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Great Pinch Hitters Since 1961

Posted by Steve Lombardi on April 22, 2010

Got this list fooling around with B-R.com PI late last night...great pinch hitters in baseball since 1961...

Rk Player #Matching   PA 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS 6
1 Willie McCovey 268 Ind. Games 278 10 0 16 77 38 53 .263 .363 .508 .872
2 Matt Stairs 405 Ind. Games 444 19 2 21 82 63 94 .261 .374 .492 .866
3 Harold Baines 230 Ind. Games 276 11 4 7 67 28 54 .316 .380 .480 .860
4 Cliff Johnson 346 Ind. Games 433 10 0 23 84 71 79 .244 .372 .469 .841
5 Greg Colbrunn 262 Ind. Games 287 13 0 9 52 26 57 .300 .378 .462 .839
6 Johnny Grubb 281 Ind. Games 336 13 2 10 49 54 49 .267 .387 .440 .826
7 Wes Helms 312 Ind. Games 345 24 3 8 57 25 88 .291 .359 .467 .826
8 Alex Arias 241 Ind. Games 260 14 2 1 40 22 35 .324 .382 .419 .801
9 Merv Rettenmund 308 Ind. Games 358 16 1 6 45 68 51 .260 .410 .388 .798
10 Gates Brown 522 Ind. Games 531 16 6 18 85 71 64 .255 .356 .437 .793
11 Steve Braun 496 Ind. Games 538 23 4 5 66 79 62 .290 .396 .392 .788
12 Oscar Gamble 343 Ind. Games 438 12 2 10 61 70 49 .263 .393 .392 .785
13 Jerry Lynch 298 Ind. Games 304 7 1 14 65 34 59 .253 .339 .445 .784
14 Mike Stanley 238 Ind. Games 305 9 1 7 49 46 55 .272 .379 .402 .781
15 David Dellucci 333 Ind. Games 370 14 2 10 63 42 106 .266 .360 .418 .778
16 Willie McGee 304 Ind. Games 359 20 7 3 51 24 76 .300 .345 .430 .775
17 Terry Whitfield 233 Ind. Games 242 9 0 4 39 32 39 .290 .382 .391 .773
18 Hal McRae 233 Ind. Games 272 5 2 8 46 28 34 .278 .354 .418 .772
19 Pat Kelly 243 Ind. Games 301 18 2 6 48 39 78 .262 .355 .415 .771
20 Dwight Smith 371 Ind. Games 396 21 6 9 67 37 81 .266 .334 .436 .770
21 Lloyd McClendon 223 Ind. Games 251 9 0 10 37 28 41 .250 .339 .431 .769
22 Rusty Staub 426 Ind. Games 447 22 0 9 97 55 41 .278 .362 .407 .769
23 Orlando Merced 390 Ind. Games 416 23 2 11 74 50 83 .255 .344 .423 .767
24 Ken Phelps 230 Ind. Games 245 5 2 10 39 44 62 .212 .355 .409 .764
25 Gerald Perry 436 Ind. Games 447 17 1 8 66 69 68 .269 .378 .384 .762
26 Chris Jones 208 Ind. Games 225 9 3 5 27 24 70 .262 .345 .415 .761
27 Carlos Baerga 309 Ind. Games 346 17 0 6 49 27 47 .286 .358 .401 .759
28 Candy Maldonado 249 Ind. Games 311 10 1 14 64 27 64 .247 .313 .441 .754
29 Tony Clark 301 Ind. Games 319 13 0 14 68 34 93 .237 .323 .431 .754
30 Brady Clark 205 Ind. Games 229 10 0 3 33 26 24 .279 .374 .379 .753
31 Thad Bosley 359 Ind. Games 402 6 2 9 58 53 79 .276 .368 .384 .753
32 Mike Aldrete 310 Ind. Games 345 11 2 9 53 47 55 .254 .354 .399 .752
33 John Vander Wal 659 Ind. Games 665 35 4 18 102 91 168 .239 .342 .409 .751
34 Greg Dobbs 252 Ind. Games 260 16 2 6 52 21 53 .265 .323 .427 .750
35 Jerry Turner 326 Ind. Games 347 13 0 11 62 34 56 .264 .336 .414 .750
36 Jose Morales 496 Ind. Games 585 27 3 14 110 38 94 .279 .328 .419 .748
37 Gail Hopkins 205 Ind. Games 218 6 1 3 31 30 23 .273 .381 .366 .747
38 Bernie Carbo 214 Ind. Games 235 8 0 7 31 42 53 .226 .365 .382 .747
39 Daryle Ward 409 Ind. Games 413 18 1 13 57 51 91 .244 .337 .410 .747
40 Jerry Hairston 435 Ind. Games 462 20 1 9 58 67 61 .257 .362 .384 .747
41 Terry Puhl 261 Ind. Games 268 13 1 0 20 34 37 .294 .386 .360 .746
42 Todd Hollandsworth 241 Ind. Games 290 14 1 8 34 27 76 .259 .332 .413 .745
43 Marlon Anderson 344 Ind. Games 379 16 0 10 54 32 65 .275 .336 .409 .745
44 Chip Hale 204 Ind. Games 229 9 0 4 43 21 29 .286 .355 .389 .744
45 Brian Hunter 222 Ind. Games 257 14 0 11 41 20 61 .238 .299 .445 .744
46 Gary Redus 200 Ind. Games 239 5 1 4 18 40 53 .259 .387 .355 .742
47 Glenn Adams 215 Ind. Games 242 12 1 4 42 19 29 .286 .336 .406 .742
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/22/2010.

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Alex Arias should have just approached every PA in his career like he was pinch hitting...

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 at 11:05 am and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Great Pinch Hitters Since 1961”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Funny not to see Manny Mota on a list of "great" PH. His OPS was .739, just off the bottom. But his BA was .300, and often BA is more important for a PH than in general.

    Actually, in trying to run my own list to rank by BA, I see that your Game Finder search picks up extra PA these batters had after entering the game. So the stats above are not strictly PH stats. I don't immediately see away to run lists of only PH totals. Anyway, it appears that Mota is about 5th in BA by PH with at least 200 games since 1961. (And Arias was #1, at .320.)

  2. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Top ten players on this list ranked by pinch-hitting appearances as a percentage of total career games played:

    1. Jose Morales, 67.7%
    2. Chip Hale, 61.3%
    3. Greg Dobbs, 52.9%
    4. Jerry Hairston, 50.6%
    5. Gates Brown, 49.7%
    6. John Vander Wal, 48.0%
    7. Thad Bosley, 45.8%
    8. Dwight Smith, 45.6%
    9. Jerry Turner, 44.5%
    10. Daryle Ward, 43.1%

    Next is Gail Hopkins at 39.9%. Mota wound up at 38.3%.

  3. Johnny Twisto Says:

    When I was a kid I always thought the announcers were calling him "Bad" Bosley, and thought that was a pretty great name.

  4. Maybe not the right forum for this but since I just tried to search a query of my own, I figured I'd mention it here. Is the site messed up for anyone else right now? I searched for Mariano Rivera and was taken to baseballreference.com/players. So then I went to the main page and got his page through the Yankees and he has no 2010 stats, and I try to do a game search for him and it said "Sorry your query was broken"

  5. Philip Haberkorn Says:

    Your formula and procedure has left out one of the all-time greatest pinch-hitters, Smokey Burgess. Career Average .288 with 15 home runs. While still a "regular" in his early career, the Reds recognized his ability and he went .273 with 6 home runs over a three year period. He kept it up with the Pirates with a .441 average and 3 HRs. As old age put lots of guys on the sidelines, Smokey was still smokin' with the White Sox in the middle 60s with a respectable .256 average and 4 home runs. And his career "leverage" was way over 2.0, and often over 3.0, which meant his managers did not hestitate to send him into pressure situations. I played a table-top ball game when I was a kid in the 60s, and made most of my own cards. It was an all-star league loaded with future Hall of Famers and sluggers, but I made me a Smokey disc because the man could flat hit. Just once a game is all you needed with Smokey.

  6. Anyone else notice that Marv Rettenmund, with his .260 batting average, had the highest OBP (.420) on the list?

  7. I like seeing Matt Stairs on that list. I remember last year or so he was featured in some Sportscenter stories about bringing the wood off the bench. Nice when the numbers back up the fluff!

  8. [...] Great Pinch Hitters Since 1961 (Baseball-Reference). Steve Lombardi gives us a fun list. Hey, look, up at the top… it’s Willie McCovey and Matt Stairs. [...]

  9. The one "great pinch hitter" that seems to be neglected in this list was Gates Brown. And Phil Haberkorn is right; although Burgess did his best "off-the-bench" work in the 'Fifties, he still deserves a nod here, too.

  10. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Frank, Gates Brown is at #10 on Steve's list. Brown debuted in 1963, so he's not being neglected at all.