Castrovince: MLB’s ultimate one-hit wonders

From Anthony Castrovince at on April 12, 2019:

Fernando Tatis Jr. grounded a single through the left-hand side for his first hit, and, as the instant souvenir ball was rolled into the dugout, the Petco Park crowd gave the prized Padres rookie a raucous reception.

That was the first of Tatis’ two hits on Opening Day, the first of hundreds — thousands, maybe — in the big leagues. He has pedigree and promise, and, even if pitfalls loom in his performance, he’ll remain a prime piece of the Padres’ plans. For players like Tatis, the game is a series of tomorrows, each one a chance to repeat past fortunes or repair past flaws.

But for a select few, tomorrow never comes. Their path to the bigs is barbarous, and their leash is not long. Not even success can certify their survival.

In modern Major League history, 154 position players finished their professional careers with just one plate appearance in the Major Leagues, their careers distilled down to a single stint or, in the famous case of Eddie Gaedel, a single stunt.

Of those 154, just 16 ripped a hit.

Of those 16, only five are living.

They are baseball’s one-hit wonders. One walk from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box. One trip down the first-base line. One story to tell.

These are their stories.

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Originally published: April 12, 2019. Last Updated: April 12, 2019.