Duane Kuiper’s 1-HR record safe for a few more years!

Duane Kuiper, Amy Gutierrez

Duane Kuiper, Amy Gutierrez (Photo credit: rocor)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers. Postings appear Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

San Francisco Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper can relax… there doesn’t seem to be anyone on the immediate horizon who will challenge his MLB record for most plate appearances in a career with only one home run. Kuiper, whose career spanned 1974-85 with both the Indians and Giants, had exactly one home run in 3,754 career plate appearances. He is one of only 12 major league players to have only one home run with over 2,000 career plate appearances.

One of the reasons Kuiper can relax with regards to his record is that there is only one active player who even has over 1,000 plate appearances with either zero or one home run. Ben Revere, an outfielder with the Minnesota Twins over the past three seasons, was traded to Philadelphia after the 2012 season. In his first three seasons in the majors, Revere has had 1,064 plate appearances and no four-baggers.

Revere topped the majors last year with the most plate appearances with no home runs (in fact, he was one of 11 players who had 200-plus plate appearances with no homers).  Revere had 553 plate appearances. Three other players had 300-plus plate appearances and no HRs: Ryan Theriot (384), Willie Bloomquist (338) and Jarrod Dyson (330).

Here’s a look at those 12 players with the most plate appearances with only one career home run.

Career Plate Appearances, Player (MLB career years)
3,754 Duane Kuiper (1974-85)
3,109 Emil Verban (1944-50)
2,863 Johnny Bassler (1913-27)
2,692 Floyd Baker (1943-55)
2,446 Joe Gedeon (1913-20)
2,423 Woody Woodward (1963-71)
2,409 Al Newman (1985-92)
2,405 Ed Hahn (1905-10)
2,330 Freddie Maguire (1922-31)
2,093 Jimmy Burke (1901-05)
2,088 John Sullivan (1942-49)
2,082 Patsy Donovan (1901-07)

Looking at players who never had a home run in their major league career, there are 35 players who had 1,000 or more plate appearances without an HR. Topping that list is Jack McCarthy, who played for four teams in his seven-year MLB career. He had 2,470 plate appearances and no home runs. He is one of three players who had 2,000 or more plate appearances and no home runs in their career. The other two: Tom Oliver (a Boston outfielder who played from 1930-33; he had 2,073 plate appearances) and Irv Hall (he played four years in the majors with the Philadelphia A’s; he had 2,052 plate appearances).

In that list of 35 players with 1,000 plate appearances and no home runs, a few players who played in the majors since 1970 appear on the list: Don Sutton (1,559 plate appearances), Tim Johnson (1,408), Luis Gomez (1,391), Mick Kelleher (1,202), Ben Revere (1,064), Steve Rogers (1,045), Marty Martinez (1,038), Mickey Lolich (1,017) and Reggie Willits (1,014).

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