For a full major league baseball season, what player has led his team with the fewest number of hits? If the season did not have 162 games, what is the answer for 162 game seasons?


1 Answer 1


The answer to this question is Kaz Matsui in 2004 for the New York Mets with 125 hits.

The next best are Tommy Harper of the Seattle Pilots with 126 in 1969, Deon Sanders of the Reds in 1997 with 127. And finally rounding out the top 5 are Lou Whitaker and Luis Polonia For the 89 Tigers and 90 Angels respectively with 128 each.

My analysis determines that it's fairly common for a team to have a leader with fewer than one hit per game. It's happened over 250 times since the 162 game schedule was adopted in 1962 (with 4 strike shortened seasons thrown out). Which is an average of about five teams per year.

My research also indicates that the all time low water mark is:

Bill O'Rourke of the 1878 Boston Red Stockings with 71 hits over the 60 games that comprised that league year.

I've confirmed this to be the case, there are several players from other leagues (Union Association and American Association) that have fewer hits, but it seems their teams played many many fewer games than were scheduled (my baseball history is not strong enough to know why without more research).

  • 1
    @NicholasV. yes, definitely. the original question allowed for this kind of vaguery. I'll see what I can do about updating to a full 162 when I get a bit more time on my hands.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 19:30
  • 1
    and just to be clear, I wasn't poking at your answer negatively - it was very good. (Good luck on the 162 venture, from what I could find, most sources cut off the record books at, say the 500th "worst record").
    – Nick
    Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 19:33
  • 1
    @NicholasV. Thanks. And yes it will be harder. I think I've got a bead on an MLB stats database I can load up onto my machine at home and query against
    – wax eagle
    Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 19:39
  • 1
    Very impressive that you could figure this out!
    – Jer
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 20:50
  • 1
    @Jer it's pretty easy query to write, you just need a readily queryable MLB stats database :)
    – wax eagle
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 22:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.