10 stats from the 2016 Hall of Fame candidates that will definitely surprise you
Surprising stats from 2016 Hall of Fame candidates
The Hall of Fame is synonymous with certain numbers. 500 home runs. 300 wins. 3,000 hits. One fantastic wig. But those numbers, while iconic, don't tell the whole story of a candidate's career. These are baseball's best of the best, after all, and their greatness can't be contained by one column of the stat sheet. Dig a little deeper, and there are always some facts that you definitely did not see coming. Things like ...
1. Starting pitcher Mike Hampton had as many career triples (five) as fellow candidate Mike Sweeney -- and only one less than Mark McGwire. Hampton also finished with a higher career slugging percentage (.356) than three position players -- David Eckstein (.355), Luis Castillo (.351) and Brad Ausmus (.344) -- on the ballot.
2. It won't come as a surprise that Curt Schilling won 216 games or racked up 3,116 strikeouts in his career, but a number that might raise some eyebrows is Schilling's 22 saves. That's right: Along with being one of the most dominant starting pitchers of his generation, Schilling also spent some time closing out games at both ends of his career. His first 13 saves came over a three-year span from 1990-92, while the final eight came during the 2005 season with the Red Sox.
3. Though Larry Walker certainly flourished at hitter-friendly Coors Field, he was still a superb hitter even away from the thin Rocky Mountain air. In fact, his career .865 OPS for road games ranks ahead of the likes of Ken Griffey Jr. (.860), Jeff Kent (.857) and Sammy Sosa (.857), among others. We've got the dingers to prove it:
4. Jason Kendall was hit by a pitch 254 times in his career, which is more than 100 times more than any other player on the ballot. Basically, there was a whole lot of this:
David Eckstein is second at 143. Garret Anderson, meanwhile, was hit by only eight pitches over his 17-year career, the fewest by any position player on the ballot.
5. Troy Glaus and Mike Piazza are the only position players on the ballot who never laid down a sacrifice bunt. Even relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman laid down not one, but two sacrifice bunts in his career.
6. Jeff Bagwell finished with more intentional walks (155) than both Sammy Sosa (154) and Mark McGwire (150). The most surprising intentional walk stat, however, may belong to David Eckstein, who, despite hitting only 35 career home runs, drew three intentional free passes.
7. Barry Bonds has the second-most stolen bases of anyone on the ballot (514), checking in more than 100 steals ahead of second baseman Luis Castillo.
It wasn't just steals, however, as Bonds also ranks second in triples with 77, trailing only Tim Raines in each of those two categories.
8. Luis Castillo never appeared at any position other than second base over his 15-year career, making him the only position player on the ballot to start every game at the same position. Castillo started 1,645 games at second base -- and appeared in 1,683 games at second overall. It's worth noting that Fred McGriff only appeared at first base defensively, but he also served as a designated hitter for 174 games.
9. Despite pitching 180 fewer innings than fellow closer and Hall of Fame candidate Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner actually tallied 63 more strikeouts than his counterpart. Wagner finished with 1,196 strikeouts in just 903 innings, while Hoffman struck out 1,133 batters over 1,089 1/3 innings pitched.
10. Hoffman is the only player on the ballot to have never drawn a single walk. Even fellow closer Billy Wagner worked one walk in his 21 career plate appearances -- in a two-out, bases-loaded situation, giving him the only RBI of his career. Speaking of which, that one RBI is the fewest by any player on the ballot.