Thus far in 2017, Rick Renteria has utilized four different players in the leadoff position to begin a game. Looking back through the past several managers, that number is not a major departure from those who have preceded him. Since 1998 (the beginning of the Jerry Manuel era), a full White Sox season has never had less than 2 different players leading off a game, or more than 8 (okay, that seems like a lot); most of those seasons have usually seen between 3-5 different leadoff hitters. I’m sure that number fluctuates in part due to injuries, trades, player performance, match-ups, and the like.
Your mission for today, should you choose to accept it: name the 25 players since 1952 (note: on Baseball Reference, batting split data is spotty before 1952) who have lead off the most games for the Pale Hose. Quiz parameters:
- The quiz will accept first and last names, or last names only. In a couple of instances due to the potential difficulty spelling the last name, it will also accept just the first name.
- As hints, I’ve provided the number of games that player lead off for the Sox, as well as the length of time (in seasons) in which that player was asked to lead off a game. These years do not necessarily reflect their entire length of tenure with the Sox.
- You will have 10 minutes to complete the quiz. Good luck!
Useless information to amaze, annoy, confound, and/or sadden your friends:
- The player on this list with the most home runs leading off: 20
- The best overall OBP from the 25 players on this list? .399; the worst? .262
- One name that stuck out from the entire data set (t164th overall): Bill Melton, who lead off 2 games for the Sox in 1971; he hit a HR in one of them, but in his second at-bat while leading off the third.
Note: all data taken from baseballreference.com