Friday, August 21, 2009
Longest franchise droughts without a 200-hit performancePosted by Chris Jaffe
A couple minutes ago I just posted a THT Live blog thingee on the last player on each team to get 200 hits in a season. Last place was - by far - the Cincinnati Reds. They've completed 31 straight seasons without such a deed. No other teams has gone longer than 17 such seasons.
That brings up the question (related to another THT Live blog post tonight: longest franchise droughts without a 20-win season - I've been busy tonight): what is the longest stretch any team has gone without a 200-hit performance? Was it the 1978-2008 Reds?
Well, no. Here are the actual "top" ten stretches, since 1887. (I start in 1887 because that was the first year anyone tallied 200 hits in a campaign):
64 years: 1938-2001 A's
43 years: 1955-1997 White Sox
36 years: 1962-1997 Astros
34 years: 1962-1995 Mets
32 years: 1954-1985 Indians
31 years: 1978-2008 Reds
31 years: 1949-1979 Browns/Orioles
30 years: 1971-2000 Giants
29 years: 1971-1999 Angels
29 years: 1948-1976 Red Sox
Well .. . looks like the A's win it easily! Talk about your unbreakable records! In 1937, Wally Moses bopped 208 hits. In 2002, Miguel Tejada achieved the franchise's only 200-hit performance in the 70+ years since, with 204 in Oakland.
Not only has the franchise lacked any other such performances in that time, but they didn't even come close otherwise. Their closest call in the 64-year drought was 64 by Jerry Lumpe in 1962. Vic Power hit 190 in 1955. That's it. Since Tejeda's big season, the closest anyone's come was Mark Kotsay's 190.
To be clear, from 1938-2001, MLB witnessed 205 separate 200-hit performances and 318 occassions when someone got at least 194. You'd think the A's would manage at least one of them.
I should note if it wasn't for Albert Belle, the White Sox would at least be threatening to threaten the A's record. His 1998 offensive barrage on Chicago's South Side is that franchise's sole 200-hit performacne in the last 54 years. He got exactly 200 hits that year, and it was his only 200-hit season.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.