On-Base Perception

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Baseball magic numbers

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz tips his helmet

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz tips his helmet after hitting a double in the second inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Seattle. With the hit, Ortiz' 1689th in his MLB career, he passed the record held by Harold Baines for the most hits as a designated hitter in major league history. (July 10, 2013) (Credit: AP)

$125,000 - Expected top bid for Warren Spahn's 1957 Cy Young award, which will be among 800 items of memorabilia put up for auction by the late Spahn's 65-year-old son, Greg. Spahn won 20 or more games 13 times, a National League record that is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future.

1,690 - Career hits as a DH for David Ortiz, who passed Harold Baines this week for the top spot. Ortiz has 370 homers and 1,209 RBIs as a DH, compared to 252 hits, 47 homers and 171 RBIs in 253 games as a first baseman. Edgar Martinez's .959 OPS as a DH is better than Ortiz (.944).

50 - Percent decrease in rate of shattered maple bats, in part because of research done by the U.S. Forest Service. MLB has been concerned in recent years about broken bats flying into stands or hurting players, but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the research has improved wood quality and made games "safer."

10 - Home runs by Jeff Francoeur in his first 33 major-league games, along with 30 RBIs, a slash line of .379/.394/.734 and a 1.128 OPS. Got him an SI cover with the headline, "The Natural." Compare that to Yasiel Puig’s first 33 games: 8 HRs, 19 RBIs, .409/.436/ .667 and 1.102 OPS.

6 - Number of times hit by pitch in 82 games for Torii Hunter, whose highest total for an entire season is eight, done twice in 2012 and 2001. Hunter thinks it's because he now plays for the intimidating Tigers. "I've never been thrown at my head this much in my career," the affable Hunter said.
 

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