As baseball mercfiully comes to a close this October, I have been struck by the absurd amount of stat-keeping. There’s Earned Run Average (ERA), Walk plus Hits per Innings Pitched (WHIP) and literally 30 more. Baseball, above any other sport, can truly say that it’s all about the stats. With that being said, I decided to dig up some of the more obscure stats in the game and show them to you.
Ounces of Coke per Nostril (OCN): This stat first came to prevalence in the mid 1980?s. Legendary cocaine addict, Willie “Scarface” Jenkins still holds the all-time best with a whopping lifetime average of 2.31.
Cup Adjustments per Inning (CAPI): This stat is nearly as old as the game itself. Bill “Fire Down Below” Barkins was the first, and currently only, player to lead this category in back-to-back years in 1996 and 1997. This feat has yet to be topped. Barkins, grabbing his package an astounding 6.24 times per inning, was such a prolific junk-grabber that his then-manager Jim Leyland once quipped, “He grabs his crotch more than that Michael Jackson fella.” Barkins’ cup is currently enshrined in Cooperstown in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Largest Wad of Chewing Tobacco (LWCT): This statistic was put nearly out of reach by minor league outfielder Guthrow Cancerton. He once famously held 4 bags of Redman in his lower lip while going 1-4 in a 1979 game. He lead the league in this statistic for 8 years straight, starting with that fabled night in 1979. He now tours the United States with the Ringling Bros. as “The Man Without a Lower Jaw.”
Rastafarians Bonged In (RBI): Commonly mistaken for the more well known “Runs Batted In” statistic, this stat was far more commonly kept before the standardization of drug testing in the MLB. Bob “Marley” Gustafson, not-coincidentally, the league’s most stringent anti-drug-testing activist in league history. Gustafson lead the league in this category an unprecedented 11 years straight and gained a moderate level of fame after once having the munchies so bad that he stole home merely to hit up the hot dog stand.
‘Roid Rage Incidents Per Game (RRIG): This stat, first unofficially kept in 1994, was only recognized by Baseball’s governing body for the first time in 2005. The career leader is Lloyd “The Incredible, pimply-backed, balding Hulk” Aaron, who controlled the statistic in 1995, 1998 and 1999. Many experts believe he would have won more individual titles in this category but he was summarily kicked out of the MLB after, when in a fit of violent rage, he chewed through 3 of his teammates bats, head-butted a hole in the side of the stadium and broke the team bus over his knee.
Times Defected from Cuba (TDC): Originating in 1981, this stat is considered out of reach by many experts as the bar was, perhaps, set to an unreachable height by Phillies shortstop Alberto “Damn-I-Hate-Fidel” Castro. Castro achieved a certain level of notoriety after defecting from Cuba a staggering 8 times in 1983 alone. Famous for pulling his hamstring in an attempt to doggy-paddle to Miami Beach’s shore.
Sunflower Seeds Chewed while Pitching Left Handed Against the Phillies on a Tuesday in a Nationally Televised Game in June (SSCPLHAPTNTGJ): This stat, only kept because baseball keeps stats on everything, is still pending MLB approval. However, it appears that the league and the owners association will both approve it’s official recognition in the 2011 season.
(*Author’s Note: I really, really hope that I don’t have to make sure you guys know this. . .but all of these are, of course, fake.)