Try as I might, I couldn’t make this up.
There’s a website out of Houston, “dedicated to Craig Biggio and his (probably unintentional) quest to break the all-time major league career record for getting hit by pitches.” It’s called Plunk Biggio. No bleep. Plunk Biggio.
While the site’s “moral disclaimer” states, “the author of this blog does not support or endorse intentionally throwing at Craig Biggio,” I’m not so sure. The strategically placed “Bruise Board” makes it abundantly clear that with just five more plunks, Biggio will tie all-time leader Hughie Jennings with 287 HBPs, having left poor Ron Hunt and Don Baylor in the dust years ago.
As for the locals, the Padres hit 50 batters in 2006, including a league-leading four plunks of Barry Bonds (good for them), but were shutout against Biggio.
According to Plunk Biggio, and who’s going to argue with this type of research, Chan Ho Park led the Pads in hit batsmen last year, with 10. Woody Williams and Mike Thompson hit seven each. Newly acquired Greg Maddux pitched the entire 2006 season without bruising a single batter.
Plunk also throws in this: “Judging by last years results, the best day of the week to get plunked by the Padres is Saturday -13 of their 50 plunks were thrown on Saturday. They hit more batters in the second and third inning (8 each) than any other inning.”
While Major League Baseball is considering ignoring a potential Barry Bonds home run number 756, there’s been nothing said about a plan for Bud Selig to be in attendance when Biggio sets the all-time HBP mark, most likely around midseason. But get your tickets early, San Diego fans. Biggio and the Astros will be at Petco August 17 – 19, and you might just be a witness to history.
Remember, glove conquers all … but an ice pack comes in handy.
— HOWARD COLE