Baseball trivia

Recently Tony Gwynn got his 3000th career hit, putting him 22nd on the all time list of most hits, and climbing. (If you follow baseball, you know that we here in San Diego haven’t had much else to cheer about this season.) What makes this feat more impressive is that all those hits have come as a Padre. What’s the record for the most hits with a single team, and where does Tony rank on this list?

I think it might still be with Cobb, because Rose finished out his career with the Phillies.

“…send lawyers, guns, and money…”

 Warren Zevon

Actually, Rose played for the Reds the last 3 years of his career, and he played for the Expos the year before that.

BTW, 3358 of Rose’s 4256 hits were made while playing for the Reds. I don’t know if that’s a single team record, though.

I guess I was wrong about Cobb, my wife told me that he spent his last 2 years in Philadelphia getting 289 of his 4189 hits. So I guess he still beats Rose in that aspect.

“…send lawyers, guns, and money…”

 Warren Zevon

Sounds like a damn fine wife you got there, Bluepony!

Just a guess, since I don’t follow baseball all that much, but where would Cal Ripken Jr. rank on that list?

Stan Musial got 3,630 all with the St. louis Cardinals – I don’t know if it beats Rose with the Reds, but I think it beats anyone else besides Ty Cobb.

Cal isn’t up to 3000 yet, so he trails Gwynn.

OK, I did the research myself. I’m lazy, but I have my moments:

Most career hits with a single team:

  1. Ty Cobb, Tigers, 3900
  2. Stan Musial, Cardinals, 3630
  3. Carl Yaztremski, Red Sox, 3419
  4. Pete Rose, Reds, 3358
  5. George Brett, Royals, 3154
  6. Robin Yount, Brewers, 3142
  7. Tony Gwynn, Padres, 3029 (and counting)

(It’s very possible that a screwed up a calculation somewhere.)

So Gwynn (who is now up to 16 overall) has a good chance to pass up Yount and Brett next year. He has a reasonably good chance of passing up Rose and Yaz too if he stays around for a couple more years. Catching Musial and Cobb would be a stretch.

What about Hank Aaron? He was a Brave most of his career (all but the last year?) and he has well over 3000 hits. Perhaps as many as 3700. Or are you not counting the Milwaukee Braves and Atlanta Braves as the same team?


When Hank Aaron left the Braves in 1974 he had 3509 of his 3771 career hits. I don’t think he played for any team other than the Braves and the Brewers. I could be wrong.

I’m guessing Hank’s missing from Greg Charles’s list because his Braves time is listed as “Milwaukee NL” and “Atlanta NL” on the reference Greg used to compile his list from.

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

Funny, franchise shifts never seemed to be a problem with Willie Mays’ records (NY-NL and SF-NL). On the other hand, for a sport as obseesed with statistics as baseball, there are a lot of little glitches like that.

BTW, did you know Henry Aaron was the last major league baseball player who also played in the Negro leagues?

I would imagine Hammerin’ Hank’s stats also include “Boston-NL.” Weren’t they still in Boston for a season or two when he came up from the minors?

The Boston Braves were the first major league baseball team to move West from an east-coast city, and indeed the first move in MLB since before World War I. This move happened in 1953, and though the Braves had been the bigger team in the 1920’s and 1930’s, after WWII had been largely forgotten in favor of the Junior Circuit Red Sox. I’d have o check Hammerin Hank’s rookie year, but the Braves definately moved in 1953.

The really tragic year was 1958, when new York lost 2/3 of its baseball teams thanks to the departure of the Giants and Dodgers.

Jason R Remy

“No amount of legislation can solve America’s problems.”
– Jimmy Carter (1980)

I just checked the Braves’ website–his rookie year was 1954, so that answers that. He was signed by Boston, though, in 1952, and played for their team in the Northern League.


Actually, he’s also erroneously missing from Greg Charles’s list above. By my calculations, he had 3187 hits for the Giants, which should place him 6th, between Pete Rose and George Brett (their standings adjusted for the aforementioned omission of Hank Aaron). I think my hypothesis is valid - that Greg Charles, when compiling his list, failed to recognize franchise-shifted teams as a single team or decided not to consider them a single team.

Chaim Mattis Keller

BTW, re: Hank Aaron, if I remember my baseball trivia correctly, Eddie Mathews was the only player to play for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. (and, before anyone asks, no one played for the Athletics in Philadelphia, Kansas City and Oakland)

Chaim Mattis Keller

Yes, you’re exactly right about teams switching cities. I was afraid I’d made a couple of those mistakes. That’s really why I put in my disclaimer. So the new list is:

  1. Ty Cobb, Tigers, 3900
  2. Stan Musial, Cardinals, 3630
  3. Henry Aaron, Braves, 3600
  4. Carl Yaztremski, Red Sox, 3419
  5. Pete Rose, Reds, 3358
  6. Willie Mays, Giants, 3187
  7. George Brett, Royals, 3154
  8. Robin Yount, Brewers, 3142
  9. Tony Gwynn, Padres, 3029 (and counting)

Any other errors to report? BTW, I’m relying on the stats at

I am glad someone had the time and energy to do the research… even with the search engine at that website, it takes time…

Anyone know of a website link for the Elias Sports Bureau? They might even have that stat compiled already…