Baseball is full of career records, with numbers that everyone can reference … 762, 511, 652, 4256. But what about the numbers that no player currently has? The VORG wanted to know what is the LOWEST career total that no one is currently sitting on. In other words and as an example, does no one have exactly 67 career hits, and is that the lowest-such hit total?

To find out, we exported career statistics for nearly 17,000 players via Fangraphs, and sorted each stat column from low to high. We then aggregated on each column one by one, looking for the lowest value which no player possessed. Now of course, these will change from season to season, as players “land on” new totals. But for now, here are the results through 2015:

**Batting:**

Games: 381

At-bats: 409

Plate appearances: 520

Hits: 330

Singles: 231

Doubles: 297

Triples: 134

Homers: 158

Total bases: 460 (h/t to reader Richard Chester)

Runs: 344

RBI: 258

Walks: 374

Strikeouts: 458

Stolen bases: 157

Batting average: .001 (after .000, lowest recorded is .016)

**Pitching:**

Wins: 154

Losses: 145

ERA: 0.01 (after 0.00, lowest recorded is 0.56)

Games: 371

Games started: 289

Complete games: 130

Shutouts: 47

Saves: 47

Innings: 153.2

Batters faced: 270

Hits: 295

Runs: 379

Homers: 207

Walks: 370

Strikeouts: 393

*POSTSCRIPT*

*Loyal reader “Jeff” asked which was the lowest number not spoken far in ANY of the above categories, and after a little data wrangling, I can tell you that that number is 1,939. No one has ended their career (or is currently sitting) with 1,939 of anything.*

not exactly fair on batting average since .001 would require at least 667 at bats (more than a season’s worth, or a very long pitching career) and only ONE hit. Maybe the most ordinary-looking gap to look at instead?

Here’s what I’d like to know – what’s the smallest (integer) value that never appears as a career total in ANY of the statistical fields that you queried?

Total bases: 460

Really> OK …. I’ll double-check and add that to the list. Thanks!

Just to clarify my earlier query: We know from the table above that the numbers 1 thru 519 each appear as the career Plate Appearance total for at least one player. What about 520? Well, a Little research shows that Josh Devore was one of three players to finish with 520 career hits. And, of course, Ted Williams, Frank Thomas and Willie McCovey ALL finished with 521 homeruns. Enzo Hernandez finished his career with 522 hits and Stan Papi finished his with 523 AB.

So what’s the smallest integer that isn’t the career total for ANY player in ANY category?

If I understand your question correctly I don’t think there is any such number. The most career triples is 309. Many of the other categories already have numbers higher than 309.

No, I still haven’t made myself clear. Follow from where I left off in my previous comment. Does anybody have a career total of exactly 524 in ANY category (walks? wins? stolen bases? batters faced?) If not, that’s the answer. If yes, then check for 525. If yes again, check 526. Etc. I’m pretty darn sure nobody finished their career with a total of exactly 17,353 of ANYTHING but the question is “what is the SMALLEST integer total not to appear as a career total in ANY category.

Jeff …. wouldn’t the answer to that question be the 47 (saves)? No other unoccupied # record is smaller, save for batting averages.

The answer to my question is not 47 because that number DOES appear as a career total in a category (e.g. Jim Gantner finished with 47 HR). What I want to know is the smallest integer that doesn’t appear as a final total in ANY cateogry for ANY player!

As I said in my second comment, we know the answer must be above 519 because you’ve already confirmed that the numbers 1 thru 519 appear as final plate-appearance totals. I then gave examples ruling out 520, 521, 522 and 523.

hmmm ….. I think I understand now …. that will take a little work

Indeed. But as much work as it might require, I have so much more faith in you!

So it boils down to: Solve for X where X is the smallest positive integer that doesn’t appear as a final total anywhere in any player’s career totals (or at least within any of the categories that you interrogated)

you would want to find the player with the most career plate appearances. That will answer your question.

No, Andrew, you are not understanding what I’m asking.

Knowing that Pete Rose has the record of 15,890 career plate appearances does not help in any way. I’m not looking for the HIGHEST integer that anybody DOES have in their career totals, I’m looking for the LOWEST integer that NOBODY has anywhere in their career totals.

For instance, if no player’s career total has exactly 887 hits or walks or plate appearances or total bases or innings pitched or batters faced, or games, etc., (and that was not true for any lower number) then 887 the answer. Alas, Rich Rollins had 887 hits.

And anyhow, Rose’s 15,890 plate appearances are dwarfed by Cy Young,s 29,565 batters faced.

Jeff …. see my postscript …. I answered your question 🙂

Diana – Thank you so much! In one of my earlier posts I was going to include a note that, “based on absolutely nothing, I’m guessing the lowest number not to appear in any total line is in the 1400-1600 range”. Now I see that even that was too low!

Thanks again!

…..and let me just add: Thank goodness that Fred Norman finsihed with 1939 2/3 IP rather than just 1939

Diane: Have you checked for the number 1542?

1,542 is the career runs allowed by Mark Buehrle

Sorry about that. And now I see that Greg Swindell had 1542 SO. Can we say that 1542 applies to the batting stats only?