A canonical record of batting lines, 1918-2011

From SABR member Diane Firstman at Value Over Replacement Grit on May 14, 2012:

Many of us fondly remember opening up the newspaper each morning to see how our favorite teams and players did the prior day.  In those lines of agate type, we were able to discern to some degree if (insert “your guy” here) was a hero or a goat.  Usually this was through four simple numbers, the hieroglyph of “AB-R-H-RBI” that was the standard in The Sporting News beginning in 1961 and most major newspapers in that era


I decided to catalog/count up every batting line ever produced by every player in a starting lineup.  The only limitation would be (in order to compare apples to apples) the starter would have had to have finished the game.

So, what follows periodically over the next few weeks is a through examination, through the Baseball Reference Play Index, of each possible AB-R-H-RBI combination that has been produced from 1918-2011. For those who care, there have been roughly 2.3 million individual batting lines generated in the last 94 years.  I will not be listing any particular combination that has NOT occurred to date. I do list the “career leader” in said batting line, and link to those specific games if there are no more than four players tied for the lead.

So, let’s start off with the “zero at-bats”. These are going to be cases of players having a games’ worth of walks, sac flies, hit-by-pitches and the like.

Read the full article here: http://valueoverreplacementgrit.com/2012/05/14/canonical-record-of-batting-lines-1918-2011-part-1-the-zero-abs/

Related link: Part 2 of Diane’s project can be found here at VORG

Originally published: May 17, 2012. Last Updated: May 17, 2012.