HBP: The new HR?

Now that all the hubbub over Barry Bonds’ historic home run has receded, it’s time to concentrate on some real record breaking: most plunked.

Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros is poised to become the player who’s been hit by the most pitches in history. (Depending on temperament, others might prefer to follow Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox’s bid to become the most ejected.) Biggio is in a race against time. Set to retire at the end of the season, the scrappy second baseman needs only three more unlucky trips to the plate to pass Hall of Fame short stop Hughie “Yeehah” (EE-Yah) Jennings.

Since April 24, 2005, Plunk Biggio has been tracking Biggio’s pursuit of the Hit by Pitch (HBP) crown. Even in the sports world, where obsessive behavior is actively encouraged, the site comes off as lightly unhinged and is completely addictive. All roads—at least at Plunk Biggio—lead to Biggio’s quest. The recent post “Time for some plunkenbräu?” lets us know that “Craig Biggio has never been hit by a team other than the Brewers on August 10th.” There’s a breakdown of plunks by division. Most plunks by a reliever. All Time All-Plunk team. (The Washington Senators’ Eddie Yost is on third in case you were curious.)

All other stats take a back seat on Plunk Biggio. For example, “Craig Biggio hit the ball a few times last night, once safely for hit number 2,973, but he did not get hit by the ball.” Then there is “29 runs without benefit of a plunk?” Frustration leads to, “How to end a plunkless streak.” It begins “As you may have noticed, Craig Biggio has gone 33 consecutive games without getting hit by a pitch. That ranks 14th in his career, for most consecutive games without being hit.” Indeed. Records abound. As a spectator why shortchange yourself by following the herd?

Biggio, take off that armor and then try standing on top of the plate and leaning into pitches.

— Angus    Aug 15, 01:16 PM    #

He hasn’t worn it all season.

—    Aug 15, 03:33 PM    #

Bobby Cox, by the way, was ejected twice in two days and has surpassed the ejection record

— Austin    Aug 15, 11:26 PM    #