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Perfect Games – For Batters

Posted by Steve Lombardi on August 9, 2010

How many batters, since 1920, have had 12+ "perfect days" at the plate in games where they had 4+ At Bats? By this, I mean, going 4 for 4, or 5 for 5, or 6 for 6, etc.

Here's the list: From 1920 to 2010, requiring AB>=4 and AB=H, sorted by greatest number of games in all seasons matching the selected criteria

Rk Player #Matching   PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1 Stan Musial 24 Ind. Games 112 101 101 19 4 11 48 10 0 1.000 1.000 1.594 2.594 0 0 0 1 0
2 Paul Waner 22 Ind. Games 107 94 94 18 6 2 23 9 0 1.000 1.000 1.383 2.383 3 0   1 0
3 Paul Molitor 20 Ind. Games 94 86 86 16 5 6 25 6 0 1.000 .989 1.512 2.501 1 1 1 0 0
4 Pete Rose 18 Ind. Games 87 80 80 14 1 4 26 7 0 1.000 1.000 1.350 2.350 0 0 0 0 0
5 Rogers Hornsby 17 Ind. Games 78 69 69 17 4 7 35 8 0 1.000 1.000 1.667 2.667 1 0   0  
6 Tony Gwynn 17 Ind. Games 79 75 75 10 1 4 23 4 0 1.000 1.000 1.320 2.320 0 0 0 0 0
7 Wade Boggs 17 Ind. Games 81 69 69 8 1 1 9 12 0 1.000 1.000 1.188 2.188 0 0 3 0 0
8 Earl Averill 17 Ind. Games 78 71 71 25 6 4 22 7 0 1.000 1.000 1.690 2.690 0 0   0  
9 Fred McGriff 16 Ind. Games 70 67 67 11 1 10 24 3 0 1.000 1.000 1.642 2.642 0 0 1 0 0
10 Heinie Manush 16 Ind. Games 74 69 69 14 5 5 35 2 0 1.000 1.000 1.565 2.565 3 0   0 0
11 Carl Yastrzemski 15 Ind. Games 74 62 62 14 3 7 29 12 0 1.000 1.000 1.661 2.661 0 0 3 0 0
12 Al Simmons 15 Ind. Games 70 65 65 13 0 11 30 5 0 1.000 1.000 1.708 2.708 0 0   0  
13 Edgar Martinez 15 Ind. Games 70 60 60 14 1 9 20 8 0 1.000 .986 1.717 2.702 0 1 0 1 0
14 George Brett 15 Ind. Games 70 64 64 11 3 2 26 6 0 1.000 1.000 1.359 2.359 0 0 1 0 0
15 Ted Williams 14 Ind. Games 66 58 58 11 1 10 31 8 0 1.000 1.000 1.741 2.741 0 0 2 0 0
16 Billy Williams 14 Ind. Games 63 59 59 13 0 9 27 4 0 1.000 1.000 1.678 2.678 0 0 0 0 0
17 Brooks Robinson 14 Ind. Games 62 58 58 8 3 5 21 4 0 1.000 1.000 1.500 2.500 0 0 1 0 0
18 Kirby Puckett 14 Ind. Games 61 61 61 15 0 9 20 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.689 2.689 0 0 0 0 0
19 Tony Oliva 14 Ind. Games 63 59 59 3 0 11 25 2 0 1.000 .968 1.610 2.578 0 2 0 0 0
20 Joe Medwick 14 Ind. Games 60 58 58 12 4 2 19 2 0 1.000 1.000 1.448 2.448 0 0   0 0
21 Chipper Jones 14 Ind. Games 65 58 58 10 2 11 28 7 0 1.000 1.000 1.810 2.810 0 0 2 0 0
22 Harry Heilmann 14 Ind. Games 66 59 59 15 4 1 25 5 0 1.000 1.000 1.441 2.441 2 0   0  
23 Jimmie Foxx 14 Ind. Games 68 58 58 17 2 11 35 10 0 1.000 1.000 1.931 2.931 0 0   0 0
24 Willie Davis 14 Ind. Games 61 58 58 10 4 4 16 2 0 1.000 .984 1.517 2.501 0 1 0 0 0
25 Dixie Walker 13 Ind. Games 61 54 54 12 3 3 19 6 0 1.000 1.000 1.500 2.500 1 0   0 0
26 Alex Rodriguez 13 Ind. Games 63 56 56 12 2 7 30 7 0 1.000 1.000 1.661 2.661 0 0 0 0 0
27 Frank Robinson 13 Ind. Games 60 54 54 5 0 10 33 5 0 1.000 1.000 1.648 2.648 0 0 2 1 0
28 Sam Rice 13 Ind. Games 63 54 54 7 4 1 9 4 0 1.000 1.000 1.333 2.333 4 0   1  
29 Albert Pujols 13 Ind. Games 59 54 54 12 1 11 27 5 0 1.000 1.000 1.870 2.870 0 0 1 0 0
30 Lefty O'Doul 13 Ind. Games 66 57 57 11 0 7 27 7 0 1.000 1.000 1.561 2.561 1 0   1 0
31 Willie Mays 13 Ind. Games 58 55 55 7 6 9 32 3 0 1.000 1.000 1.836 2.836 0 0 0 0 0
32 Al Kaline 13 Ind. Games 61 53 53 11 0 6 20 5 0 1.000 .951 1.547 2.498 0 3 2 0 0
33 Todd Helton 13 Ind. Games 63 53 53 9 1 8 24 9 0 1.000 .984 1.660 2.645 0 1 1 0 0
34 Goose Goslin 13 Ind. Games 58 55 55 5 8 2 21 3 0 1.000 1.000 1.491 2.491 0 0   0  
35 Lou Gehrig 13 Ind. Games 59 52 52 14 2 13 39 5 0 1.000 1.000 2.096 3.096 0 0   2  
36 Andre Dawson 13 Ind. Games 58 56 56 6 5 8 18 2 0 1.000 1.000 1.714 2.714 0 0 0 0 0
37 Barry Bonds 13 Ind. Games 61 52 52 10 3 9 25 7 0 1.000 .984 1.827 2.811 0 1 1 1 0
38 Pie Traynor 12 Ind. Games 55 51 51 7 4 3 25 1 0 1.000 1.000 1.471 2.471 3 0   0 0
39 Bill Terry 12 Ind. Games 59 53 53 6 3 8 27 5 0 1.000 1.000 1.679 2.679 1 0   0 0
40 Miguel Tejada 12 Ind. Games 53 50 50 13 1 4 15 2 0 1.000 1.000 1.540 2.540 0 0 0 1 0
41 Tris Speaker 12 Ind. Games 59 53 53 14 1 3 20 4 0 1.000 1.000 1.472 2.472 2 0   0  
42 Babe Ruth 12 Ind. Games 55 49 49 11 0 9 28 6 0 1.000 1.000 1.776 2.776 0 0   0 0
43 Manny Ramirez 12 Ind. Games 54 49 49 9 1 11 32 4 0 1.000 .981 1.898 2.879 0 1 1 0 0
44 Rafael Palmeiro 12 Ind. Games 57 52 52 14 1 9 29 4 0 1.000 .982 1.827 2.809 0 1 0 0 0
45 Eddie Murray 12 Ind. Games 53 49 49 6 2 4 15 4 0 1.000 1.000 1.449 2.449 0 0 0 0 0
46 Chuck Klein 12 Ind. Games 56 51 51 7 2 10 36 4 0 1.000 1.000 1.804 2.804 1 0   0 0
47 Vladimir Guerrero 12 Ind. Games 51 48 48 6 1 11 31 2 0 1.000 .980 1.854 2.835 0 1 2 0 0
48 Luis Gonzalez 12 Ind. Games 54 48 48 15 1 5 18 4 0 1.000 1.000 1.667 2.667 0 0 0 2 0
49 Ty Cobb 12 Ind. Games 64 54 54 12 0 9 31 9 0 1.000 1.000 1.722 2.722 1 0   0  
50 Orlando Cepeda 12 Ind. Games 58 52 52 12 2 9 33 3 0 1.000 .983 1.827 2.810 0 1 0 2 0
51 Rod Carew 12 Ind. Games 56 51 51 6 2 0 7 5 0 1.000 1.000 1.196 2.196 0 0 0 0 0
52 Craig Biggio 12 Ind. Games 58 49 49 11 1 7 20 6 0 1.000 .982 1.694 2.676 0 1 1 1 0
53 Luke Appling 12 Ind. Games 57 50 50 9 3 1 21 6 0 1.000 1.000 1.360 2.360 1 0 0 0 0
54 Moises Alou 12 Ind. Games 50 49 49 7 0 10 25 0 0 1.000 .980 1.755 2.735 0 1 0 0 0
55 Hank Aaron 12 Ind. Games 52 48 48 8 1 4 18 4 0 1.000 1.000 1.458 2.458 0 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/9/2010.

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Anyone on the list surprise you? I never would have guessed that Fred McGriff would rank as high, here, as he did.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 9th, 2010 at 10:53 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.

31 Responses to “Perfect Games – For Batters”

  1. In all of these hundreds - maybe thousands of games --- no one struc out even once in any of the games? Rod Careew had 0 HRS in his games and Gehrig averaged more than 1 a game. Impressive group --

  2. If the had K'd, then they would not have been Perfect, meaning H=AB

  3. Chad Silker Says:

    Interesting to see that Kirby Puckett and Moises Alou didn't walk a single time in their "perfect" games.

  4. Burt Duren Says:

    I know they were typically at or near the top of the batting order, but I am a bit surprised at the low RBI totals for Carew (only 7 in 12 games) and Boggs (9 in 17 games). It would be interesting to see the runs scored totals during the same games.

  5. Detroit Michael Says:

    I'm surprised to see Willie Davis so high on this leaderboard. He's not regarded as an all-time great and playing for the Dodgers in the 1960s is a tough environment for a batter to get hits.

  6. I think Pujols' presence is slightly surprising, not because of his abilities but, because he has only played approximately 9.5 seasons and his high IBB rate which might limit his opportunities to get a that 4th hit.

    Seems like some of the RBI totals are lower than you might expect considering that these are only games in which the batter got at least 4 hits, but, then again, there is probably a slight bias toward games where either the batter wasn't coming up with lots of men on base (or where he couldn't be walked).

    Also, Pujols' presence sparked my interest to look up Ichiro Suzuki's numbers for this type of situation (because their careers exactly overlap and they have nearly identical batting averages). Turns out he has done it 10 times, with half of those being 5 hit games and 4 of them occurring during a 50 day stretch during 2004 (8/3-9/21). He also had only 5 XBH during these games (3 HR, 2 3B).

  7. Knoblauch had a game in 1996 where he went 0-0 with 4 BB and 1 HBP. A follow-up query listing games where PA >= 4 and AB == H would be interesting. That would likely pick up more games by the high BB guys like Rickey Henderson and Ted Williams.

  8. If I understand the concept of this stat correctly, the Pirates have had done it more than any other team this year (5 times) and they also have the most in the NL for a season...second only to the Tigers.

  9. Brooks Robinson is surprising (along with Willie Davis at 14 times). Look at the other people in the group at 14. Other than Brooks and Davis, the lowest career BA is .290 (Billy W.) and the average career BA is .319. Even Willie Davis checks in at .279. Brooks .267 looks very out of place.

  10. Regarding Ichiro--I wonder if it's actually more difficult to make this list batting at the top of the order. There, you're more likely to get that 5th (or 6th) AB, which makes the task of a "perfect game" more difficult. Eyeballing the list, my first impression is that I see fewer speedsters/classic leadoff guys than I see big sluggers. Batting order position might be part of why.

  11. Leatherman Says:

    I remember the California license plates on Gregg Jefferies's blue Camaro that read "4FOR4 GJ". Thanks to PI, I found that Jefferies only had 3 such games in his MLB career: http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/shareit/x9XYa

    On a positive note, he only had two 3-strikeout games in his career (Tony Gwynn only had one, against Bob Welch).

    Not trying to get this thread off-track, but did anyone else (besides Jefferies) ever receive ROY votes in TWO different years?

  12. That's an amazing list of names. I counted 36 Hall of Famers and I reckon at least half of the others will be in there once they are eiligible. Most of the others are close enough to warrant consideration. I wouldn't necessarily have predicted such a strong correlation between this stat and being in the hall.

    Pujols could be a long way up that list by the time he finishes, assuming people don't take the opportunity away from him.

  13. It's pretty amazing that Ty Cobb is on here, since the list starts at 1920. I wonder how many he has if you go back to the beginning of his career. By 1920 his best days were already behind him.

  14. Would be interesting to see perfect RBI games, where a hitter knocks in every runner on base for him (not counting himself).

  15. Ari, Tris Speaker, too.

  16. #7 - I was thinking the same thing when I first read the post, so I ran it and found the usual suspects at the top of the list:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/shareit/8f4qY

    Also, for a batter to qualify for an individual perfect game I would think that they would have to play the entire game, or at least take every at bat for his place in the batting order. This would eliminate quite a few games for guys like Bonds who got subbed out a lot for pinch runners and defensive replacements toward the end of his career.

    It would be cool to be able to search for complete games for position players as well as pitchers. It seems like it wouldn't be too difficult to create a GF stat for batters from box scores.

  17. Help me out here, I must just be missing it. How can there be perfect batting games in here and a couple of these guys NOT have an OBP of 1.000 in them?

  18. Presumably they hit a sac fly or similar in addition to getting their 4+ hits

  19. @Evan,

    Are you confusing AB with PA? Walks do not count as official at-bats. Pujols could technically get one hit in the first inning, be walked three times, and still be considered having a "perfect game."

  20. embarassed but admitting I got caught up in the amaziness of the 0 -- DOH!

  21. @16/17/18...now I'm confused. Yes, all those with an OBP < 1.000 had at least one SF, but why do those with a SH (but no SF) still have an OBP of 1.000?

  22. Brewer 44 Says:

    @JDV

    Sac Flies count against OBP, sac hits do not.

  23. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Interesting to see Brooks Robinson on this list. That sort of serves to remind us that as much as he domiated the game with his leather, Brooks contributed his share with the bat as well.

  24. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    The two players who had a 4-for-4 postseason game but never had a 4-for-4 regular-season game: Billy Hatcher, 1990 World Series Game 2, and Chad Fonville (!), 1995 Division Series Game 2. (Hatcher did have a regular-season 5-for-5 game in 1988 for the Astros.)

  25. Alex @19,

    No, not confusing AB and PA, Steve required at least 4 for 4 when he framed the conversation in the original article. The IBBs and semi-intentional BBs would rob the batter of the opportunity to get that 4th hit.

    We can quibble about what criteria a batter would need to satisfy in order to be considered having had a perfect game, but Steve framed the conversation as 4 for 4 or better and that seems reasonable. Personally, I would exclude any games in which the batter hit a Sacrifice Fly (which is really just a fly out wearing lipstick) in that it is too analogous to giving a pitcher credit for a no hitter/perfect game after a batter is out trying to stretch a single into a double. I'm on the fence about Sacrifice Hits because a greater percentage of them are truly situations where the batter has given up any realistic hope of getting a base hit to accomplish a purpose, usually at the direction of his manager. Granted it is all semantics, but perfect seems like it should be a fairly high standard.

  26. @ 7
    Interesting idea. I set it to PA>=4, AB=0 and PA=TOB
    The top two names shouldn't surprise you
    Bonds and Ruth each did it five times
    Henderson, Larkin, McGwire, Ott, Andy Seminick, and Thome all did it three times.

  27. I see now that's not exactly what you meant, but there you go! Those are the players with the most games where they reached base in every PA but did not record a hit.

  28. OBP could also be less than 1.000 if a runner was caught trying to turn a single into a double/double into triple, etc... In that situation, they would get credit for a hit (single), but not for being on base.

  29. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I don't think that's true, although it makes sense that it should be measured that way. I mean, OBP is just H+BB+HBP/PA....no one counts hits on which batters get thrown out trying to get an extra base.

  30. I too was surprised that Ichiro was not on the list, but batting lead off likely does limit his chances a bit. Same goes for Derek Jeter.

    Interesting that Molitor is the only modern player to have a SH in a 4-4 game and what a game it was...He led off with a homer, doubled in his second at bat, then sacrificed a runner to 3rd in the 5th, before hitting another homer and double in his final two at bats. So 12 TB and 1 SH in a game.