Welcome to my favorite day of the year. Here are your active career leaders, with all-time rankings in parentheses:
- Games: Omar Vizquel, Tex.: 2680 (30th)
- At-Bats: Omar Vizquel, Tex.: 9745 (30th)
- Runs: Ken Griffey, Jr., Sea.: 1612 (39th)
- Hits: Ken Griffey, Jr. Sea.: 2680 (58th)
- Doubles: Ivan Rodriguez, Hou.: 524 (34th)
- Triples: Johnny Damon, NYY: 92 (193th) — second place, only two behind, is Jimmy Rollins, Phi., who was 29 years old last season.
- Home Runs: Ken Griffey, Jr., Sea.: 611 (5th)
- RBIs: Ken Griffey, Jr., Sea.: 1772 (18th)
- Walks: Jim Thome, CWS: 1550 (15th)
- Strikeouts: Jim Thome, CWS: 2190 (3rd)
- Stolen Bases: Juan Pierre, LA: 429 (56th)
- Caught Stealing: Omar Vizquel, Tex.: 156 (19th)
- Batting Average: Albert Pujols, Stl: .334 (20th)
- On-Base Percentage: Todd Helton, Col.: .428 (10th)
- Slugging Percentage: Albert Pujols, Stl: .623 (4th)
- Games: Trevor Hoffman, Mil: 930 (18th)
- Games Started: Tom Glavine, Atl.: 682 (11th)
- Complete Games: Randy Johnson, SF: 100 (395th)
- Shutouts: Randy Johnson, SF: 37 (58th)
- Innings Pitched: Tom Glavine, Atl.: 4413 (29th)
- Hits: Tom Glavine, Atl.: 4298 (24th)
- Walks: Tom Glavine, Atl.: 1500 (12th)
- Strikeouts: Randy Johnson, SF: 4789 (2nd)
- Wins: Tom Glavine, Atl.: 305 (21st)
- Losses: Tom Glavine, Atl.: 203 (43rd)
- Saves: Trevor Hoffman, Mil.: 554 (1st) — Mariano Rivera is second, 72 behind.
- ERA (5 yrs. minimum): Mariano Rivera, NYY: .228 (17th)
Some quick observations:
1) A lot of 1990s Mariners on the list. Would that they’d stayed together to win something. Or one thing.
2) A quarter of the traditional pitching categories are negative (hits, walks, losses), while only 2/15 of the traditional batting categories are (strikeouts, caught stealing). Seems like a raw deal for pitchers. But I guess the options for positive results from a batter (single, double, triple, homer) are so much more varied than for a pitcher (out, strikeout). Still, seems odd to tabulate the number of hits a pitcher gives up and a batter gets, but not the number of outs for both. I’ve been a fan of the game most of my life and I never realized this?
3) Jim Thome leads all active players in both strikeouts and walks, and has 541 career homeruns. Meaning in only about half (52%) of his 9029 plate appearances did the ball land in an area where a fielder had a shot at it. Wonder where he ranks in this non-category?
4) Whenever anyone talks about unbreakable career records in baseball and doesn’t mention triples (for batters) and complete games (for pitchers)? They don’t know what they’re talking about.
5) Play ball!