September 24, 2010

Consecutive Times On Base: Frank Ward (1893) And Ted Williams (1957)

On this date in 1957, Washington Senators pitcher Hal Griggs gets Ted Williams to ground out to second in the first inning, ending Williams's streak of reaching base in 16 consecutive plate appearances.

That was believed to be the all-time record until 2007, when researcher Trent McCotter discovered a 17-PA streak by Frank Ward from June 16-19, 1893. There may be a longer streak that has not yet been discovered, but for now, Ward holds the record.

Oddly, Ward was traded during the streak. He played for Baltimore (against Cincinnati) on June 16 and then was traded to the Reds. On June 18, in his first game for his new team, he reached safely eight times in a nine-inning game, which is still a major league record.

Here are the two streaks:

Williams (he had not played since September 1)
0917 - 8th inning - solo home run (pinch-hitter)

0918 - 8th inning - walk (pinch-hitter)

0920 - 9th inning - solo home run (pinch-hitter)

0921 - 1st inning - intentional walk
2nd inning - grand slam home run
4th inning - walk
6th inning - walk

0922 - 1st inning - walk
4th inning - solo home run
6th inning - single
8th inning - walk

0923 - 1st inning - single
2nd inning - walk
4th inning - walk
6th inning - walk
8th inning - hit by pitch

6-for-6; 2 singles; 4 home runs;
10 walks; 7 runs; 7 RBI
After Williams grounded out in his first time up on June 24, he reached base in six of his next eight plate appearances -- for a 22-of-25 streak (a nifty .880 OBP!).

0616 - 1st inning - out
4th inning - single
5th inning - triple
6th inning - walk

0618 - 1st inning - walk
other pbp details are unknown
but he had 2 hits, 5 walks, 1 HBP

0619 - 1st inning - single
2nd inning - walk
5th inning - single
6th inning - single
7th inning - single

8-for-8; 7 singles; 1 triple; 8 walks, 1 HBP
Ward made an out in the first inning on June 20.

No comments: