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Most Seasons (Non-P) PA <= 25

Posted by Steve Lombardi on February 12, 2011

Which non-pitcher in baseball history, since 1901, has the most seasons (in a career) where they had 25 Plate Appearances or less?

Here's the leaderboard on this one -

Rk   Yrs From To Age  
1 Paul Hoover 6 2001 2010 25-34 Ind. Seasons
2 Kevin Brown 5 1996 2002 23-29 Ind. Seasons
3 Gil Reyes 5 1984 1989 20-25 Ind. Seasons
4 Matt Sinatro 5 1983 1991 23-31 Ind. Seasons
5 Rick Dempsey 5 1969 1992 19-42 Ind. Seasons
6 Randy Hundley 5 1964 1977 22-35 Ind. Seasons
7 Ralph Houk 5 1949 1953 29-33 Ind. Seasons
8 George Susce 5 1929 1943 21-35 Ind. Seasons
9 Zack Taylor 5 1920 1934 21-35 Ind. Seasons
10 Josh Billings 5 1913 1923 21-31 Ind. Seasons
11 Ryan Budde 4 2007 2010 27-30 Ind. Seasons
12 Guillermo Quiroz 4 2006 2010 24-28 Ind. Seasons
13 Paul Phillips 4 2004 2010 27-33 Ind. Seasons
14 Jamie Burke 4 2001 2010 29-38 Ind. Seasons
15 Sandy Martinez 4 1997 2004 26-33 Ind. Seasons
16 Robert Machado 4 1996 2000 23-27 Ind. Seasons
17 Charlie Greene 4 1996 2000 25-29 Ind. Seasons
18 Tim Unroe 4 1995 2000 24-29 Ind. Seasons
19 Chris Turner 4 1995 1999 26-30 Ind. Seasons
20 Rick Wrona 4 1988 1994 24-30 Ind. Seasons
21 Tom Prince 4 1987 1999 22-34 Ind. Seasons
22 Rafael Belliard 4 1983 1998 21-36 Ind. Seasons
23 Dave Sax 4 1982 1987 23-28 Ind. Seasons
24 Brad Gulden 4 1978 1986 22-30 Ind. Seasons
25 Ivan de Jesus 4 1974 1988 21-35 Ind. Seasons
26 Marc Hill 4 1973 1986 21-34 Ind. Seasons
27 Larry Cox 4 1973 1982 25-34 Ind. Seasons
28 Larry Johnson 4 1972 1978 21-27 Ind. Seasons
29 John Vukovich 4 1970 1981 22-33 Ind. Seasons
30 Tim Hosley 4 1970 1974 23-27 Ind. Seasons
31 Larry Haney 4 1970 1978 27-35 Ind. Seasons
32 Chuck Brinkman 4 1969 1974 24-29 Ind. Seasons
33 Bob Oldis 4 1953 1961 25-33 Ind. Seasons
34 Bob Garbark 4 1934 1944 24-34 Ind. Seasons
35 John Churry 4 1924 1927 23-26 Ind. Seasons
36 Luke Sewell 4 1921 1942 20-41 Ind. Seasons
37 Billy Mullen 4 1920 1926 24-30 Ind. Seasons
38 Stuffy Stewart 4 1916 1925 22-31 Ind. Seasons
39 Bob O'Farrell 4 1915 1935 18-38 Ind. Seasons
40 Sam Crane 4 1914 1922 19-27 Ind. Seasons
41 Grover Hartley 4 1911 1930 22-41 Ind. Seasons
42 Herman Bronkie 4 1910 1914 25-29 Ind. Seasons
43 Hughie Jennings 4 1903 1918 34-49 Ind. Seasons
44 Jack Hardy 4 1903 1910 26-33 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/12/2011.

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Congrats to Paul Hoover for setting this "record" last season.   No shocker that a catcher would hold this mark.  Here are just the backstops on this list:

Rk   Yrs From To Age  
1 Paul Hoover 6 2001 2010 25-34 Ind. Seasons
2 Kevin Brown 5 1996 2002 23-29 Ind. Seasons
3 Matt Sinatro 5 1983 1991 23-31 Ind. Seasons
4 Gil Reyes 5 1984 1989 20-25 Ind. Seasons
5 Randy Hundley 5 1964 1977 22-35 Ind. Seasons
6 Rick Dempsey 5 1969 1992 19-42 Ind. Seasons
7 Ralph Houk 5 1949 1953 29-33 Ind. Seasons
8 Zack Taylor 5 1920 1934 21-35 Ind. Seasons
9 George Susce 5 1929 1943 21-35 Ind. Seasons
10 Josh Billings 5 1913 1923 21-31 Ind. Seasons
11 Paul Phillips 4 2004 2010 27-33 Ind. Seasons
12 Ryan Budde 4 2007 2010 27-30 Ind. Seasons
13 Guillermo Quiroz 4 2006 2010 24-28 Ind. Seasons
14 Sandy Martinez 4 1997 2004 26-33 Ind. Seasons
15 Chris Turner 4 1995 1999 26-30 Ind. Seasons
16 Robert Machado 4 1996 2000 23-27 Ind. Seasons
17 Charlie Greene 4 1996 2000 25-29 Ind. Seasons
18 Tom Prince 4 1987 1999 22-34 Ind. Seasons
19 Rick Wrona 4 1988 1994 24-30 Ind. Seasons
20 Brad Gulden 4 1978 1986 22-30 Ind. Seasons
21 Marc Hill 4 1973 1986 21-34 Ind. Seasons
22 Larry Johnson 4 1972 1978 21-27 Ind. Seasons
23 Larry Cox 4 1973 1982 25-34 Ind. Seasons
24 Chuck Brinkman 4 1969 1974 24-29 Ind. Seasons
25 Tim Hosley 4 1970 1974 23-27 Ind. Seasons
26 Larry Haney 4 1970 1978 27-35 Ind. Seasons
27 Bob Oldis 4 1953 1961 25-33 Ind. Seasons
28 Bob Garbark 4 1934 1944 24-34 Ind. Seasons
29 Bob O'Farrell 4 1915 1935 18-38 Ind. Seasons
30 Grover Hartley 4 1911 1930 22-41 Ind. Seasons
31 John Churry 4 1924 1927 23-26 Ind. Seasons
32 Luke Sewell 4 1921 1942 20-41 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/12/2011.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, February 12th, 2011 at 4:24 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.

20 Responses to “Most Seasons (Non-P) PA <= 25”

  1. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    The name that jumped out at me was ol' Ee-Yay Jennings; I am assuming that most of his "qualifying" seasons came as the manager of the Detroit Tigers in the early 1900s

  2. Richard Chester Says:

    I saw that Ralph Houk had 6 seasons with fewer than 10 PA.

  3. Lou Klimchock is missing. He also had six seasons of 25 or fewer PA. He only PH in 1962 and 1966, but he never pitched.

  4. I think the key is the search looked for players who appeared in 50% of games at a specific position during the season. As I understand it, this misses players who only pinch-hit or who appeared in, say, 3 games at 2B, 3 at SS, and 3 at 3B.

    If you change it to players who appeared in at least one game at any non-pitcher position, you still miss the guys who only pinch-hit but you get a larger list: http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/OTmLf (note Klimchock is only given credit for four seasons, not six)

    There is the risk of including actual pitchers who moonlighted in the field, but I can't imagine very many (if any) guys did so in four or more years.

  5. That's right - Lou Klimchock didn't play a position in the field in 62 and 66. Good catch.

  6. And, clearly, Lou Klimchock should be on the obscure player list!

  7. Yep, I only know about him because I did a search for players with the longest careers and fewest hits. I think Larry Haney was high on that list.

  8. @1
    I expected to see more player-managers like Jennings. Hornsby had several years at the end but he played himself too much and went over the 25 PA barrier.

    How come John McGraw 1903-1906 doesn't make the list? Something to do with the positional designation maybe?

  9. Dempsey and Hundley are surprises. Both had several cups-of-coffee seasons at the beginning (especially Dempsey - he did this 4 years out of 5 to start his career, and almost did it the fifth year too) and bench-warming at the end. Hundley also add one injury write-off year in the middle.
    Similar story for Belliard.

    DeJesus is a bit different - he had three cups-of-coffee seasons at the end of his career. That, I think, is quit unusual. I think most guys like DeJesus who have had extended time as everyday players (8 years in-a-row for DeJesus) would NOT finish off their careers kicking around the minors for 4 years.

    What I'm getting from this list is you need to catch on pretty quick if you want to have any kind of big-league career. Once you've had 3 or 4 cups-of-coffee seasons, the chances of catching on and becoming an everyday player seem pretty slim.

  10. Herb Washington only played during 2 years, but he appeared in 105 games, all as a pinch runner I think, and Never had a Plate Appearance.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/washihe01.shtml

  11. If you raise the bar to PA at most 60, you find Charlie Silvera had 8 such seasons. He and Houk were teammates and back-ups to Yogi Berra.

  12. Quite cool to see that one of the eternal-cup-of-coffee players managed to win an MVP.

  13. This query makes me think of Dennis Lewallyn, a pitcher who played in eight straight seasons, but never reached double digits in games or 20 innings in any of his seasons.

  14. @10

    Although stolen bases isn't the be-all-end-all of good baserunning, it is somewhat amusing that his stolen base percentage was pedestrian; especially considering he tried to steal almost half of the times he was on base.

  15. @ 14 You are correct. Herb Washington had a lot of speed but had little experience playing baseball, and didn't really have any base running smarts.
    Basically he was one of Charlie Finley's experiments.

    I remember in the 1974 World Series when they put him in as a Pinch Runner in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers vs A's.
    1 out in the top of 9th. Herb Washington pinch runs for Joe Rudi
    Mike Marshall was on the mound.

    The TV announcer in the game was Vin Scully, who ordinarily would never make a prediction, but noted immediately that Mike Marshall would pick him off.

    2 seconds later Marshall did pick him off, and then struck out the last batter, pinch hitter Angel Mangual, for a 3-2 Dodger win.

    The Dodgers eventually lost the series 4 game to 1.

  16. DoubleDiamond Says:

    @12 - I see a World Series MVP - Dempsey. But unless it was a long-ago player, I don't recognize any regular season MVPs. (I did check Hall-of-Famer Jennings, but he never won the MVP, which appears to have debuted in 1911 but was not given out regularly in both leagues until 1931.)

  17. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Also, when I saw the name Kevin Brown in that #2 spot, my first thought was that this was supposed to be for non-pitchers! Well, that's one more name for my list of players with the same name who were active at or around the same time.

  18. Bob O'Farrell won the NL MVP in 1926. He was the backstop for the Cards when they reached the post season for the first time since 1888. It was a fairly weak year for NL stars, though. The only HOFer types in the top ten in voting that season were Hack Wilson (fourth) and Freddie Lindstrom (ninth). Contrast that with the AL- after winner George Burns and number two Johnny Mostil, #s 3-11 are guys named Herb Pennock, Sam Rice, Harry Heilman, Heinie Manush, Al Simmons, Lefty Grove, Goose Goslin, Lou Gehrig, and Tony Lazzeri.

  19. On the Lou Klimchock tangent:

    It's a pity that he made about half his game appearances as a pinch-hitter, since he was presumably one of the worst pinch-hitters who ever served much time in that role. His PH line:
    -- .131 BA (21 for 160), 1 HR, 2 doubles, .162 OBP, .163 SLG.

    Meanwhile, he was a decent hitter when he got the chance to start:
    -- 138 games, .258 BA, 12 HRs in 519 PAs.

    Klimchock struck out more as a pinch-hitter (36 Ks in 167 PAs) than he did as a starter (35 Ks in 519 PAs).

  20. Re: Bob O'Farrell as 1926 NL MVP (@18):

    Not only was it a weak year for NL stars, it was a weird MVP vote.

    -- The top 3 position players in the MVP vote hit 12 HRs combined, 7 of them by O'Farrell.

    -- Twenty-four different players got MVP votes, but Cards' 1B Sunny Jim Bottomley -- who led the league with 120 RBI and 305 Total Bases -- didn't get any. (The baseball fates made it up to Bottomley with the 1928 MVP and a ridiculous HOF election by the Veterans Committee in 1974 -- 12 years after he dropped off the BBWAA ballot without ever collecting more than 33% of the vote.)

    -- After O'Farrell, the next-highest Cardinal was SS Tommy Thevenow, who placed 4th. Perhaps Thevenow was a gifted fielder, but he was an awful hitter, both in 1926 (59 OPS+) and throughout his career (51 OPS+). Among hitters with at least 3,000 PAs, only Bill Bergen and Hal Lanier had career OPS+ marks below Thevenow's.