Juan Pierre may not be a household name in a lot of baseball circles, but his recent retirement after 14 years in the majors has revealed a career that may be one of the most unique in MLB history.
For the record, Pierre was a career .295 hitter playing for six teams. His speed set him apart; he stole 614 bases, 18th most in MLB history.
But his appearances at the plate made him a rarity: Of the 247 players who compiled 2,000 or more hits in their careers (Pierre is one of them with 2,217), Pierre had the third fewest number of home runs with 18. Only Clyde Milan with 17 and Larry Bowa with 15 had fewer home runs of those players with 2,000-plus career hits. His 367 career extra base hits are the third fewest of those players with 2,000-plus hits; only Milan with 262 and Maury Wills with 268 had fewer extra base hits among those players in the 2,000-hit club.
Let’s take a look deeper into those numbers. First, Pierre holds the season record for most hits in a season with three or less extra base hits. In 2000, his first year in the bigs with the Colorado Rockies, Pierre had 62 hits but only two of them were for extra bases. Here’s a look at the 12 players in MLB history that had 45 or more hits in a season with three or less extra base hits.
Player, Year, Team, Hits (Extra Base Hits)
Juan Pierre, 2000, Colorado, 62 (2)
Jim Davenport,1968, San Francisco, 61 (3)
Enzo Hernandez, 1973, San Diego, 55 (3)
Jose Tartabull, 1967, Boston, 55 (3)
Brett Butler, 1982, Atlanta, 52 (2)
Brock Davis, 1972, Milwaukee, 49 (2)
Willie Bloomquist, 2008, Seattle, 46 (1)
Ted Kubiak, 1974, Oakland, 46 (3)
Tony Eusebio, 1997, Houston, 45 (3)
Alan Trammell, 1996, Detroit, 45 (3)
Julio Cruz, 1986, Chicago White Sox, 45 (2)
Jerry Adair, 1968, Boston, 45 (3)
Secondly, in 2007, Pierre fell just four hits short of becoming the third player in MLB history to have 200 or more hits in a season without hitting a home run. Pierre had 196 hits for the year as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had 24 doubles and eight triples that season. The two players in baseball history with 200+ hits and no home runs? Nap Lajoie did it in 1906 with 214 hits and Johnny Pesky did it in 1947 when he had 207 hits and no HRs. Pierre also had another year with 100+ hits and no homers: he had 117 hits in 2009 with no home runs.
One final note: Pierre retires as one of only 12 players in history to have over 2,000 hits and over 600 stolen bases.
A very unique career!
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp