In baseball, the batter steps up to the plate looking to perform the hardest thing to do in sports, use a round bat to hit a round ball traveling towards him at speeds approaching one hundred miles an hour, thrown from an elevated mound by a pitcher who’s number one objective is to make him miss, or even better, refuse to offer an attempt to connect on a ball that’s deemed hittable by the umpire.
A task so difficult that connecting safely thirty percent of the time, makes the batter a star. Three strikes and he’s out, a lonely embarrassing walk back to the dugout, where his teammates avoid him like a plague. In the history of baseball there have been a few players who’ve mastered the art of the striking out.
Here are the only players who have more lifetime strikeouts than they have lifetime hits. To make the list, they had to have heard the umpire yell strike three at least 1,500 times.
One of the all-time most colorful players. He made history on the biggest stage by hitting three homeruns in the World Series on three consecutive swings. As a Yankee, Reggie was the straw that stirred the drink, always in the middle of the controversy and circus, even in striking out he created excitement. No one looked better, and more electrifying than Reggie did, when going down in flames.
In his career Reggie had a 2584 hits. Mr. October knew how to pick his moments. He made everyone forget about his 2594 career strike outs, and proudly accepted his place in the Hall of fame.
Greg, like his cousin Mo Vaughn didn’t know a pitch he wouldn’t swing at. He had one thing in mind, swing for the fences. He’s in the record books for being one the few players who have hit fifty or more home runs in one season.
Unlike Reggie, Mr. Vaughn didn’t know how to pick his moments, which makes us remember his 1513 strikeouts a lot more than his 1475 hits.
The poster child for steroid use, a proud member of the bash brothers, along with Marc Mcgwire, they took the A’s to the World Series and made everyone forget about the strikeouts.
Marc went on to save baseball, while Jose tried to destroy it. Perhaps if he’d connect more often, he would have never written his famous tell all book, “Juiced”.
Jose’s eyesight didn’t match the strength of his bulging muscles. He left home plate without seeing the ball 1942 times, while hitting safely 1877 times.
As a lifelong Mets fan, hearing the news that we had acquired King Kong was the biggest news going into the 1975 season. Dave made a big splash rig off the bat, hitting massive home runs, far and often. But soon Mets fans realized why the Giants let him go. King Kong had a bad habit at batting with blindfolds on. His slumps were legendary, at times, striking out four times a game, on consecutive days. Oh but when he was hot, even Godzilla ran for cover.
Although Dave will not make the Hall of fame, his ability to hit the ball long and far has overshadowed his 1816 strikeouts against his 1635 hits. Thank you for the memories Dave, only you could have hit a ball to the roof of the old Houston Astrodome.
The good news for Reggie, Dave, Jose and Greg is that there are three currently active players who’s strikeouts are so far ahead of their hits that they will surely join the whiff king list with plenty strikeouts to spare.
Jim Thome, Mike Cameron and Adam Dunn, the king of all strikeout artists with nearly 400 more career whiffs than hits. If Adam can hit 500 plus home runs, like Reggie and Jim Thome, he too will be remembered for his long home runs instead of his strikeouts, well maybe not.