Jay Buhner’s sombreros merit a spot in the record books | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Jay Buhner’s sombreros merit a spot in the record books

Jay Buhner

After subscribing to Baseball Reference’s Play Index, which is probably the greatest statistical tool ever created, I immediately delved into the one topic that’s been piquing my curiosity since the inception of this site: who has compiled the most four-strikeout games of all time?

At the top of the list are all of the names that one would expect: Reggie Jackson, Ryan Howard, Jim Thome, Bo Jackson, and Rob Deer. The only real shocker regarding the aforementioned players is Howard’s insane propensity for sombreros, which the Play Index helps quantify. After eight seasons with Philadelphia, Howard has amassed 19 golden sombreros and will surely shatter Reggie Jackson’s standing record of 22 – a total that took him 21 seasons to reach.

Even though there’s an endless bounty in the chronicling of both Jackson and Howard’s epic strikeouts, it is not the point of this article. Rather, I’m interested in directing everyone’s attention to another player on the list, Jay Buhner, who is fifteenth all-time with 13 four-strikeout games and holds a specific record that distinguishes him from everyone the field.

Buhner, who also led the league in total baldness from 1991-1997, holds the record for the most four-strikeout games without recording a hit. That’s right. In the 13 games where Buhner notched a golden sombrero, he posted a .035 OPS over 57 plate appearances, an achievement that is undeniably remarkable.

He did somehow manage to coax two walks (he doesn’t know how either), but failed to score a run on both occasions. So, of his 55 at-bats in those 13 games, Buhner fanned 52 times, meaning that he made only three non-strikeout outs.

Buhner’s record appears to be safe for the foreseeable future, as the next closest player is Corey Patterson, who is 0-for-37 with 32 strikeouts and zero walks in his eight four-strikeout performances, and remains unworthy of any significant playing time. Behind him is Jason Bay, who is 0-for-30 with 24 strikeouts in six games.

So, unless some organization decides to employ Patterson as an everyday player for several years to come, the record should be Buhner’s for life.

Rk Player #Matching PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Reggie Jackson 22 118 113 9 2 0 2 9 5 88 .080 .119 .150 .269
2 Ryan Howard 19 102 94 12 3 0 5 13 7 76 .128 .186 .319 .505
3 Jim Thome 18 90 88 8 1 0 2 12 1 72 .091 .100 .170 .270
4 Bo Jackson 18 78 78 2 1 0 0 0 0 72 .026 .026 .038 .064
5 Rob Deer 16 74 70 3 0 0 2 5 4 64 .043 .095 .129 .223
6 Mark Reynolds 15 73 71 5 1 0 2 8 2 60 .070 .096 .169 .265
7 Andres Galarraga 15 66 66 3 0 0 0 0 0 60 .045 .045 .045 .091
8 Jose Canseco 15 71 69 4 4 0 0 2 2 60 .058 .085 .116 .200
9 Reggie Sanders 14 67 64 5 2 1 0 1 3 56 .078 .119 .141 .260
10 Dave Kingman 14 63 62 4 1 0 2 3 1 56 .065 .079 .177 .257
11 Bobby Bonds 14 70 68 5 0 1 0 2 0 56 .074 .072 .103 .175
12 Sammy Sosa 13 59 58 2 0 0 0 0 1 52 .034 .051 .034 .085
13 Cory Snyder 13 65 63 3 1 0 1 6 2 52 .048 .077 .111 .188
14 Tony Clark 13 60 57 2 0 0 0 0 3 52 .035 .083 .035 .118
15 Jay Buhner 13 57 55 0 0 0 0 0 2 52 .000 .035 .000 .035
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/11/2011.

1 Comment

  1. Fantastic post. Loved this. I also love the Play Index. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent. Leapfrogging on your great post, the record for most five strikeout games (not sure what THEY are called) is three by Ray Lankford. He amazingly had 23 plate appearances in those three games and in those games had a .654 OPS. Not bad considering. The only other guy to do it more than once was Deron Johnson.

    So glad your site is back. Love this place.

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