396 .598 .994 *8
36 Stan Wentzel 1945 6 4 28 BSN 19 19 3 4 0 1 0 0 3 .211 .211 .316 .526 /*8
37 Tony Ordenana 1943 3 1 24 PIT 4 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 /*6
38 Cliff Dapper 1942 9 8 22 BRO 19 17 2 8 1 0 1 2 2 .471 .526 .706 1.232 /*2
39 Don Manno 1940 4 3 25 BSN 7 7 1 2 0 0 1 0 2 .286 .286 .714 1.000 /*9
40 Hank Greenberg 1940 150 148 29 DET 670 573 129 195 50 8 41 93 75 .340 .433 .670 1.103 *7
41 Joe DiMaggio 1940 133 132 25 NYY 572 508 93 179 28 9 31 61 30 .352 .425 .626 1.051 *8
42 Joe DiMaggio 1939 126 120 24 NYY 524 462 108 176 32 6 30 52 20 .381 .448 .671 1.119 *8
43 Jimmie Foxx 1938 175 149 30 BOS 685 565 139 197 33 9 50 119 76 .349 .462 .704 1.166 *3
44 Hank Greenberg 1937 183 154 26 DET 701 594 137 200 49 14 40 102 101 .337 .436 .668 1.105 *3
45 Joe DiMaggio 1937 167 151 22 NYY 692 621 151 215 35 15 46 64 37 .346 .412 .673 1.085 *8
46 Lou Gehrig 1937 159 157 34 NYY 700 569 138 200 37 9 37 127 49 .351 .473 .643 1.116 *3
47 Fred Sington 1936 28 25 26 WSH 109 94 13 30 8 0 1 15 9 .319 .413 .436 .849 *9
48 Hank Greenberg 1936 16 12 25 DET 55 46 10 16 6 2 1 9 6 .348 .455 .630 1.085 *3
49 Hal Trosky 1936 162 151 23 CLE 671 629 124 216 45 9 42 36 58 .343 .382 .644 1.026 *3/4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/24/2010.

You'll notice that I didn't set any minimum number of games. Consequently, we get a bunch of guys like Joe Hall in 1997: those who had just a cup of coffee in a season (or in the case of Hall, pretty much for his entire career) and were able to get at least 1 RBI per game in a small number of games. Looking at Hall's 1997 gamelogs, he got 2 run-scoring hits in one of his 2 games that season, which was enough to qualify him for the list.

We also see a bunch of 1-game wonders including the famous 1-game career of John Paciorek in 1963.

No surprise that George Brett's incredible 1980 shows up, too. That season makes tons of these 'extreme' lists.

Beyond those seasons, we also see many of the greatest offensive seasons we can remember. Hank Greenberg's 1937 and Juan Gonzalez's 1996 and 1998 spring to mind.

As was the case with Brett's 1980, we see a few other seasons with a smallish number of games played. This makes sense--extraordinary stats like at least 1 RBI per game are easier to achieve over smaller numbers of games. (In case you don't follow think of it this way--a number of guys have hit 4 homers in a single game and a ton have hit 3 homers in a single game, but nobody can keep up a pace like that for even as many as 2-3 games, let alone an entire season.) Lots of average players have made this list with very small numbers of games, but some have done it in roughly 100 games, including Bagwell and Puckett in the strike-abbreviated 1994 season, as well as Ted Williams in 1950.

And then there are the in-betweeners, guys like Taylor Teagarden in 2008. His performance that season was quite odd, and like Brett's 1980 makes a number of lists of this sort. Sixteen games is a large number of which to get at least 1 RBI per game but he didn't back it up in 2009. Of the other in-betweeners on the list (Baker, Timmons, Quinn, Bond, Greengrass, Merson, Sington, and Greenberg) only one, Greenberg, went on to have any significant major-league success as a hitter.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 at 12:38 pm and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

22 Responses to “At least 1 RBI per game”

  1. Interesting. As a Twins fan, I was actually unaware of Puckett's quirky-high RBI totals that year. I mean, I guess he won the RBI title that year but I don't recall much talk about the pace he was on. I guess he did get 7 RBI's in the last game of the season:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN199408100.shtml

    so I guess he didn't have a high pace until that last day and the strike ruined talks of pace meaning anything. The pace discussions I remember from that year were Matt Williams' and Ken Griffey's run at 61 HR (too early to get too excited yet but it was possible) and Chuck Knoblauch's absurdly high 45 doubles (look out Earl Webb!). Though Biggio and Walker were talking a run at Knoblauch with 44 doubles each.

    Anyhow, fun to see one of Puckett's lesser-known seasons make a list like this. I guess if Knoblauch is always on second and your situational splits are lopsided (bases empty: .261/.297/.412, men on: .368/.417/.658) then a season that doesn't look all that special at first glance can show up on a list like the one above.

  2. I wrote a post more than 2 years ago right here about how Matt Williams did hit 62 HR over a 162-game span that included the entire 1994 season.

  3. I know you left out pre-1935 years, but I think it is remarkable that for the years 1927 through 1934, Lou Gehrig averaged more than 1 RBI per game. In his career, he averaged .922 RBI per game. I don't think we will ever see that again. He was an RBI machine.

  4. Manny Ramirez' 1999 season is unique in my lifetime...the only player in the 162-game era to average 1+ RBI / team game, not just per game played. In similar fashion, Ichiro Suzuki (2004) became the only player in the 162-game era to average 1.5 H / team game.

  5. I just noticed that Williams-59 not only had more RBI than G but also more BB's than G. That's a very impressive combination. Williams wasn't aided by a short season there either, he played every game that year (including the tie).

    Who else has pulled off that feat (besides John Paciorek :-))?

  6. It helps to have a guy with a .470 OBP hitting right in front of you. Shame Babe Ruth clogged up the bases so much

  7. dukeofflatbush Says:

    Not only did Williams have more RBIs and BBs than Gs, He pulled off one of the rarest feats in baseball; 350 TB and 350 TOB. The only other member in that club is Ruth. And no one has ever had a season, not even Ruth, where 150 - Rs, RBIs and BBs were all achieved, except Williams in '49. That '49 team as a whole, had an unreal OBP, especially the starting 8.

  8. Sosa had 160 in 160 in 2001, I suppose no matter what the context, 160 ribbies is an outrageous number, right Manny? Speaking of Manny, I think for a while in 1999 it looked like he might get 170 or 180, is that right?

  9. If you Google John Paciorek you'll find out Wikipedia calls him "an American baseball player with three career Major League at bats." He also has 4 sons and 4 daughters! That's another reason why I love Wikipedia as much as BBR...

  10. Hank Greenberg was right behind Lou Gehrig's career average. He averaged .915 RBI per game.

  11. I find it hard to believe nobody has ever gotten at least 162 RBIs in a season when they played at least 162 games...especially since folks have gotten more than 162 RBIs in fewer games!

  12. In 2001, Sammy Sosa 160 Ribbies in 160 games.

  13. Regarding #8 -
    The latest date in 1999 in which Manny was on pace for 170 (assuming that he played every remaining game) was September 7th. Manny had 143 RBI in 127 games played. The Indians had 24 games remaining.

    The latest date for which he was on pace for 180 (actually 181.8 the next day was 179.6) was July 21. He had 101 RBI in 85 games with 68 games remaining.

    The latest date that he was on pace for 190 (192.4 the next day was 189.5) was June 29th. He had 83 RBI in 66 games with 87 remaining.

    The latest date that he was on pace for over 200 (202.6) was June 19. He had 79 RBI in 62 games with 97 to play.

    Last day over 210: June 2
    Last day over 220: May 22

  14. Regarding #11. Dave, it isn't hard to believe when you consider that since 1961 (when the schedule was lengthened to 162 games) only 1 player has recorded more than 162 RBI in a season (Manny '99).

  15. The fact that Manny was on pace for over 200 RBI's in late June boggles the mind...

  16. Hank Greenberg had 125 RBI in 96 games at the end of July in 1935, a pace of just under 200.

  17. Retrosheet's got dailies for 1920-1939 (+1940 AL) on their site now. 17 of the top 20 single-season RBI seasons are from that time period (Manny and two Sam Thompson seasons are the exceptions). Once those dailies get here we could have some fun with pace discussions.

    Hack Wilson had 53 RBI in August during his record season so he likely didn't set a fast early pace.

  18. >>>Of the other in-betweeners on the list (Baker, Timmons, Quinn, Bond, Greengrass, Merson, Sington, and Greenberg) only one, Greenberg, went on to have any significant major-league success as a hitter.>>>

    I wouldn't go so far as to say Greenberg "went on" to have significant success. In fact, he was already the reigning MVP from 1935, when he had 170 RBI in 152 games. And he was having a stellar April -- 16 RBI in his first 12 games -- when he severely broke his wrist in a collision with Washington's Jake Powell that month.

    Otherwise, Greenberg was merely continuing a torrid pace that he would stay on through the 1940 season: In 912 games from 1934-40, "Hammerin' Hank" had 916 RBI, a rate similar to the aforementioned Gehrig.

  19. I have a bit of a mea culpa to admit. I messed up my search for this post, accidentally setting it for RBI > Games when in fact I meant to do RBI > 0.999 * Games. As a result of my error, it missed seasons such as mentioned by Rob in comment #12 above, when Sosa had 160 RBI in 160 games.

    The full correct list is available here.

    Included in the new list are Juan Gonzalez and Sosa both in 2001, Richie Sexson with 23 RBI in 23 games in 2004, Ken Griffey Jr. with 140 RBI in 140 games in 1996, as well as lots of seasons with 1 RBI in 1 game, 2 RBI in 2 games, etc.

    Sorry for my mistake.

  20. rico petrocelli Says:

    Gang,

    Interesting post from 'House That Dewey Built...a great blog.

    They ask

    Is Jim Edmonds a Hall of Famer?

    " Edmonds is an interesting case; a guy who was generally regarded as an excellent fielder by his peers (he’s won multiple Gold Glove Awards in CF), but one item not up for debate is the quality of his bat, as his career OPS+ of 132 places him squarely among a group of several Hall of Fame outfielders.

    Career Wins Above Replacement Player for a bunch of well-known outfielders:

    Player Career WARP3
    Tony Gwynn 78.50
    Roberto Clemente 78.30
    Jim Edmonds 72.20
    Willie Stargell 66.00
    Billy Williams 63.40
    Dave Winfield 62.60
    Richie Ashburn 61.60
    Andre Dawson 59.60
    Dwight Evans 59.50
    Duke Snider 53.60
    Jose Canseco 47.10
    Dale Murphy 45.30
    Moises Alou 45.20
    Kiki Cuyler 43.60
    Kirby Puckett 43.40
    Dave Parker 40.20
    Fred Lynn 37.50
    Lou Brock 37.20
    Earl Averill 36.60
    Tony Oliva 36.20
    Jim Rice 34.20

    It appears that Edmonds clearly deserves to be enshrined,"

    Your thoughts?

  21. Interesting about Edmonds. Everybody hold your thoughts and I will make a new post for discussion on this.

  22. [...] a recent blog post here, a reader pointed us to a discussion on another blog about Jim Edmonds' Hall of Fame chances. [...]