This article was written by Herm Krabbenhoft
This article was published in the Summer 2009 Baseball Research Journal
In order for a baseball team to achieve its ultimate objective (winning the World Series), it must first, during the regular season, win the most games in its division (or, since 1994, have the best winning percentage among the second-place teams) and thereby proceed to postseason play. Moreover, the absolutely essential component for winning the number of games necessary to qualify for MLB’s Octoberfest is scoring runs—i.e., more runs than the opposing team scores. Accordingly, the run can be considered the most important statistic for a baseball team—and, thus, for each of the players on the team. Therefore, contributing to the scoring of runs is, without question, the supreme offensive objective for each of the individual players on the team.
During the past 25 to 30 years, several high-powered (and relatively complex) methodologies and formulas to evaluate the offensive contributions a player makes to his team have been introduced by estimating the number of runs for which the player is responsible—such as, for example, batting runs (BR, Pete Palmer) and runs created (RC, Bill James).1, 2
However, in this article I’m going to employ the two fundamental statistics that for decades have been used to ascertain a player’s proficiency in contributing to the scoring of runs by his team—(1) runs scored (which has been officially recorded since the very be- ginning of Major League Baseball in 1876) and (2) runs batted in (which, although unofficially tabulated since 1907, became an official statistic in 1920). Specifically, my focus is on the readily calculable metric for evaluating a player’s ability to generate runs—runs produced. Runs produced (RP) is defined as “runs scored plus runs batted in minus home runs”; see equation 1.3 The runs-produced statistic was created more than sixty years ago and was first charted for major-league players in 1956—see the companion article, “Who Invented Runs Produced?”4
Equation 1. RP = R + RBI − HR
Switching gears for a moment, let’s consider performances in consecutive games. From the perspective of consistency, performance streaks are an important aspect of the game. For example, baseball’s record books identify the players who hold the top marks for most consecutive games hitting safely (Joe DiMaggio), get- ting a walk (Roy Cullenbine), reaching base safely, i.e., getting on base via a hit, a walk, or being hit by a pitch (Ted Williams), scoring a run (Billy Hamilton), batting in a run (Ray Grimes), hitting a home run (Dale Long, Don Mattingly, and Ken Griffey Jr), and so on.
What about the record for the most consecutive games producing a run—that is, either scoring a run or batting in a run?
Resorting to the various baseball record books and encyclopedias to find out the answer to this important question is fruitless.
So, a few years ago, I initiated a research program to ascertain the players who for each league and for each season achieved the longest consecutive-games streaks for scoring at least one run, batting in at least one run, and producing at least one run. In a previous article I presented my findings for the players who achieved the longest consecutive-games run-scored (CGRUNS) streaks annually in each circuit during the period 1945–2008.5 Subsequently, I determined the players who achieved the longest CGRUNS streaks for the period 1920–44.6 Similarly, I carried out analogous research to find out the AL and NL league leaders for the longest consecutive-games run-batted-in (CGRUNBI) streaks for each season during the period 1920–2008.7 In this article, I present the results of my research to provide the answer to the query given in the title of this article.8
It is appropriate to mention at the outset that over the years there has been a considerable amount of debate on the (mathematical) reasonableness of the “minus home runs” term in the runs-produced formula.9 Fortunately, that issue has absolutely no relevance in the determination of CGRP streaks—because the focus of the CGRP streaks is on the number of consecutive games for producing at least one run rather than on the number of runs produced (or how the runs were produced).
The longest known streak for most consecutive games scoring a run in the major leagues is 24—by Billy Hamilton Philadelphia (NL), 1894.10–12 The record for the longest CGRUNS streak in the American League is 18—by Red Rolfe of the 1939 New York Yankees and by Kenny Lofton of the 2000 Cleveland Indians.10–12 The modern (i.e., post-1900) National League record for the longest CGRUNS streak is 17—by Rogers Hornsby of the 1921 St. Louis Cardinals and by Ted Kluszewski of the 1954 Cincinnati Redlegs.10, 12
With regard to the longest CGRUNBI streaks, the major-league record (since 1920, when RBI became an official statistic) is 17—by Ray Grimes of the 1922 Chicago Cubs.13–15 The longest CGRUNBI streak in American League history is 14—by Tris Speaker of the 1928 Philadelphia Athletics.13, 14
The AL and NL records for the longest CGRP streaks, unknown prior to my research efforts, are presented in this article.
To unequivocally ascertain the record for the longest CGRP streak, one needs to examine accurate runs- scored records and accurate runs-batted-in records for every major-league player—from a game-by-game perspective—for every season from 1920 forward. There are two primary sources of game-by-game runs-scored and runs-batted-in information for the period 1920–2008.
The official baseball records, also known as the official Day-By-Day (DBD) records, are available on microfilm at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown. All seasons from 1920 for- ward are available.
The Retrosheet daily records. These are available online at the Retrosheet website. Currently, the Retrosheet database includes the following seasons—AL: 1921–26, 1954–2008; NL: 1921–26, 1929, 1953–2008.
The daily data from 1953 to the present come from the Retrosheet files; the daily data before 1953 (e.g., from the 1920s) come from the official baseball records.16
I used the Retrosheet daily records for each of the seasons in the Retrosheet database. Dave Smith (Retrosheet) graciously wrote a computer program to extract the longest CGRP streak for each player for each season in the Retrosheet database. While the information contained in the Retrosheet database is not official, it is generally regarded as being highly reliable—virtually all of the entries in the player daily records are corroborated by verified play-by-play data. For the seasons not yet in the Retrosheet database (AL: 1920, 1927–53; NL: 1920, 1927, 1928, 1930–52),
I used the official DBD records. Regrettably, the official DBD records—particularly those before 1970—contain some errors in the entries for runs scored and runs batted in. For example, as reported previously, I discovered—and corrected—26 runs-scored errors which impacted 19 players (including four Hall of Famers) from the 1945–69 Detroit Tigers. Each of the corrections I proposed has been sanctioned by the Elias Sports Bureau (the official statisticians of Major League Base- ball).17 Similarly, I discovered—and corrected—45 RBI errors involving 33 players (including three Cooperstown enshrinees) from the 1945–69 Detroit Tigers.18 Based on these findings, it is not unreasonable to suspect that there probably are analogous numbers of runs-scored errors and runs-batted-in errors in the official DBD records for the players of the other major-league teams.
Moreover, as reported in the newsletter for the Baseball Records Committee, Trent McCotter discovered—and corrected—68 RBI errors impacting 59 players (including 15 Hall of Famers) in the official DBD records for the period 1920–39.19 Fortunately, there appear to be no runs-scored errors or runs-batted-in errors in the official DBD records for the players on the Detroit Tigers from 1970 to the present (and, hopefully, on the other major-league teams).20
In order to manage the game-by-game runs-scored and runs-batted-in information in the error-plagued official DBD records, I followed this two-step procedure for all of the seasons—including those in the Retrosheet database—from 1920 through 1952 (NL) and 1920–53 (AL):
First, I ascertained the longest (unverified) CGRP streak for each player for each team for each season. Thus, I determined the unverified annual leader for the longest CGRP streak for each league.
Then, I examined the pertinent box scores (provided in the New York Times and/or Sporting News) to corroborate or refute the relevant runs-scored and runs-batted-in information in the official DBD records. For the 1920–27 seasons, for which the newspaper box scores do not provide RBI information, I again benefited enormously from the depository of play-by-play information in the Retrosheet vault. As it developed, during the period 1920–27, there were 70 player-games in which the unverified CGRP-streak leader extended his streak by only getting at least one RBI (i.e., he did not score a run in those games). Dave Smith again came through by providing me with the batting lines (including RBIs) for 40 of those 70 player-games. Note that these batting lines have not yet been proofed by Retrosheet. Nonetheless, I deem their RBI information to be just as reliable as the RBI information presented in the unproofed newspaper box scores. For the remaining 30 player-games, I relied on the text accounts in the newspapers from the cities of the teams involved in the games. That task was facilitated by the generous cooperation of several SABR members who provided photocopies of the pertinent player- game accounts presented in newspapers to which they had access.21
The importance of conducting these corroborations is clearly demonstrated by the CGRP streaks achieved by Paul Waner, Chuck Klein, Billy Rogell, Lonny Frey, and Del Ennis.22–26 Thus, the lengths of the CGRP streaks achieved by the league leaders presented in table 1 are accurate. However, it must also be pointed out that I corroborated only the lengths of the CGRP streaks of the players listed as league leaders. Thus, it is possible that another player could have fashioned a longer CGRP streak than the indicated league leader but, because of an unrecognized error (either in runs scored or in runs batted in) in his official DBD record, he did not emerge as the unverified league leader.
Before proceeding to the results of my CGRP streak research, I should explain the criteria I used to ascertain what events extend a CGRP streak (or, in other words, what events terminate a CGRP streak). The official Major League Baseball rules do not specifically cover CGRP (or CGRUNS or CGRUNBI) streaks.27 Therefore, I used the following guidelines to define the extension or termination of a CGRP streak:
- If a player scores at least one run or bats in at least one run in a game, that game extends the CGRP
- If a player completes at least one plate appearance in a game but does not score at least one run or bat in at least one run, that game terminates the CGRP
- If a player is used only as a pinch-runner in a game and does not score at least one run, that game terminates the CGRP
- If a player is used only as a defensive player in a game (and thus does not have a completed plate appearance or a pinch-running appearance), that game does not terminate the CGRP
- If a player is announced as a pinch-hitter and is then replaced by another pinch-hitter (and thus does not have a completed plate appearance), that game does not terminate the CGRP Likewise, if a player enters the game as a pinch-hitter, but, before he can complete his plate appearance, the inning ends via a caught-stealing or a pickoff, that game does not terminate the CGRP streak.
The critical aspect to these guidelines is that, if a player had at least one opportunity to either score a run or bat in a run in a game, he must have scored at least one run or batted in at least one run in order to extend his CGRP streak; if he had at least one opportunity to either score a run or bat in a run and did not either score at least one run or bat in at least one run, his CGRP streak is terminated.
Table 1 presents the players who achieved the longest CGRP streak within each league for each season from 1920 through 2008.
(Click images to enlarge)
Inspection of Table 1 reveals that, since the RBI statistic was officially recognized in 1920, Joe Cronin of the 1933 Washington Senators compiled the longest CGRP streak in the major leagues—a 33-gamer. Cronin began his streak on May 25 at home against the Browns. The streak came to a close on June 30 in Detroit, as Tommy Bridges kept the all-star shortstop from producing a run, although the Tigers’ right-hander lost the game, 2–1. Curiously, it was Bridges who previously had shut down Cronin in the run-production department—on May 24, the Tigers hurler tossed a one-hitter, defeating the Senators 3–1. During his 33-CGRP streak, Cronin scored a total of 34 runs and batted in 45 runs; he hit two homers. Thus, according to the RP formula, he produced a total of 77 runs. During his 33-CGRP streak his longest CGRUNS streak was a seven-gamer and his longest CGRUNBI streak was a ten-gamer.
Prior to Cronin’s 33-CGRP streak in 1933, the longest CGRP streak in the American League was the 30-gamer by Al Simmons of the 1925 Philadelphia Athletics. Preceding Simmons for the AL record were Babe Ruth and Ken Williams, who each assembled a 23-gamer—the Yankees outfielder achieved his in 1921; the Browns flyhawk, in 1922. George Sisler of the 1920 Browns was the junior circuit’s first leader for the longest CGRP streak; he put together an 18-gamer. On the flip side, the longest CGRP streak in the AL since Cronin’s 33-gamer is the 27-CGRP streak produced by Chuck Knoblauch of the 1996 Minnesota Twins.
In the National League, the longest CGRP streak is 32 games, a feat achieved by Paul Waner for the 1927 Pittsburgh Pirates.22 Big Poison was able to produce at least one run in each of the games he played from May 18 through June 21. Prior to Paul Waner’s record 32-CGRP streak, the chronology of the National League record for the longest CGRP streak is Ross Youngs (13 in 1920), Zack Wheat (18 in 1921), Ray Grimes (19 in 1922 and 1924), Rogers Hornsby (22 in 1925), and Taylor Douthit (22 in 1926). With respect to the longest CGRP streak in the senior circuit since Waner’s 32-gamer, three players fashioned 24-game skeins— Phil Cavarretta (1945 Cubs), Ted Kluszewski (1954 Redlegs), and Andres Galarraga (1997 Rockies). With respect to the longest CGRP streaks in the twenty-first century, two senior-circuiteers have put together strings of at least 20 games—Albert Pujols of the 2001 Cardinals had a 22-gamer, and Lance Berkman of the 2008 Astros had a 21-gamer.28
In terms of having assembled (or tying) the longest CGRP streak the most times between 1920 and 2008, the American League features four three-time champions, each a Hall of Famer—Babe Ruth (23 in 1921, 14 in 1926, and 19 in 1931); Joe DiMaggio (19 in 1940, 16 in 1946, and 14 in 1948); Al Kaline (12 in 1963, 13 in 1967, and 10 in 1974), and Reggie Jackson (1 in 1968, 12 in 1971, and 14 in 1976). Nine junior-circuiteers picked up a pair of trophies for the longest CGRP streak—Harry Heilmann (1921 and 1929), Lou Gehrig (1927 and 1930), Gene Moore (1943 and 1945), Mickey Mantle (1955 and 1957), Minnie Minoso (1957 and 1959), Rocky Colavito (1960 and 1963), Tony Conigliaro (1965 and 1967), Alan Trammell (1990 and 1993), and Jim Thome (2002 and 2006).
In the National League, Stan Musial captured the throne four times (12 in 1946, 13 in 1948, 12 in 1949, and 16 in 1951). Two senior-circuiteers each copped three CGRP gold medals—Willie Mays (1955, 1959, and 1963) and Mike Schmidt (1976, 1980, and 1981). And, nine players picked up a pair of blue ribbons—Ray Grimes (1922 and 1924), Pie Traynor (1928 and 1929), Paul Waner (1927 and 1937), Mel Ott (1931 and 1942), Rusty Staub (1973 and 1975), Tim Raines (1986 and 1988), Matt Williams (1993 and 1995), Jeff Bagwell (2000 and 2004), and Todd Helton (2003 and 2005).
The players who make up table 1 are an interesting mix. Perhaps it’s not surprising that many of them were subsequently enshrined in the Hall of Fame—24 players from the junior circuit and 23 players from the senior loop were CGRP league leaders at least once. But, there were also a number of players whom one would probably not have expected to have emerged with the longest CGRP streak in his league—such as Bill Lamar of the 1924 Athletics, Danny Taylor of the 1933 Dodgers, Ken O’Dea of the 1936 Cubs, Roy Hartsfield of the 1950 Braves, Jim Rivera of the 1956 White Sox, Roberto Pena of the 1968 Phillies, Carmelo Martinez of the 1984 Padres, and Tony Bernazard of the 1986 Indians.
In addition to the league record holders (Joe Cronin in the AL and Paul Waner in the NL), it is also useful to list those players who compiled the longest CGRP streak for each franchise during the period 1920–2008. Table 2 provides the players from each AL team and each NL team who compiled the longest CGRP streak from 1920 through 2008. [Note: Table 2 includes franchise-shifted clubs such as the St. Louis Browns (1920–53) to the Baltimore Orioles (1954–2008).
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It may also be of interest to note that the American League team with the most league leaders (and co-leaders) for the longest CGRP streak is the New York Yankees—their players claimed the gold medal in 18 seasons. Next in line with 13 blue ribbons are the Detroit Tigers. Among the expansion teams, the Texas Rangers (and their predecessor, the Washington Senators) have had their players claim the most (6) first-prize trophies. In the National League, the Giants (New York and San Francisco combined) led the way—their players occupied the throne 14 times. Next in line with 13 first-place finishes each are the Pirates and the Cardinals. Among the expansion teams, New York Mets players won the most (6) first-place medals.
Finally, table 3 presents a list of the longest known CGRP streaks (that is, those of at least 20 games) from 1920 onward.
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Examination of table 3 reveals that, since 1920, there have been 31 CGRP streaks of at least 20 games—20 from the junior loop and 1 from the senior circuit. Each of the 16 original teams (including those that have relocated) is represented by at least one player with a CGRP streak of at least 20 games—except the Braves and Phillies. In contrast, only three of the 14 “expansion” teams (including those that have relocated) have had a player with a CGRP streak of at least 20 games—the AL Milwaukee Brewers, the Colorado Rockies, and the Houston Astros.28 It is also noted that three players assembled a pair of CGRP streaks of at least 20 games—Babe Ruth (23 in 1921 and 20 in 1930), Paul Waner (32 in 1927 and 22 in 1937), and Ted Williams (21 and 20, both in 1949).
The answer to the question posed in the title of this article has been determined. The longest CGRP streak in the major leagues (1920–2008) is the 33-gamer by Joe Cronin of the 1933 American League Washington Senators. The longest CGRP streak in the National League (1920-2008) is 32, by Paul Waner of the 1927 Pittsburgh Pirates. In addition, the players who hold the record for the longest CGRP streak for each major league team are listed in table 2. With regard to future research, my plan is to extend the CGRP-streak study back to 1901, the year that the American League became a major league. However, it is noted that this will be an arduous task—since there are no known day-by-day compilations of RBI records (official or unofficial), it will be necessary to generate them by going through the pertinent newspaper accounts for every major-league game. To facilitate this process, the focus will be on individual franchises, the first franchise to be undertaken by me being the 1901–19 Detroit Tigers. Hopefully, other researchers will want to carry out analogous studies for their favorite teams.
The longest-CGRP-streak information for the seasons included in the present Retroshseet database and provided here in tables 1–3 was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at www.retrosheet.org.
It is a pleasure to thank the following people for their wonderful help and cooperation in the CGRP- streak research I have carried out—Dave Smith (Retrosheet), utilizing the computer program he wrote to extract the longest CGRP streak for each player in each season of the Retrosheet database, provided me with this critical information. Dave also shared the Retrosheet batting lines of those players from the period 1920–27 so I could corroborate or refute the pertinent RBI information in the official DBD records. Thanks are also extended to all of the Retrosheet volunteers who over the years have provided and/or inputted play-by-play information to create the invaluable Retrosheet database. Each of these Retrosheeters is truly a baseball-research enabler—many thanks to each of you! Tim Wiles and Freddy Berowski (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library) were superbly helpful to me in my efforts to review (and photocopy) the official DBD records for most of the seasons in the period 1920–53. Trent McCotter gave me copies of the official DBD records for many seasons in the period 1920–33. Seymour Siwoff, Steve Hirdt, and John McCarthy (Elias Sports Bureau) have been very supportive of my efforts to employ accurate runs-scored and runs-batted-in information in my research, by officially sanctioning the corrections of the errors I’ve discovered. The following SABR members have been tremendously helpful by providing photocopies of newspaper game accounts and box scores so as to corroborate or refute runs-scored and/or runs-batted-in information in the official DBD records: Ron Antonucci, David Ball, Cliff Blau, Steve Boren, Bob Buege, Keith Carlson, John Delahanty, Chris Eckes, Mike Lynch, Austin Macdonald, Bob McConnell, Bill Nowlin, Rick Riccardi, and Dixie Tourangeau. In addition, SABR members Clem Comly, Bill Deane, and Jim Smith have provided valuable information for my “Longest CGRP Streaks” project. And, I gratefully express my appreciation to my friend Gary Stone for his invaluable help with photocopying the official DBD records of hundreds of players and especially for the insightful discussions I had with him.
- Paul Dickson, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3d (New York: Norton, 2009), 92. Batting runs (BR) is the linear-weights measure of a player’s offensive performance, representing the number of runs for which a batter is personally responsible through batting; devised by Pete Palmer and originally described by John Thorn and Pete Palmer (with David Reuther) in their book The Hidden Game of Baseball: A Revolutionary Approach to Baseball and Its Statistics (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday 1984).
- Dickson, Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Runs created (RC) is an estimate of the number of runs that would result from a player’s offensive contributions, as derived from one of several formulas; created by Bill James and first described in his self-published Baseball Abstract (1978); see also James’s commercially published The Bill James Baseball Abstract (New York: Ballantine, 1982).
- John Thorn and Pete Palmer, , Total Baseball (New York: Warner Books, 1989), 2292.
- Herm Krabbenhoft, “Who Invented Runs Produced (RP)?” The Baseball Research Journal 38, no. 1 (summer 2009), 135–138.
- Herm Krabbenhoft, “The Longest Streaks of Consecutive Games in Which a Detroit Tiger Scored a Run, 1945–2008,” The Baseball Research Journal 37 (2008):
- Herm Krabbenhoft, “The Longest Streaks of Consecutive Games in Which a Detroit Tiger Scored a Run, 1920–1944,” manuscript in preparation.
- Herm Krabbenhoft, “The Longest Streaks of Consecutive Games in Which a Detroit Tiger Batted in a Run, 1945–2008, manuscript in preparation.
- Some of the results presented here were described in my presentation “Corrections and Consecutive Games Streaks: Detroit Tigers (1945–2006),” given at the Society for American Baseball Research convention (SABR 37), St. Louis, July 26–29, 2007.
- For example, see the following: Archie Motley, Phil Tortora, “19th Hole: The Readers Take Over,” Sports Illustrated (29 November 1976), 117; R. Booth, “Fake Formula Unmasked,” The Sporting News (24 October 1983), 7; Bill James, “Logic and Methods in Baseball Analysis,” The Bill James Baseball Abstract (1984), 17–19; John Thorn and Peter Palmer, The Hidden Game of Baseball (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1984), 64; Bill James, “Beyond the Basics—Runs Produced,” The Bill James Base- ball Abstract (1987), 25; Tom M. Tango, “Runs Produced—Should We Subtract the Home Run or Not?” www.tangotiger.net/runsproduced.html.
- Seymour Siwoff, The Elias Book of Baseball Records (New York: Elias Sports Bureau, 2009), 12.
- Steve Gietschier, Complete Baseball Record and Fact Book (St. Louis: The Sporting News, 2008), 18.
- Lyle Spatz, The SABR Baseball List and Record Book: Baseball’s Most Fascinating Records and Unusual Statistics (New York: Scribner, 2007), 144.
- Siwoff, Elias Book of Baseball Records (2009), 26.
- Gietschier, Complete Baseball Record and Fact Book (2008), 30.
- Spatz, ed., SABR Baseball List and Record Book, 145.
- Personal communication (7 March 2009) from Dave Smith of Retrosheet— in an email message to me, Dave wrote: “The season totals for players on our site come from Pete Palmer’s data base of 15 years The newer seasons come from our data. The daily data back to 1953 come from our files. All the earlier ones (1920s) come from the official totals.”
- Herm Krabbenhoft, “The Authorized Corrections of Runs-Scored Errors in the Official Baseball Records (1945–2007) for Detroit Tigers Players,” The Baseball Research Journal 37 (2008):
- Herm Krabbenhoft, “The Authorized Corrections of Runs-Batted-In Errors in the Official Baseball Records for Detroit Tigers Players, 1945–2007,” manuscript in preparation. It is also mentioned that, following my Completely Closed Circuit Principle, I unearthed an additional 54 RBI errors involving a total of 31 players (including six more Hall of Famers).
- Trent McCotter, “Hitting a Home Run and Not Being Credited with an RBI,” newsletter of the SABR Baseball Records Committee (August 2008, 2; and October 2008, 2). See also Trent McCotter, “Record RBI Streak Discovered: Hall of Famer Tris Speaker Put Together a String of 14 Consecutive Games with an RBI in 1928 That Was Unrecognized for 79 Years,” Baseball Digest, May 2008, 62.
- Personal communication (14 November 2006) from Dave Smith of Retrosheet)—in an email message to me, Dave wrote: “At this point, I do not know of any errors on runs or RBI for any Tiger after 1970. If any arise, I will let you know immediately, since this will undoubtedly impact your streak studies.”
- It is appreciated that the process of corroborating the runs-scored and runs-batted-in information in the official DBD records by resorting to the runs-scored and runs-batted-in information in newspaper box scores is not a priori, guaranteed fool-proof verification of the official DBD records—because it is conceivable that the box-score information and the official DBD information are both erroneous. Nonetheless, using newspaper box scores to corroborate the official DBD records certainly represents a good-faith effort—which was very beneficial in the present research effort, as described in references 22–26.
- According to the uncorroborated 1927 official DBD records for Paul Waner, his longest CGRP streak was a 23-gamer—from May 28 through June 21; he did not score a run or bat in a run in the games on May 27 and June The runs-scored information provided in the box scores presented in the New York Times corroborated the runs-scored information in the official DBD records. However, comparing the runs-batted-in information in his official DBD information with that provided in Waner’s batting lines obtained from the Retrosheet event files revealed a discrepancy— for the game on May 27, the official DBD records show Waner with no runs batted in; the (unproofed) Retrosheet batting line shows that Waner was credited with one RBI, indicating that his CGRP streak actually began before May 28 and is longer than the 23 games indicated by his official DBD records. That the Retrosheet batting line for Paul Waner is indeed correct was conclusively demonstrated by examining the text accounts and batter-by-batter, play-by-play accounts provided in three newspapers—the Pittsburgh Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the St. Louis Star. In each of these newspapers it was clearly stated that Paul Waner batted in a run in the first inning. For example, here’s the play-by-play account provided in the St. Louis Star for the Pirates batting in the first inning: “L. Waner singled to center. L. Waner stole second as Cuyler was called out on strikes. P. Waner singled to center, scoring Waner. Wright hit into a double play, Thevenow to Frisch to Bottomley. One run.” So, Paul Waner did have one RBI in the game on May 27. And, according to his official DBD records, Waner produced at least one run in each of the eight games he played in from May 18 through May 26; he did not produce a run in the game he played on May 17. Fortunately, the Retrosheet event files also have the daily batting lines for each of Waner’s games from May 17 through May 26. Significantly, the Retrosheet daily lines also show that Waner did not produce a run in the game on May 17 and that he did produce at least one run in each of the eight games from May 18 through May 26. Thus, Waner actually compiled a 32-CGRP streak from May 18 through June 21.
- According to the uncorroborated 1933 official DBD records for Chuck Klein, he had a 12-CGRP streak—from May 2 through May However, comparison of the runs-scored and runs-batted-in information in his official DBD records with that provided in the box scores presented in the New York Times revealed a discrepancy in the first game of the double- header on May 13. The official DBD records for this game credit Klein with no runs scored and one run batted in; the box score presented in the New York Times shows no runs scored and no runs batted in for Klein. Resorting to the game account presented in the Chicago Tribune, which described in detail how the Phillies scored in the third inning, we learn that Klein did indeed bat in a run—“Fullis got the second of his three singles with one out in this inning and stopped at second on Bartell’s single to left. The runners moved up on Tinning’s first wild pitch and when Klein grounded out Fullis scored and Bartell took third.” Thus, the official DBD is correct with regard to Klein having an RBI in that game— and, therefore, his 12-CGRP streak is accurate.
- According to the unchecked 1934 official DBD records for Billy Rogell, he had an 18-CGRP streak—from July 22 (second game) through August 9; he did not produce a run in the games on July 22 (first game) and August However, comparison of the runs-scored and runs-bat- ted-in information in his official DBD records with that provided in the box scores presented in the New York Times revealed a discrepancy for the game on August 10. The New York Times box score for this game shows Rogell credited with one RBI, indicating his 18-CGRP streak was not terminated in that game. The game accounts presented in three newspapers (the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cleveland Press, and the Detroit News), provide batter-by-batter details for each of Detroit’s six runs and incontrovertibly show that Rogell batted in the Tigers’ run in the seventh inning—“Cochrane flied out. Gehringer singled to right. Goslin made his fourth consecutive hit, a drive to left center. Gehringer took third on the hit. Hildebrand was taken out and Mel Harder substituted. Rogell flied to Holland and Gehringer scored after the catch.” Thus, Rogell did have an RBI in the game on August 10, thereby extending his CGRP streak to 19 games. Furthermore, according to the corroborated runs and RBI information in his official DBD record, Rogell produced at least one run in each of his next three games before being shut down in the run- production department in the second game on August 14. Therefore, Rogell’s CGRP streak was 22 games.
- According to the unverified 1935 official DBD records for Lonny Frey, he had a 17 CGRP streak—from May 8 through May However, compari- son of the runs-scored and runs-batted-in information in his official DBD records with that provided in the box scores presented in the New York Times revealed a discrepancy in the game on May 18. The official DBD records show Frey with no runs scored and one run batted in; the newspaper box score shows Frey with no runs scored and no runs batted in. The game account presented in the New York Times describes each of the two runs the Dodgers scored: “Al Lopez opened with a single off Thevenow’s glove, Mungo fanned and Jimmy Jordan dropped a bunt that left both men safe when Vaughan took Blanton’s throw and failed to get his foot on second. Frenchy Bordagaray rapped a clean single to center, scoring Al, and when Frey hit to Floyd Young the substitute second sacker made a low throw to Vaughan that allowed Jordan to tally and sent Frenchy to third.” Thus, it appears that, initially, the official scorer did not give credit to Frey for an RBI. However, after the game story and box score went to press, the official scorer decided that, since there was only one out when Frey batted, Jordan would have scored even if Young had not committed his throwing error. Consistent with this explanation is the official DBD record for the Pirates pitcher, Blanton—both of the runs charged to him were earned runs. Thus, the official DBD records show Frey with one RBI—and, therefore, his 17-CGRP streak is correct.
- According to the unchecked 1952 official DBD records for Del Ennis, he had a 13-CGRP streak—from July 23 through August However, comparison of the runs-scored and runs-batted-in information in his official DBD records with that provided in the box scores presented in The Sporting News and the New York Times revealed a discrepancy in the second game of the doubleheader on July 29. The official DBD records for this game credit Ennis with no runs scored and one run batted in; the newspaper box scores for this game show no runs scored and no runs batted in for Ennis. Moreover, according to newspaper accounts, the details for each of the four runs the Phillies scored in that game reveal that Ennis did not score or bat in any runs—Granny Hamner scored the first run in the fourth inning when he was trapped off third base, but he came home on a throwing error by Bobby Adams. Richie Ashburn’s inside-the-park homer accounted for the second run. Eddie Watikus drove home Willie Jones with a single in the ninth and then later scored the winning run on a hit by Johnny Wyrostek. Therefore, Ennis did not actually achieve a 13-CGRP streak; his longest CGRP streak that season— according to his corroborated official DBD record—was actually an 11-gamer (from May 10 [one] through May 22—i.e., a couple of months before his refuted 13-CGRP streak), which still turned out to be the longest CGRP streak in the NL in 1952.
- The Official Baseball Rules (2008) are available online at com. “Rule 10.23 Guidelines for Cumulative Performance Record” deals with consecutive streaks: (A) Consecutive Hitting Streaks, (B) Consecutive- Game Hitting Streaks, and (C) Consecutive-Game Playing Streaks. There is no reference to Consecutive-Game Run-Scoring Streaks, Consecutive- Game Run-Batting-In Streaks, or Consecutive-Game Run-Producing Streaks. With regard to Consecutive-Game Hitting Streaks, the rule states, “A consecutive-game hitting streak shall not be terminated if all of a batter’s plate appearances (one or more) in a game result in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive indifference or obstruction or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit.” With regard to Consecutive-Game Playing Streak, the rule states, “A consecutive-game playing streak shall be extended if a player plays one half-inning on defense or if the player completes a time at bat by reaching base or being put out. A pinch running appearance only shall not extend the streak.”
- Herm Krabbenhoft, “Lance Berkman Joined Select Group of Run Producers in 2008,” Baseball Digest, May 2009, 40.