I'm sure you've all heard this already, and they've got the big numbers up on the warehouse with the count, and there's probably already a celebratory Duff Goldman cake in the works, with a motorized baseball flying toward a cartoonish cake-filled baseball player... but just in case you didn't know, there have been 998 HBPs recorded in major league games played in Orioles Park at Camden Yards. I realize they're not home again until next Monday, but I wanted to give you a few things to think about, regard the history of Camden Yards HBPs, as the milestone approaches... and in case you still needed to put up the big numbers on the warehouse... and order the cake.
Below are several absolutely true, and occasionally interesting facts about the first 998 HBPs in Camden Yards history.
- Brady Anderson holds the park record, with 66 HBPs. Melvin Mora is behind him with 58, and that makes it the only park in the majors where two different players have been plunked over 50 times. Craig Biggio got hit 92 times at the Astrodome, and Derek Jeter got hit 66 times at the old Yankee Stadium, but with those parks either demolished or not in use, Anderson's 66 stands as the highest park record in the league.
- On the pitching side, Scott Erickson holds the record with 31 hit batters, with Daniel Cabrera right behind him at 28.
- Among visitors, Derek Jeter has been hit the most times with 10, and Roger Clemens has plunked the most batters while visiting Camden Yards with 8.
- Tony Clark is the tallest batter ever plunked at the park, and David Eckstein the shortest.
- Nolan Ryan is the oldest man to hit a batter at Camden Yards, having hit Mike Devereaux at age 45.26 on May 5, 1992. Felix Hernandez was the youngest, hitting Kevin Millar on April 29, 2006 at the age of 20.06. Casey Kotchman was the youngest to get hit, on May 14, 2004 at age 21.22, and BJ Surhoff was the oldest, getting hit 3 days before his 41st birthday on August 1, 2005. No batter under 21 or over 41 has been plunked at Camden Yards.
- 288 batters were hit by pitches at Camden Yards during Cal Ripken Jr's consecutive games streak, and 288 is exactly the number of plunks someone would need to break Hughie Jenning's all time major league record for plunks, which is 287. Hughie Jennings got most of those plunks for the old National League Orioles, in the 1890s. Only 36 batters were hit at Camden Yards during Ken Jennings' 74 game winning streak on Jeopardy.
- 524 of the first 998 plunks in park history hit Orioles batters, while only 474 visitors have been hit. Monday and Wednesday are the only days of the week on which more visiting batters have been hit than home batters.
- 14 batters were hit by pitches at Camden Yards on dates when Hiroyuki Sakai won the battle on the original Japanese version of Iron Chef (based on original episode premiere dates).
- No batter whose last name starts with the letter U has ever been plunked at Camden Yards.
- Jeff Francis has never hit a batter at Camden Yards, but Luke Scott has been hit 5 times there, and Jimmy Key hit 5 batters.
- 98 of the first 998 plunks at Camden Yards were recorded by batters born in Maryland - second only to Californians (166) among states of birth by the Camden Yards plunk victims. Damon Buford is the only player actually born in Baltimore to get hit at Camden Yards.
- In years when the same horse won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, 408 batters have been plunked at Camden Yards - split evenly between the Orioles and the visitors, 204-204. The rate of plunks per plate appearance for visitors is 14% higher in those years than the overall park average. The combined rate for both teams is 8.6% higher in years when the Derby winner wins the Preakness, going from the normal rate of one plunk every 117 plate appearances to about 1 plunk every 107.75 plate appearances. When the Preakness winner wins the Belmont, the plunks fly even more frequently, with one every 101.3 plate appearances - a 15.5% increase from the overall park plunk rate. The Orioles have been plunked 18.1% more often in those years, compared to the park's historic rate.
- 10 batters got their only career HBP at Camden Yards. Two more got both of there only 2 career HBPs at Camden Yards. Matt Wieters has 3 career HBPs, all at Camden Yards. He needs 4 more to break Ty Wigginton's record for most plunks at Camden Yards by a player whose last name starts with W.
- Only three batters whose last name starts with O have been plunked for the O's at Camden Yards - and for some reason, they were all hit by the Twins. (Joe Orsulak on May 6, 1992, Sherman Obando on April 29, 1993, and Willis Otanez on April 30, 1999 with the bases loaded)
- 38 plunks at Camden Yards have been thrown with the bases loaded. Brady Anderson has the park record with 4 RBI plunks.
- 150 of the 524 Orioles who have been sent to first on a plunk have come around to score a run. 121 of 474 visitors have done so.
- The Orioles have a .491 all time win percentage at Camden Yards, but they've won 248 of the 437 games in which they got hit by at least one pitch, for a .568 win percentage. When they get hit by more pitches than their opponent, they're 205-139 for a .596 win percentage.
- Jose Guillen, Jason Bay, Miguel Tejada and Cal Ripken Jr. have all been plunked at Camden Yards on their birthdays. But no one else has.
- 91 Camden Yards plunks have hit Venezuelans and 9 have hit Canadians.
- The most frequently plunked visiting team has been the Blue Jays with 63 HBPs and the Yankees have thrown the most plunks at the Orioles while visiting with 54. But the Blue Jays have hit 53.
- Nobody from Idaho has ever been plunked at Camden Yards. Or New Hampshire, Montana, Utah, or Tennessee.
I can probably find more facts about Camden Yards plunks if you need them, but that's all I have for now.