The 2,000/1,500 Club
There is a club, it is an exclusive club, that has only 28 members but the door to this clubhouse isn’t closed. Some of members might surprise you. What might be even more surprising are the names not in this club.
If someone was to ask you to name the 28 members of the 3,000 hit club who would you say first? Babe Ruth? Ted Williams? Barry Bonds? Ken Griffry Jr.? If you said any one of those names you are dead wrong. In fact there are many legends of the game that are not in this club. Just because somebody hits 500, 600 or even 700 career homers does not mean they were a consistent hitter.
There is currently 271 players who have 2000 career hits club. Torii Hunter (1986) and Aramis Ramirez (1969) will surely join this club during the upcoming season. What are the main contributing factors to rising beyond to the 2000 hit plateau? The obvious ones such as longevity and sheer talent are the easy solutions. What truly get lost, can be reconciled by opening up the record books.
The list below is handful of players who easily reached the 2,000 hit mark but they did achieve 3,000 hits. They also have 1,500 plus career walks.
Barry Bonds 2,935 hits 2,558 walks
Babe Ruth 2,873 hits 2,062 walks
Ted Williams 2,654 hits 2,021 walks
Joe Morgan 2,517 hits 1,865 walks
Jim Thome 2,328 hits 1747 walks
Mickey Mantle 2,415 hits 1,733 walks
Mel Ott 2,876 hits 1,708 walks
Frank Thomas 2,468 hits 1,667 walks
Darrell Evans 2,223 hits 1,605 walks
Harmon Killebrew 2,086 hits 1,559 walks
Chipper Jones 2,726 hits 1,512 walks
Lou Gehrig 2,721 hits 1,508 walks
Mike Schmidt 2,234 hits 1,507 walks
•Eddie Yost had 1,614 career walks. He did not crack this list because he only had 1,863 career hits.
I know this list might seem too long. So, lets trim it down a bit. You can if you wish throw Killebrew, Thome and Schmidt out the conversation because they have more career strikeouts than walks. Mickey Mantle who only had 23 more walks than strikeouts can also be eliminated.
What remains is a bunch of steadfast and patience men. One could even argue that these men that remain were too stubborn to swing half the time. Their good eyes at the plate kept them from achieving the 3,000 hit mark. Throughout their careers for the sake of their team or the situation these players have been selective. They have sacrificed a chance to join an elite club, for the betterment of overall team success. Isn’t that what it is truly all about. The sporting world is full of egos and scoundrels. It is so nice to see that was some players out there were talented and loyal at the same time.
I can appreciate that many baseball fans have of a distain for Barry Bonds. Babe Ruth also had his own demons and maybe both of them being grouped with these other men is a not a commodity to my theory.
I feel that five of these remaining men were absolutely capable of reaching of joining the 3,000 hit club. For many reasons however, they ended their careers shy of this exclusive mark.
I do believe, given the fact that Ted Williams spent three of his prime years in the armed forces, (which is another example of loyalty,) that he could easily hit the 3,000 mark. He also at the ages of 33 and 34 played in just 43 games over the span of two seasons because of more service time.
Joe Morgan, a second baseman no less, was an absolute beast at the plate. I can’t image that many pitchers of his era willingly gave him anything to hit. Yet, he still flourished with what he was given and his team reaped the rewards of keenness. I feel Morgan historically gets a little overlooked and that is shameful because he was one of histories best.
Mel Ott was a five foot nine 170 pound lefty, he is also a member of the 500 homer-run club. His career batting average of .304 and career OPS of .947 (23rd all-time) speak for themselves.
Mr. Brave, Chipper Jones could have easily have been selfish enough to join the 3k club. Instead, Bobby Cox and company enjoyed many ventures into the post-season thanks Chipper’s timeliness and reserved plate approach.
The Iron horse, Lou Gehrig had almost twice as many career walks (1508) as career strikeouts (790.) His career OPS of 1.07 is third all-time behind only Barry Bonds and Ruth. He ended his career prematurely due to illness. He was less than 300 hits shy of the 3k club.
Like all baseball junkies, I am often mesmerized by statistical achievements. But, because I am a junkie, my need to digest stats always creates different views on how and why and when.
- Stan Musial: ‘Babe Ruth was the greatest who ever played’ (retrosimba.com)
- 40th anniversary: Stargell hits one out of Dodger Stadium (hardballtimes.com)
Categories: FOR THE FUN OF IT!