Top 10 Headhunters in Baseball
Baseball Digest magazine called Early Wynn the "grimmest pitcher" in baseball.
Whether he was not, Wynn perpetuated the perception by telling everyone within earshot that he'd hit his own mother if she stood between him a victory.
Sal Maglie was another pitcher who supposedly had a poor regard for the welfare of his fellow man.
His nickname, "The Barber" contains all you need to know about his willingness to offer an enemy batter a close shave, with or without his consent.
Yet, their career statistics belie their reputation.
Wynn hit just 64 batters in 4564 innings; Maglie plunked 44 in 1,723 innings.
There are plenty of current MLB hurlers who have long ago eclipsed Wynn's and Maglie's totals.
Jeff Suppan (85 HBP)
The much-traveled Jeff Suppan is a "hit" wherever he goes. He's plunked eight or more batters in a season for three different teams.
His career high is 12 in 2001 for the Kansas City Royals.
In 2004, he hit eight more for the Cardinals and in 2007, Suppan hit 11 for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Kerry Wood (88 HBP)
Kerry Wood committed most of his mayhem as a starter for the Chicago Cubs, leading the NL in hit-batsman in both 2002 (16) and 2003 (21).
Oh, just think what might have been if Wood hadn't lost most of three seasons due to injury.
Julian Tavarez (96)
His is a pretty substantial accomplishment once you think about since Julian Tavarez has been mostly a reliever throughout his MLB career.
Tavarez was particularly nasty in 1999 when he hit eight batters in only 55 innings.
Vicente Padilla (96)
After Vicente Padilla plunked Mark Teixeira twice in one game, the incredulous pitcher remarked:
"I had runners on first and third. Why would I do that. The answer is that it's stupid if he thinks that was an intentional pitch."
Jeff Weaver (119)
Jeff Weaver hit 17 batters during his rookie year for Detroit in 1999.
Weaver enjoyed a career year in 2005 for the Los Angeles Dodgers when he won 14 games.
However, he hit 18 to lead the NL.
Jamey Wright (130)
Jamey Wright won back-to-back HBP titles for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2000 (18) and 2001 (20).
Jamie Moyer (132)
This career statistic in deceptive. After all, Jamie Moyer is in his zillionth season as a MLB starter.
And just how much can a Moyer fast ball hurt, anyway?
Chan Ho Park (133)
Another hurler who might have achieved even higher numbers if his career hadn't been compromised by injuries.
Tim Wakefield (172)
Tim Wakefield has a valid excuse.
He's been throwing the knuckler for most of his adult life, and he still doesn't know where it's going.
Randy Johnson (188)
Randy Johnson, a future Hall of Fame, deserves a better nickname than "The Big Unit."
How about "The Big Hurt?"
Oh, that's right, that's already taken.