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Non-Pitcher 150+ Career Games With Zero PA

Posted by Steve Lombardi on February 13, 2011

How many non-pitchers have appeared in 150+ games since 1920 where they did not earn a Plate Appearance in the game?

Here's the list -

Rk Player #Matching   PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1 Rafael Belliard 269 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
2 Matt Alexander 266 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
3 Mike Jorgensen 257 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
4 Cesar Geronimo 255 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 Otis Nixon 238 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
6 Al Weis 235 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
7 Dick Schofield 228 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Pepe Frias 225 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
9 Gene Stephens 224 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 Chuck Diering 210 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 Dal Maxvill 208 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
12 Gerald Williams 206 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
13 Charles Gipson 206 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
14 Mark Belanger 202 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
15 Paul Blair 199 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
16 Mick Kelleher 193 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
17 Mike Squires 186 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
18 Miguel Dilone 185 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
19 Larry Milbourne 184 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
20 Sammy Esposito 184 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
21 Rocky Bridges 183 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
22 Ruben Amaro 179 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
23 Fred Stanley 173 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
24 John Moses 173 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
25 Jeff Reboulet 166 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
26 Tony Muser 165 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
27 Dick Tracewski 163 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
28 Jim Busby 162 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
29 Derrel Thomas 161 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
30 Ted Martinez 161 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
31 Greg Gross 161 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
32 Billy Consolo 161 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
33 Dave Bergman 160 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
34 Rick Miller 159 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
35 Jose Gonzalez 159 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
36 Russ Snyder 158 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
37 Rusty Torres 157 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
38 Mario Mendoza 157 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
39 Alex Grammas 157 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
40 Henry Cotto 156 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
41 Sandy Alomar 156 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
42 Darren Lewis 155 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
43 Samuel Byrd 154 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
44 John Kennedy 153 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
45 Del Unser 152 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
46 Mike Hegan 152 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
47 Tommy McCraw 151 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
48 Hal Jeffcoat 151 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
49 Bill Almon 151 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
50 Jerry Martin 150 Ind. Games 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/13/2011.

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Sort of a "Who's Who?" in defensive specialists/caddies and pinch runners.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 13th, 2011 at 3:09 pm 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.

32 Responses to “Non-Pitcher 150+ Career Games With Zero PA”

  1. These non-pitcher searches are interesting, but they're messed up because the don't count games in which a player did not field. In this case, you don't have to worry about most pinch hitters, but you will miss pinch runners and those pinch hitters who are announced and then replaced after a pitching-change, as well as those who don't get cridited with a plate appearance because a third out occurs on the bases while they are still up.

    Herb Washington, once again, comes to mind.

  2. Though Washington would not actually make the list, because he only had 105 G. His predecessor as the A's pinch runner, Allen Lewis, had 156 G, but his 31 PA were probably spread out among more than 6 G, so he wouldn't make the list either.

  3. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Just in case anyone is wondering, the Ruben Amaro and Sandy Alomar who are listed are both the Seniors. Also, the John Kennedy listed, among multiple ones who played, is the one who played for the Washington (expansion) Senators during the Presidential term of his namesake. As I waited for his baseball-reference.com page to load on my slow old computer, I knew it was the right one when his May 29 birthday popped into view. I remembered that both he and the President not only shared a name but also a birthday (different years, of course).

  4. @ 1 "they're messed up because the don't count games in which a player did not field."

    Is that certain because while Otis Nixon was a Gold Glove caliber outfielder he was also an outstanding base runner and did a fair amount of pinch running.

  5. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    The one that really surprised me was Blair. While he was a "fair-to-middlin'" outfielder, he was also a fairly good hitter -- not someone you'd think of as an offensive liability.

  6. Yes, in this search, I asked it to show us games where the player was a PR, PH, defensive sub, etc.

  7. @4

    What evidence is there of Otis Nixon being a gold glove caliber outfielder? His fielding stats seem poor and he never won a gold glove.

    Otis Nixon's stats are always fun to look at. I feel like if you put Vince Coleman's career start pre age 29 with Otis Nixon post age 29 you get a very interesting and unique player, and perhaps what either player was capable of if his career had followed a normal curve. Basically Nixon's career lacks a first half and Coleman's lacks a second half and they seem like a very similarly capable player. Amazing on the bases, but not enough bat to make enough use of that capability, and absolutely no power.

  8. Yippeeyappee Says:

    Would like to see how many runs they scored.

  9. @5 Paul Blair was a "fair to middlin' outfielder" . He was a lot better than that. Conventional wisdom at the time (witness his 8 gold gloves) was that Blair was the pre-eminent defensive outifielder in the game. Anecdotally, when I watched him play, he certainly seemed to be just that.

    Offensively, definitely below par. Through age 30, he was averaging a bit better than 100 OPS+ before dropping off big-time. His last two seasons as a regular, he had OPS+ of 62 and 54 - that will land even the best fielder in the game on the bench. His last 4 years were mostly occasional starts and late-inning defense - undoubtedly how he ended up on this list. But, it goes to show that good defense can keep you in the game for quite a while - in Blair's case, for 6 years at far-below-replacement-value offense.

  10. Vince Coleman 23-30 + Otis Nixon 31-40:

    2224 G, 9265 PA, 8249 AB, 1351 R, 243 2B, 84 3B, 26 HR, 518, 1088 SB, 273 CS, 871 BB, 1273 SO, .273/.342/.332 84 OPS+

  11. 1088 sb's with a great career percentage.

    While Coleman/Nixon blend would be a sub par career player, I would expect that career to get serious hall consideration and quite possibly get elected. It's hard to imagine a player with 1088 sb's not getting voted in, regardless of whether it's deserved or not.

  12. The top six in terms of zero-PA games as a percentage of career games played:

    1. Matt Alexander, 266 of 374: 71.1%
    2. Charles Gipson, 206 of 373: 55.2%
    3. Jose Gonzalez, 159 of 461: 34.5%
    4. Sammy Esposito, 184 of 560: 32.9%
    5. Pepe Frias, 225 of 723: 31.1%
    6. Mick Kelleher, 193 of 622: 31.0%

    No other player is over 30%.

  13. @12

    Why did those players appear like this so often? None of them appear to have been successful base stealers.

  14. Good God, is Rafael Belliard the worst hitter ever?

  15. Interesting that Tom McCraw shows up on this low PA list.

    He also showed up on a blog list here a week or so ago for the highest number of career PAs for guys meeting some low standard of offensive contribution (can't remember what the actual criteria was).

  16. The all-time leaders in defensive substitutions at each position include Belliard (SS), Blair (CF), Jorgensen (I think he leads at 1B), most everyone who pinch-ran at least 100 times in their career (Belliard/Alexander/Nixon/Schofield/Gipson/Milbourne/Almon and I think a few others on this list, although there are more) and a bunch of platoonish guys with long careers.

    As for the first comment on this thread, many of the PR-heavy players on this list were defensive subs in those games. For example, Mike Jorgensen in 1978 pinch-ran for Mike Hargrove specifically 36 times, taking over 1B after he did so. In the '70s, many players were used that way: if the game situation presented itself, the slow hitter was coming out after his last expected plate appearance, whether with a PR would who sub for him defensively or whether he just got subbed for defensively anyway. Charlie Manuel used Michael Bourn this way with Pat Burrell.

    So many of the subs on this list were also PRs, as that's a common way they're used. Even assuming PR appearances weren't on this list, it would change the order of the list, not the people.

  17. Matt Alexander had an interesting career 36 H 111 R and 103 SB. How did he manage to stick around 9 years?

  18. Belliard in 1992 appeared in 144 games, had 315 PA's and managed 0 homers and only 14 RBI's. 14 RBI's in 144 games seems like it must be some sort of record for inability to drive in runs. I expect most NL starting pitchers average more than 14 rbi's per 144 game appearances.

  19. I'm surprised to see Greg Gross on the list. I always thought of him as a pinch-hitter in his later years (700+ career PAs)

  20. I remember Alexander's '79 campaign where he rode the stats sheet at .625 for much of the summer. The one other game he got to bat he went 2 for 5 and his average dropped almost 87 points.

    I love obscure stuff like this. Baseball is such an intricate and funny thing.

    Alas I remember Belliard, too ;-)

    Hmm, who used to pinch run for the Babe when he was too far gone to do the full circle after some of his homers?

  21. @14 - Belliard's probably not the worst hitter ever (assuming we are talking major leaguers - from the entire population he is probably way above average). Check out Bill Bergen though.

  22. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    #18/ ... Jimbo Says: "Belliard in 1992 appeared in 144 games, had 315 PA's and managed 0 homers and only 14 RBI's. 14 RBI's in 144 games seems like it must be some sort of record for inability to drive in runs..."

    ENZO HERNANDEZ, 1971 SD Padres:
    143G (all @SS)/ 618 PA, 549 AB/ 12 RBI
    lifetime: 26 RBI/ 162 games

    In 1909/1910 Clyde Milan had consecutive years of 15 and 16 RBI in 130 and 142 games. Vince Coleman also had some years with weird RBI/ Runs ratios, such as 1986 and 1989.

  23. Matt Alexander replaced Herb Washington as the A's Pinch Runner.

  24. Hmm, who used to pinch run for the Babe when he was too far gone to do the full circle after some of his homers?

    Check out #43 on Steve's list . . . specifically his nickname.

  25. Brandon @16 -- Yes, Jorgensen does lead in games at 1B games with no PAs, 227. Mike Squires is next at 174. On first blush, it surprised me that two 1B defensive caddies are in the top 20 of Steve's list, given that 1B isn't a very important defensive position -- but then, that's exactly why teams are willing to start an iron-glove plodder at the position.

    P.S. Herb Washington was dropped as the A's "designated runner" because he wasn't good at the job; his SB success rate was under 65% (31 for 48).

  26. @24 -- Kahuna strikes again!

    Unlike a lot of the guys on this list, though (and in spite of his nickname), Sammy Byrd could hit a little. As a rookie, he batted .312 with a 131 OPS+ in 202 PAs; in his first 5 years with the Yankees, he had a 114 OPS+ in over 1,100 PAs. He finally got to play full-time when NY sold him to the Reds in 1934 -- but he wasn't quite able to seize the day, and he was out of the big leagues before he turned 30.

  27. I'm a little surprised Larry Lintz didnt make the list: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lintzla01.shtml

  28. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Would like to see how many runs they scored.

    I re-ran Steve's search adding R ≥ 1, and it ran smoothly although the actual runs total doesn't appear. Matt Alexander is way ahead of the field with 76; next are Dick Schofield (Sr.) with 53 and Miguel Dilone with 52.

  29. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I'm a little surprised Larry Lintz didnt make the list

    So was I. He just missed, with 147.

  30. @26 Agree that Byrd was more than just Ruth's designated PR. But, the nickname still fits - notice that the Yanks dropped both Byrd and Ruth, within 2 months of each other.

  31. @14 and 18,

    The lowest RBI/PA for a qualified batter is Enzo Hernandez, with only 12 RBI in 618 PA in 1971. He's the only one with RBI/PA < .02 (1 RBI every 51.5 PA).

    Only two others have RBI/PA less than .025 while also qualifying for the batting title: Charlie Jamieson (11 RBI/473 PA in 1918, 1 RBI per 43 PA) and Goat Anderson (12 RBI/510 PA in 1907, 1 RBI per 42.5 PA). Anderson had an unusual set of slash stats that year: .206/.343/.225, with a SLG more than 100 points below his OBP.

  32. Among batters qualifying for the batting title, Goat Anderson's 1907 season is the second most extreme in terms of SLG as compared with OBP. Anderson's 1907 (SLG/OBP) was .656 and his (OBP-SLG) was .118. These figures place second and third,* respectively, to Jimmy Sheckard's 1913 season: .194/.368/.238, for a (SLG/OBP) of .647 and an (OBP-SLG) of .130. Sheckard played in only 99 games in 1913 and had just 330 plate appearances, so you could argue that he was not really a full-time player that season.

    * – Max Bishop's 1927 season (.277/.442/.323) is just a hair more extreme than the Goat's 1907 in terms of (OBP-SLG), .119 to .118.