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Book review: The SABR Baseball List & Record Book (non-objective edition)
2007-04-19 22:15
by Bob Timmermann

Since I'm a member of SABR and I participate (although mainly to sit in the meeting at the convention and listen to guys who really know a lot about baseball records), I can't give an entirely objective review of the new book The SABR Baseball List & Record Book. It's subtitled "Baseball's Most Fascinating Records and Unusual Statistics*" and then "*not available online or in any other book."

The book is not the same as the Sporting News Complete Baseball Record Book, which is only available online now, (as well as the basis for the Random Record of the Week).

It's a fairly simple and unadorned collection of lists, like:

  • Most shutouts in a season by a left-handed pitcher - Sandy Koufax had 11 in 1963 and there are about 20 more listed.
  • Most RBI in a season by a switch-hitter - Mark Texeira had 144 in 2005, Lance Berkman had 136 in 2006.
  • Worst fielding average by a catcher in a season since 1946 (min. 125 games) - Thurman Munson in 1975 at .9719.

The book is fun to skim through, although it's going to have the problem of being outdated soon after the season is over.

But some of the records listed are real head-scratchers. Do you know the answer to these?


  1. Who was the last player to hit a leadoff home run to win a 1-0 game?
  2. Who was the last player to lead his league in both hits and walks in the same season?
  3. Which two pitchers allowed the most grand slams?
  4. Who had the most at-bats in a season without a hit by a non-pitcher?
  5. Which two batters had the greatest disparity between home runs hit on the road and hit at home in one season? (I.e. Road homers > home homers)?

Click here for the answers

2007-04-19 22:27:04
1.   Ken Arneson
Ooh, IIRC, I think Ryan tied that record with the last pitch he ever threw. I remember watching that game, for some reason.
2007-04-19 22:31:23
2.   Bob Timmermann
Well, Ryan was first actually.
2007-04-19 23:36:50
3.   Eric Enders
Guessing... probably poorly.

1. Bobby Bonds
2. Dykstra
3. Roberts and Morris
4. No idea... Monte Cross.
5. Ed Williamson and Fred Pfeffer

I would be surprised if a single one of those was right.

2007-04-19 23:41:31
4.   Eric Enders
FWIW, according to the BR-Bullpen, my first guess for #5 is correct, which would mean SABR's is wrong.
2007-04-19 23:43:48
5.   Bob Timmermann
Williamson had the greatest disparity where home HRs are greater than road HRs.
2007-04-19 23:48:08
6.   Eric Enders
Oops, I missed the parenthetical phrase. (Wipes egg from face.)
2007-04-20 10:59:39
7.   Bluebleeder87

you got #3 right atleast.

2007-04-20 11:13:35
8.   Bob Timmermann
I'm still amazed that a guy could go 0 for 35 and still drive in 3 runs.
2007-04-20 12:01:04
9.   El Lay Dave
8 Hey, three productive outs that were probably good pieces of hitting.

7 You meant #2?

#5 for a team that could truly call itself the L.A. Angels.

2007-04-20 12:48:08
10.   Gen3Blue
Somehow I see John Cleese sitting in an office labelled Silly Baseball Record Registry.
That said, some of those "head Scratchers" are really interesting to me.
2007-04-20 13:12:09
11.   Bob Timmermann
In Hal Finney's prior season in the majors (1934) he batted no times, but scored three runs.
2007-04-20 13:44:45
12.   dianagramr

Most RBIs in season for player with no hits

(the record is 4)

2007-04-20 14:06:48
13.   El Lay Dave
11 With no walks, one HBP and only 5 PAs. Maybe he was a pinch-running backup catcher?
2007-04-20 14:07:38
14.   Humma Kavula
Your link to the Sporting News book doesn't go where you want it to go.
2007-04-20 14:10:37
15.   El Lay Dave
12 Both pitchers. Dennis Stark did it on an SF, ground-out and two walks. Amazingly, Hi Jasper did it in only 5 PAs, but who knows how since it was in 1914.
2007-04-20 14:14:50
16.   El Lay Dave
Late comment on your 4/15 topic: the flip-side to Ron Wright is, of course, John Paciorek
2007-04-20 14:25:16
17.   Bob Timmermann
Fixed. Thanks.
2007-04-20 14:31:42
18.   das411
Yeah I definitely just read those questions, looked real hard at #2, and heard Larry Anderson's voice say "and that's why they call him The Dude!"

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