All of these players are All-Stars who received MVP votes at least once in their careers. Beyond that, they may not appear to share many similarities. Yet, among players to play their entire careers since 1961, these are the only hitters with a certain career accomplishment.

What is this unusual batting feat?

Congratulations to Richard Chester! He correctly identified that, among players who have played their entire careers since 1961, these are the only hitters with a career total for intentional walks more than 50% higher than their GIDP total.

More on this unusual batting quirk after the jump.

Of course, Barry Bonds is the all-time leader in intentional walks with a 688 total, more than double Hank Aaron’s second place count of 293 (IWs weren’t counted in Aaron’s rookie season, but he likely didn’t get very many that year). Albert Pujols is the active leader with 275, so he is likely to pass Aaron in 2014 or 2015. With Bonds’ commanding IW total, he also has the highest ever IW to GIDP ratio of more than 4:1. The second highest ratio belongs to Ichiro at 2.4 to 1, with Darryl Strawberry the only other player with a ratio of more than 2:1.

Don Buford has the lowest career GIDP total and lowest GIDP to PA ratio among all players with 5000+ PA. He and Brett Butler are the only players with fewer than  one GIDP per 150 PA. But, a third may be in the offing: Michael Bourn has only 21 GIDP in almost 4000 PAs, a ratio approaching one GIDP per 200 PA. Barring a dramatic change in his batting approach or results, Bourn seems poised to become the toughest ever batter to double-up (among those for whom we have data).

Looking at the careers for our quiz players, Ichiro will easily retain his 1.5 IW to GIDP ratio for his career and Ryan Howard, the other active player on the list, is also well clear of the 1.5 cutoff.

Rk Player IBB GDP PA From To Age G Tm
1 Barry Bonds 688 165 12606 1986 2007 21-42 2986 PIT-SFG
2 Willie Stargell 227 143 9027 1962 1982 22-42 2360 PIT
3 Ichiro Suzuki 177 75 9278 2001 2013 27-39 2061 SEA-TOT-NYY
4 Will Clark 155 100 8283 1986 2000 22-36 1976 SFG-TEX-BAL-TOT
5 Ryan Howard 143 88 5018 2004 2013 24-33 1178 PHI
6 Darryl Strawberry 131 64 6326 1983 1999 21-37 1583 NYM-LAD-SFG-NYY
7 Johnny Edwards 118 77 5132 1961 1974 23-36 1470 CIN-STL-HOU
8 Rick Monday 107 71 7162 1966 1984 20-38 1986 KCA-OAK-CHC-LAD
9 Howard Johnson 105 61 5715 1982 1995 21-34 1531 DET-NYM-COL-CHC
10 Don Buford 57 34 5347 1963 1972 26-35 1286 CHW-BAL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/2/2013.

Ryan Howard has another interesting career ratio. His 88 GIDP to go with 311 HR puts him in the top 15 for best HR to GIDP ratio (among players for whom we have complete data).

Rk Player HR GDP PA From To Age G R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO Tm
1 Barry Bonds 762 165 12606 1986 2007 21-42 2986 2227 2935 601 77 1996 2558 688 1539 PIT-SFG
2 Jim Thome 612 165 10313 1991 2012 20-41 2543 1583 2328 451 26 1699 1747 173 2548 CLE-PHI-CHW-MIN-TOT
3 Mark McGwire 583 147 7660 1986 2001 22-37 1874 1167 1626 252 6 1414 1317 150 1596 OAK-TOT-STL
4 Mickey Mantle 452 100 7706 1955 1968 23-36 1890 1287 1854 255 45 1163 1434 126 1328 NYY
5 Adam Dunn 440 95 7817 2001 2013 21-33 1870 1048 1537 316 10 1104 1246 117 2220 CIN-TOT-WSN-CHW
6 Eddie Mathews 400 99 8226 1955 1968 23-36 1951 1223 1874 279 55 1157 1173 107 1228 MLN-ATL-TOT-DET
7 Greg Vaughn 355 101 7070 1989 2003 23-37 1731 1017 1475 284 23 1072 865 54 1513 MIL-TOT-SDP-CIN-TBD-COL
8 Darryl Strawberry 335 64 6326 1983 1999 21-37 1583 898 1401 256 38 1000 816 131 1352 NYM-LAD-SFG-NYY
9 Ryan Howard 311 88 5018 2004 2013 24-33 1178 695 1176 220 19 963 588 143 1401 PHI
10 Carlos Pena 285 70 5830 2001 2013 23-35 1475 741 1138 228 26 816 813 51 1566 TEX-DET-BOS-TBD-TBR-CHC-TOT
11 Roger Maris 275 75 5847 1957 1968 22-33 1463 826 1325 195 42 850 652 42 733 CLE-TOT-KCA-NYY-STL
12 Kirk Gibson 255 72 6656 1979 1995 22-38 1635 985 1553 260 54 870 718 72 1285 DET-LAD-KCR-PIT
13 Jose Valentin 249 66 6317 1992 2007 22-37 1678 872 1348 302 41 816 630 54 1294 MIL-CHW-LAD-NYM
14 Howard Johnson 228 61 5715 1982 1995 21-34 1531 760 1229 247 22 760 692 105 1053 DET-NYM-COL-CHC
15 Curtis Granderson 217 39 5044 2004 2013 23-32 1187 780 1157 199 80 606 514 16 1167 DET-NYY
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/2/2013.

Mostly recent players on this list as a high HR to GIDP ratio is generally only achieved with lots of strikeouts. With the notable exception of Roger Maris. After Maris, the next lowest strikeout total on the list (Howard Johnson’s 1053) is over 40% higher than Maris’s modest whiff mark.

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