Sunday, December 23, 2007

Most Doubles in a Season with Zero Home Runs

Doubles aren't as exciting as triples since they're a lot easier to hit. Even the slowest players in the major leagues get doubles from time to time (case in point: active leader in PA with no triples Johnny Estrada has 129 career two-base hits). If slow guys can hit doubles, surely even guys with no power can hit some, too, even if they're of the bloop hit "hustle double" variety. Here is the list of the most doubles in a season by a player with no home runs; like yesterday it's split into post-1920 and deadball eras.

Most Doubles in a Seasons with Zero Home Runs, 1876-1919

1Nap Lajoie190648
2Lave Cross190239

Curt Welch188939
4Cap Anson188336
5Scoops Carey190235
6Nap Lajoie191234

Bill Bradley190534
8Tris Speaker191833
9Duffy Lewis191331

Lee Tannehill190431

Jack McCarthy190231

Jack Manning188331
13Bill Rariden191530
14Mike Mowrey191129

Jimmy Collins190729

Lave Cross190529

Claude Ritchey190529
18Shano Collins191628

John Leary191428

Claude Ritchey190328

Jim O'Rourke189228

Jimmy Wolf188828

Most Doubles in a Seasons with Zero Home Runs, 1920-2007

1Dick Bartell193143
2Dave Cash197742

Billy Rogell193342
4Bill Wambsganss192441
5Ozzie Smith198740
6Marty Marion194238
7Doc Cramer193836

Sparky Adams193036

Dave Bancroft192036
10Roy Hughes193635

Billy Herman193335

Willie Kamm193135

Tom Oliver193135

Sparky Adams192635
15Billy Goodman195134

Bill Knickerbocker193534

Hal Rhyne193134

Tom Oliver193034
19Joe Gedeon192033
20Rollie Hemsley193532

Willie Kamm192732

It appears as though the assumption doubles conformed to the same deadball era spike triples did is in error. The second, "liveball era" list is littered with names from the 1920's and 1930's. Perhaps the true spike in doubles either took place or lasted until 1940? A quick look at a chart of doubles per game throughout MLB history confirms that 1920-1939 saw doubles at an only recently matched frequency. What happens to the second list above if the years are changed to 1940-2007? Let's find out:

Most Doubles in a Seasons with Zero Home Runs, 1940-2007

1Dave Cash197742
Ozzie Smith198740
Marty Marion194238
Billy Goodman195134
Frank Taveras197831

Billy Goodman195531
Miguel Dilone198030
Jason Kendall200528

Scott Podsednik200528

Jim Gantner198828

Matty Alou196828

Red Schoendienst194628
13Alfredo Griffin198927

Frank Taveras198027

Johnny Pesky194727

Luke Appling194027
Al Oliver198426

Don Kessinger197526

Dick Groat196526

Richie Ashburn195726

Skeeter Newsome194426

Steve Mesner194326

Doc Cramer194226

This final list looks a lot like the first list which makes sense, I suppose, considering doubles occurred at a similar rate. Even if more players weren't hitting home runs back then, they weren't really any better at hitting doubles than today's players.

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