As of this morning, there have been 997 HBPs recorded in regular season games at the White Sox home ballpark, U.S. Cellular Field. Normally I like to bring these things up to the fanbases involved so you can play fun games like guessing who will be the recipient of the 1000th plunk in park history, but lets face it - picking anyone other than Carlos Quentin would be silly. He's had nearly 24% of the plunks at U.S. Cellular Field this year. But it's still an important milestone, and it will be the 10th active ballpark where 1000 batters have been hit by a pitch.
Below are a few interesting facts about the first 997 plunks. (Although your idea of "interesting" may differ from mine.)
- 505 batters were hit at the park while it was known as Comiskey Park, but only 492 plunks have happened there since the name was changed to U.S. Cellular Field - and only 490 of those happened during White Sox games. The other two were in a Florida Marlins game relocated there due to hurricane Ivan.
- Carlos Quentin holds the park record with 41 HBPs there, but Frank Thomas is still the only player in park history with 8 HBPs on Tuesdays.
- 13 batters have been hit by pitches at US Cellular Field on Ron Karkovice's birthday, but none of them has done it more than once. No pitcher has thrown two plunks at the park on Ron Karkovice's birthday either.
- Since US Cellular Field opened in 1991, it has had the 7th most plunks in the major leagues, and 50 more than Wrigley Field.
Mark Buehrle holds the park record for hit batters with 28, but he's never plunked a 3rd Baseman at US Cellular Field.
- Jon Garland is the only pitcher who has plunked a batter from every defensive position at the park, including Designated Hitter. But no pitcher has ever been plunked at US Cellular Field, and Garland has never hit a pinch hitter at the park.
- Travis Hafner holds the park record for HBPs by visiting batters with 7. Mark Buehrle threw four of those, and those two have the highest plunk total of any active batter/pitcher matchup at a single ballpark. Since the DH era began, the only pitcher who threw more plunks to a single batter at a particular park was Mark Gardner hitting Craig Biggio 5 times at the Astrodome.
- Hafner is also the only batter in US Cellular Field history to get plunked twice in the same game on his own birthday (by Orlando Hernandez, not Buehrle). Delmon Young and Aramis Ramirez are the only other players to get plunked on their birthday at the park, but just once each. No White Sox batter has done it.
- Kevin Brown holds the park record for plunks by an opposing pitcher, with 8 - he hit Joey Cora 3 times, Ron Karkovice twice, Tim Raines, Carlton Fisk, and George Bell.
- Overall, 521 of the first 997 plunks at US Cellular Field have landed on the White Sox batters, but White Sox pitchers have only plunked 474 guests. (That adds up to 995, because of those two plunks in the Marlins/Expos game).
- The Indians have been the most plunked as visitors with 53 HBPs, and the Royals have come in and hit the most batters, with 56.
- The Rockies, Mets and Phillies are the only teams who have never been plunked at US Cellular Field, while the Diamondbacks and Giants are the only teams who have never hit a batter there.
- 53 batters have been plunked at US Cellular Field in years when the Blackhawks won the stanley cup, 57 have been hit in years when the White Sox won the World Series, and 221 have been hit in years when the Bulls won the NBA Championship.
- Paul Konerko has the park record for HBPs with the bases loaded, with 4. Quentin and AJ Pierzynski are the only others who have done it twice. Neal Cotts is the only pitcher to give up 3 rbi plunks at the park.
- In total, 36 batters have been hit with the bases loaded at US Cellular Field, and 290 batters who reached base on an HBP came around to score a run (or at least their pinch runner did).
- AJ Pierzynski has the only walk-off plunk in park history, with a 9th inning bases loaded game winner on April 5, 2007
- Batters born under the astrological sign Virgo have been hit by 170 pitches at US Cellular Field, leading all astrological signs. Aries are last with 41. Batters born in the chinese year of the Dragon have been hit 156 times there, while only 40 HBPs have been recorded by those born in the year of the Ram. 110 batters born in the year of the Tiger have been plunked at US Cellular Field, but only 3 of them played for the Detroit Tigers.
- Sal Fasano is the only batter born in Chicago to get hit by pitches twice at US Cellular Field, but Chicago born batters Ernie Young, Kirby Puckett and Rickey Henderson have all done it once.
- Carlton Fisk was the oldest batter ever plunked at US Cellular Field, at age 45.49. Delmon Young was the youngest, at age 20.96. Charlie Hough was the oldest pitcher to throw one there, at 44.64 years old, and Jon Garland was the youngest at age 20.94.
- There have been 46 plunks at US Cellular Field on dates of full moons, but none of those plunks occurred in extra innings.
- 65 batters have recorded their first career plunk at US Cellular Field, 65 pitchers have thrown their first plunk at the park. But only 5 plunks have occurred at the park where it was both the batter's and the pitcher's first plunk.
- Charlie Hough through his 150th plunk on May 2, 1992, at US Cellular Field (known as Comiskey Park at the time).
- Jason Kendall recorded his 203rd career HBP at US Cellular Field, and he's the only batter ever hit there who was over 200 career plunks at the time. Craig Biggio is the only other batter plunked there to achieve over 200 plunks, but his HBPs at US Cellular Field were his 109th and 110th.
- Corie Koskie has the single game plunk record for the park, with 3 on July 27, 2004.
- Orlando Hernandez has the single game record for hitting batters at the park, with 4 on June 3, 2005. There has only been one 4-plunk game by a major league pitcher since then, at any park.
- Jim Thome is the only batter in US Cellular field history to be plunked on a Monday by a pitcher born in Hawaii.
Hopefully this information will help you fully enjoy and celebrate the milestone 1000th plunk in park history, and if there is anything more you along these lines that you've been wondering about, feel free to ask and I'll see what I can do to help with that.