Ruane: Hot starts to careers, batting edition

From SABR member Tom Ruane at Retrosheet on April 29, 2014:

This all started innocently enough, with Rod Nelson pointing out that Jose Abreu was off to a hot start, having hit ten homers and driven in 31 Runs in his first 26 games. Rod wondered if I could generate a top-five list of HRs, RBIs and a few other metrics through a player’s first, say, thirty or fifty games since 1914.

I figured that since Abreu had played 26 games so far, I would look at the leaders through that number of games, and determined that the home run leader was George Scott with 11 and the RBI leader was the immortal Mandy Brooks with 34.

When Peter Bjarkman saw my response, he found my criteria (26 games) unsatisfying and arbitrary. Where do we stop? he asked. Are we going to have separate records for 27, 28 and 29 games as well? It was a perfectly reasonable response, and I’m pretty sure he was figuring that my answer wasn’t going to be: why the heck not?

So, in the spirit of the great poet William Blake, who once wrote that the Road of Excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom, I generated the all-time leaders in twelve different statistical categories from their first through their 162nd games.

So without further ado, here is the list.

Read the full article here:

Related link: Click here for Tom Ruane’s list of “Hot starts to careers, pitching edition”

Originally published: April 30, 2014. Last Updated: April 30, 2014.