Belt's 21-pitch at-bat is the longest on record since 1988, as far back as the data is available, but his regular-season feat was surpassed in a Spring Training game by the Mets' Luis Guillorme. The utility player worked a 22-pitch walk on March 14, 2021, against Cardinals right-hander Jordan Hicks, who was seeing his first game action in over a year.
Below is a look at Belt and the other at-bats near the top of the list:
1. Brandon Belt, 1B, SF vs. Jaime Barria, RHP, LAA
April 22, 2018: 21 pitches, flyout
Belt wound up apologizing after his headline-grabbing showdown with Barria, because after years of standing at first base while opposing hitters fouled off pitch after pitch, he treated the Angels' fielders (and everyone in attendance) to a 13-minute affair.
"When I'm in the field I hate it when a batter keeps fouling pitches off," Belt said after the game. "I'm like 'Dude, just put it in play. It's not that hard. Let's go.' So I basically had to apologize to everybody after that."
2. Ricky Gutierrez, SS, HOU vs. Bartolo Colon, RHP, CLE
June 26, 1998: 20 pitches, strikeout swinging
Gutierrez and Colon combined for the previous record in a marathon at-bat to lead off the top of the eighth. Colon won, getting Gutierrez to strike out swinging, and then retired the Astros in order to complete his eight-inning outing in the Tribe's 4-2 win.
3-T. Matt Wieters, C, STL vs. Caleb Thielbar, LHP, MIN
Sept. 8, 2020: 19 pitches, flyout
Wieters was the last of eight straight Cardinals hitters that came to the plate with the bases loaded against Twins pitchers, and he put a long exclamation point on the end of a five-run third inning. This 19-pitch battle shattered the previous high for deliveries in any bases-loaded at-bat on record.
3-T. Kevin Bass, RF, HOU vs. Steve Bedrosian, RHP, PHI
July 23, 1988: 19 pitches, flyout
Bedrosian blew a two-run lead in his eighth-inning relief appearance, but he ended the Astros' rally by retiring Bass after a 19-pitch battle. The Astros went on to win in walk-off fashion on a wild pitch.
5-T. Brian Downing, DH, CAL vs. Ken Patterson, LHP, CWS
Sept. 1, 1990: 18 pitches, lineout
Downing led off the bottom of the ninth inning as his California Angels looked to overcome a four-run deficit against the White Sox. Downing put up a valiant effort, working an 18-pitch at-bat against Patterson, but lined out in the 9-5 defeat.
5-T. Bip Roberts, LF, KC vs. Felipe Lira, RHP, DET
May 18, 1997: 18 pitches, groundout
Roberts ran up Lira's pitch count early with 18 pitches in his first-inning at-bat. At 14 pitches, his teammate Tom Goodwin stole second base, giving the Royals a runner in scoring position.
5-T. Alex Cora, 2B, LAD vs. Matt Clement, RHP, CHC
May 12, 2004: 18 pitches, home run
Cora punctuated an 18-pitch battle with Clement with a two-run homer into the Dodgers' bullpen that stretched the Dodgers' lead to 4-0 in the victory over the Cubs. The 18 pitches in that at-bat were more than Clement had thrown in any inning but the third.
5-T. Marcus Semien, SS, OAK vs. Doug Fister, RHP, HOU
June 3, 2016: 18 pitches, groundout
Semien ran up Fister's pitch count with an 18-pitch groundout in the second inning. He also drew a walk in the fifth and launched a leadoff homer in the seventh for the A's first run in a 12-2 loss to the Astros.