For more than 10 years, Williams never had back to back games where he did not get on base safely, from July 14, 1940 to September 26, 1950.I need to repeat that:
For more than 10 years, Williams never had back to back games where he did not get on base safely, from July 14, 1940 to September 26, 1950.Even considering Williams's lifetime OBP of .482 -- the best in the sport's long history -- and the fact that he missed all of 1943, 1944 and 1945, this nearly defies belief.
I emailed Nowlin (he is, among many other things, the main editor of When Boston Still Had The Babe, a biography project on the 1918 Red Sox that I was part of) and this was Bill's reply:
The research which revealed that 10-year stretch was done by Herm Krabbenhoft of SABR, working from the daily records at the Hall of Fame. He was working on an article he published where he found that Ted holds the record for CGOBS (Consecutive Games On Base Safely): 84.So: Williams went back-to-back games without reaching base only four times over 18 seasons -- nearly his entire playing career.
Actually, the 10-year stretch properly reads: From July 14, 1940, through Sept. 26, 1950, Williams never had back-to-back games without reaching safely, if a couple of pinch-hit appearances in 1941 and '48 are discounted.
But on Sept. 27, 1950, he failed to reach base in a doubleheader - again, his lapse confined to one day. It was nearly four years later, in September 1954, that he went two straight games without reaching base. It happened just twice more, once in 1958 and once in his final season, 1960.