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List of Major League Baseball career plate appearance leaders

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In baseball statistics, a player is credited with a plate appearance (denoted by PA) each time he completes a turn batting. A player completes a turn batting when: he strikes out or is declared out before reaching first base; or he reaches first base safely or is awarded first base (by a base on balls, hit by pitch, or catcher's interference); or he hits a fair ball which causes a preceding runner to be put out for the third out before he himself is put out or reaches first base safely (see also left on base, fielder's choice, force play). In other words, a plate appearance ends when the batter is put out or becomes a runner. A very similar statistic, at bats, counts a subset of plate appearances that end under certain circumstances.

Pete Rose holds the record with 15,890 career plate appearances. Rose is the only player in MLB history to surpass 14,000 and 15,000 career plate appearances. Carl Yastrzemski (13,992), Hank Aaron (13,941), Rickey Henderson (13,346) and Ty Cobb (13,087) are the only other players to surpass 13,000 career plate appearances.

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(lively electronic music) - The object of base collecting is to hit the ball and collect as many bases as you can before a fielder has the chance to get the ball there. This is a single-player game, and the only chance to collect is immediately after your hit, so make it count. Each at-bat throughout the game accumulates into your final score. It may sound simple, but factors such as number of at-bats and getting walked all affect your ability to score big. Those that do, defy odds so great that their performances are put into the history books. Baseball's single game total base leaders include some of the greatest players in the history of the sport, and those games tend to be the greatest individual performances of their monumental careers, but sometimes, you only need to be great for a day in order to excel at the game within the game. With all of this in mind, what does it take to get the single game total base high score? The answer to that question is complicated, mostly because of how the game has evolved over its long history. We're gonna limit this to nine innings. Extra innings is a stat hack. To simplify things, we're going to focus on what is called the Live-Ball Era, which essentially is the modern era of baseball that came following a series of rule changes in 1920. The Dead-Ball Era, despite being an outdated version of the game, still has some honorable mentions, the first being Guy Hecker, a pitcher for the Louisville Cardinals. In 1886, during a season in which he became the only pitcher to win a batting title, he also became the only pitcher in baseball history to get six hits in a game. He did so fashionably, hitting three home runs and three singles, bringing his grand total to 15 bases, a record and not just for a pitcher, or so I think. Stats in the 19th century were tracked in soot on the nearest child's face, but the greatest stat lines survive the passage of time. (upbeat electronic music) Boston Beaneater Bobby Lowe beat Hecker's total base high score in 1894 when he became the first player in baseball history to hit four home runs in a game. What makes that even more absurd is that Lowe wasn't a power hitter. He finished his 18-year career with only 71 home runs, close to 6% of which came on that one historic day. Those four home runs plus a single set a high score of 17 total bases, a record that wouldn't be beaten for 60 years, but both of these guys played when everyone was still trying to figure out exactly what a baseball bat should look like, inside-the-park home runs were common due to a lack of ballpark specifications, and the American League hadn't even been created yet. An early record-holder in the Live-Ball Era was Ty Cobb. As legend has it, prior to a May game in 1925, Cobb told a sportswriter, "I'll show you something today. "I'm going for home runs for the first time in my career." His three home runs, two singles, and a double on that day was the best offensive game of his all time great career. His 16 total bases were a modern era high score. This was still very early on in the Live-Ball Era, and players were only beginning to swing for power. Conventional wisdom equated hitting balls in the air to flying out, a feeling stemming from the early days when a ball caught on one bounce was an out. They instead opted for a small ball approach, with a focus on base hits. Cobb decided instead that he was going to give power hitting a try, and it netted him the total base record. Power is not the only thing that matters when it comes to total bases. Cobb was also the beneficiary of six at-bats that game. There's only one way to match Cobb's 16 total bases in four at-bats, four home runs. Two players have done exactly that, Rocky Colavito in 1959 and Carlos Delgado in 2003. Four at-bats, four home runs, call it a day. They make up two of the 17 players that joined Bobby Lowe on the list of players with four home runs in a game. The first modern era player to do so was Lou Gehrig in 1932, whose four home runs and 16 bases came across six at-bats. A few weeks later, he had an opportunity to meet the man who did it first, reportedly asking Bobby Lowe, "Did you really hit four home runs in a single game?" Because, even when you've done it yourself, it's hard to believe that it could be done at all. This is a prime example of the inefficiencies of stat recording in those days. Gehrig had to confirm it with the man himself because it was all hearsay. That day in 1932 wasn't Gehrig's first flirtation with a total base record. In 1928, he collected 14 bases in five plate appearances, but his third plate appearance was a walk, which officially doesn't count as an at-bat, brings down his at-bat total to four, and doesn't contribute to total bases. This makes the walk one of the greatest threats to a base-collector, especially considering a pitcher's willingness to intentionally walk someone that may have three or four home runs already in a game. 18 years after Gehrig's historic four home run game, Brooklyn Dodger first baseman Gil Hodges put together his own quad shot. He went five for six with four home runs and a single, 17 total bases, a new high score. Just like the base-collecting champs before him, he was Hall of Fame-bound. Four years later, on July 31st, 1954, Hodges would get a front row seat to his record being broken. Milwaukee Braves first baseman Joe Adcock became the first player in baseball history, regardless of era, to collect 18 total bases in a game 60 years after Lowe’s fabled 17 total base game. He achieved this feat at Ebbets Field against Gil Hodges' Brooklyn Dodgers, but unlike his base-collecting predecessors, Adcock wasn't Canton-bound. He was just a solid player that took advantage of each of his five at-bats. The only American League player to finish a game with 18 total bases came 58 years later. In 2012, Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton had his own take on a four home run game, adding a fifth inning double, five at-bats, five hits, 18 total bases, but perhaps most interestingly, Hamilton's fifth inning double was a blast that fell just short of the warning track, putting him dangerously close to what could have been baseball's first five home run game. It's reminiscent of a game on May 2nd, 2002, when Seattle's Mike Cameron, sitting on a four home run day already, sent a shot to the warning track in his final at-bat, barely missing what would have been baseball's first five home run game, a feat that would be awarded with 20 total bases. Adding to the special nature of this game, Cameron and his teammate Bret Boone became the first teammates to hit two home runs in the same inning, going back to back twice in the first. Cameron's simple response after the game, "It's a thing of beauty." A thing of beauty, but one followed by some real ugly times for that Mariners team, but that's a story for another time. (soft electronic music) A few weeks after Cameron's shot party, on May 23rd, 2002, Dodgers right fielder Shawn Green became the only player to collect 19 total bases in a game. Unlike Hamilton, Green had a sixth at-bat, appearing with two outs in the top of the ninth. It was here that he hit his fourth home run of the game to go along with a single and a double. Making this outburst even more unlikely, green had entered that game with only five home runs across his prior 44 games. When asked about his historic performance, Green recounted, "For that week, "I was just very relaxed. "Everything slowed down. "All the cliches." When asked if he was trying to hit a home run when he came to the plate for that sixth time, he replied, "I was pretty much trying to hit a home run "every time I went to the plate." The elusive quadruple dinger is a more rare feat in baseball than a perfect game, and the total base record demands that you do it with flair, whether it's a pair of doubles, or the yet to be attained fifth home run. Records were made to be broken, and baseball's first five home run game will claim the total base record, but it's not the only way. In the end, it all comes down to at-bats and what you do with them. The more at-bats you get, the better your chances at a new high score.



Rank Rank amongst leaders in career plate appearances. A blank field indicates a tie.
Player (2019 PAs) Number of plate appearances during the 2019 Major League Baseball season.
PA Total career plate appearances.
* denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bold denotes active player.[a]


Carl Yastrzemski, second all time in career plate appearances.
Carl Yastrzemski, second all time in career plate appearances.
  • Stats updated as of September 10, 2019.
Rank Player (2019 PAs) PA
1 Pete Rose 15,890
2 Carl Yastrzemski * 13,992
3 Hank Aaron * 13,941
4 Rickey Henderson * 13,346
5 Ty Cobb * 13,087
6 Cal Ripken Jr. * 12,883
7 Eddie Murray * 12,817
8 Stan Musial * 12,718
9 Barry Bonds 12,606
10 Derek Jeter 12,602
11 Craig Biggio * 12,504
12 Willie Mays * 12,496
13 Dave Winfield * 12,358
14 Robin Yount * 12,249
15 Alex Rodriguez 12,207
16 Paul Molitor * 12,167
17 Albert Pujols (470) 12,165
18 Adrián Beltré 12,130
19 Eddie Collins * 12,078
20 Rafael Palmeiro 12,046
21 Omar Vizquel 12,013
22 Tris Speaker * 12,011
23 Brooks Robinson * 11,782
24 Honus Wagner * 11,746
25 Frank Robinson * 11,742
26 George Brett * 11,625
27 Al Kaline * 11,596
28 Reggie Jackson * 11,418
29 Mel Ott * 11,348
30 Cap Anson * 11,331
31 Joe Morgan * 11,329
32 Ken Griffey Jr. * 11,304
33 Rabbit Maranville * 11,254
34 Lou Brock 11,240
35 Luis Aparicio * 11,230
36 Rusty Staub 11,229
37 Harold Baines * 11,092
38 Carlos Beltrán 11,031
39 Gary Sheffield 10,947
40 Johnny Damon 10,917
41 Tony Pérez * 10,861
42 Ozzie Smith * 10,778
43 Max Carey * 10,769
Andre Dawson * 10,769
45 Paul Waner * 10,766
46 Wade Boggs * 10,740
47 Darrell Evans 10,737
48 Ichiro Suzuki 10,734
49 Babe Ruth * 10,623
50 Chipper Jones * 10,614
Rank Player (2019 PAs) PA
51 Sam Crawford * 10,594
52 Dwight Evans 10,569
53 Rod Carew * 10,550
54 Luis Gonzalez 10,531
55 Billy Williams * 10,519
56 Jake Beckley * 10,504
57 Nap Lajoie * 10,461
58 Steve Finley 10,460
59 Bill Dahlen 10,405
60 Vada Pinson 10,402
61 Roberto Alomar * 10,400
62 Ernie Banks * 10,394
63 Tim Raines * 10,359
64 Nellie Fox * 10,351
65 Jim Thome * 10,313
66 Iván Rodríguez * 10,270
67 Luke Appling * 10,254
Harry Hooper * 10,254
69 Sam Rice * 10,252
70 Charlie Gehringer * 10,245
71 Jimmy Rollins 10,240
72 Tony Gwynn * 10,232
73 Graig Nettles 10,228
74 Roberto Clemente * 10,211
75 Miguel Cabrera (504) 10,191
76 Dave Parker 10,184
77 George Davis * 10,178
78 Fred McGriff 10,174
79 Eddie Mathews * 10,100
80 Frankie Frisch * 10,099
81 David Ortiz 10,091
82 Bobby Abreu 10,081
83 Frank Thomas * 10,075
84 Mike Schmidt * 10,062
85 Bill Buckner 10,037
86 Buddy Bell 10,009
87 Zack Wheat * 10,006
88 Chili Davis 9,997
89 Lou Whitaker 9,967
90 Doc Cramer 9,927
91 Mickey Mantle * 9,907
92 Sammy Sosa 9,896
93 Carlton Fisk * 9,853
94 Fred Clarke * 9,838
Mickey Vernon 9,838
96 Harmon Killebrew * 9,833
97 Goose Goslin * 9,829
98 Willie Davis 9,822
99 Gary Gaetti 9,817
100 Ted Williams * 9,788


  1. ^ A player is considered inactive if he has announced his retirement or not played for a full season.


  • "Career Leaders & Records for Plate Appearances".
This page was last edited on 12 September 2019, at 03:57
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