A few Major League Baseball season is underway, and all the excitement of the national pastime has returned to stadiums around the country. Something that probably won’t happen between now and the World Series: these records getting broken.
Most home runs by a pitcher
Since baseball players are highly specialized these days, pitchers aren’t expected to be very formidable hitters; in the American League, they usually don’t even go to bat at all, what with the “designated hitter” rule. Because of that, and how most teams utilize multiple pitchers in a game, meaning National League pitchers don’t get much more than a couple at-bats in, it’s likely that Wes Ferrell will continue to hold the record for most home runs by a pitcher — for Cleveland in 1931, he hit nine.
Most complete games pitched in a season
The dominant strategy in today’s Major League Baseball is to use a bevy of pitchers during a game: at the very least a starter, a middle reliever, and a reliever to finish out the game. It’s uncommon for a pitcher to throw for all nine innings of a game — for example, In 2020, Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees led the American League with two complete games pitched. Will White’s record of 75 complete games in 1879 is safe.
Most hits in a season
The record of 257 in one season was set by George Sisler in 1920 and stood until 2004, when Ichiro Suzuki racked up 262. Only once in the last few decades that someone came close was Darin Erstad with 240 in 2000. Today’s coaching strategies allow for hitters to accept walks more willingly (as opposed to getting struck out swinging), so few hitters barely get over more than 200 anymore.
Most triples in a season
Triples are one of the most exciting plays in baseball, in part because they’re very rare. The changing size and layout of baseball stadiums over the years has made it harder for players to hit a ball into the outfield and get all the way to third before it’s properly fielded. The record for most triples in a season is 36, set by John Wilson in 1912. The last time anyone got near that was the 20 Jimmy Rollins amassed in 2007.
Most grand slams in one inning
It’a a strange fluke that Fernando Tatis hit two four-run home runs in one inning in 1999. For it to happen again, the odds are simply astronomical. Not to mention how if a pitcher gives up just one home run with the bases loaded, their manager will likely yank them out of the game right away for a fresh, shaper hurler. Still, it’s just not likely to happen, considering that only 50 players have ever hit more than one non-grand slam home-run in one inning.