Baseball records capture the attention of all fans, especially those marks achieved in a career like Pete Rose's 4,256 hits, Cy Young's 511 victories, Cal Ripken's 2,632 consecutive games played or Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters. Or maybe it's the single-season records that capture your awe—Hack Wilson's 191 RBI, Grover Alexander's 16 shutouts, Rickey Henderson's 130 stolen bases or Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak.
But how about a look at some of the high marks established in a single month. Did you know that DiMaggio and Hack Wilson hold the record for most RBI in a month with 53. Wilson accomplished the feat in August 1930 for the Cubs and DiMaggio equaled the mark in August 1939 with the Yankees. The Most doubles in a month? Paul Waner of the Pirates set the mark in May 1932 with 20. Triples? The most three-base hits in a single month is 11 set by Perry Werden of the Browns in July 1893 and equaled by Larry Doyle of the Giants in May 1911. The most current high mark for triples in a month was in July 2004 when Carl Crawford of the Rays hit eight. Ty Cobb holds the unbreakable record for hits in a month with 68 in July 2012.
In the pitching department, the most strikeouts in a month is 87 by Nolan Ryan of the Angels in June 1977. Ryan is the only pitcher to fan 80 or more batters in a month, doing it in 1977 and also in July 1972 (83) and August 1974 (85). For wins, the most in a month in the National League are 15 by John Clarkson in June 1885, a season he won 53 games. The American League mark is 10 by Rube Waddell in July 1902. The modern mark, since 1900, in the N.L. is nine wins by Christy Mathewson in August 1903 and 1904 and Grover Alexander in May 1920. The saves record in a month is held by three closers who saved 15 games in a month. Lee Smith was the first to save 15 in a month when he did it for the Cardinals in June 1993. The record was tied by John Wetteland of the Yankees in June 1996 and by Chad Cordero of the Nationals in June 2005.
The most followed monthly record has been that of home runs. Fans are intrigued by players who hit the long ball and the hot streaks that have been put together by sluggers through the history of Major League Baseball since 1920 when the live ball era began. The first player to record 15 homers in a single month was Cy Williams of the Phillies when he pounded 15 homers in May 1923. Babe Ruth broke the mark in Sept. 1927 when he blasted 17 homers and finished the year with a record shattering 60. In 1937, Tigers rookie Rudy York erased Ruth's record by clubbing 18 homers in August 1937 and his mark has been replaced by the 20 home runs Sammy Sosa hit in June 1998.
In 2014, Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays became the last big league player to club 15 or more home runs in one month when he put 16 over the wall in May 2014. Last April, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story of the Rockies both fell one home run shy of hitting 11 in April and joining a list of 17 players who accomplished the feat in the first month of the season.
Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire hold the mark of having the most months with 15 or more homers during their careers with four, followed by Sammy Sosa and Hank Greenberg who had three.
Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes posted a streak of nine consecutive games with an extra-base hit during the early stages of the 2016 campagin. The hard-hitting, right-handed batter totaled 10 extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple and six home runs) during a nine game span from April 15 through April 29. He fell one game shy of becoming the 18th player in major league history, since 1913, to have a streak of 10 or more consecutive games with at least one extra-base hit. The feat has been accomplished 19 times with Paul Waner and Chipper Jones holding the record with 14. Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby and Hank Greenberg are the only players to have multiple streaks of 10-plus games with an extra-base hit.
Last April 21, Brandon Guyer of the Rays got hit by a pitch three times in a game for the second time in his career—joining Reed Johnson (3) and Damion Easley (2) as the only players in major league history over the last 100 years to do it multiple times.
Guyer was hit by a pitch twice by Red Sox starter David Price and once by reliever Noe Ramirez in Tampa Bay’s 12-8 victory over Boston.
“It’s part of my game,” said Guyer, who led the American League with 24 HBP in 2016 in only 385 plate appearances—that’s an average of one hit by pitch every 16 times up to the plate. Through May 3, his seven hit by pitches leads the major leagues. “My intentions aren’t to get hit by a pitch,” said Guyer, “I want to be up there hitting, and I don’t have the instincts to move and get out of the way.”
Guyer’s other big league game with three HBP came on Oct. 2, 2015 against the Blue Jays and pitcher Mark Buehrle, who plunked him all three times.
Among the first 42 times Guyer has been hit by a pitch in the majors, he has come around to score 15 times (36 percent).
Since 1913, there have been 25 instances in which a batter was hit by a pitch three times in one game, a feat accomplished by 22 players. Listed below are the players who have been hit by a pitch three times in a game and the pitchers who hit them.
Bob Kuenster worked as editor of Baseball Digest since 1987 and is a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.