What is the Longest At-Bat in MLB History?
The Major League Baseball (MLB) has seen some epic battles between pitchers and batters, but the longest at-bat in MLB history stands out as one of the most unique. On August 10th, 1968, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Ron Hunt and Houston Astros’ Don Wilson squared off for a record-breaking 25 pitch at-bat.
Background of Ron Hunt and Don Wilson
Ron Hunt was a second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers who had a career batting average of .273 and was an All-Star in 1969. Don Wilson was a talented right-handed pitcher for the Astros, with a career record of 105-95 and a 3.15 ERA.
The at-bat took place at Dodger Stadium in the bottom of the second inning. Hunt was leading off for the Dodgers and Wilson was on the mound for the Astros.
The 25-Pitch At-Bat
Wilson threw the first pitch, a fastball, which Hunt fouled off. The next pitch was a curveball, which Hunt took for a ball. Wilson threw a slider and Hunt again fouled off. This went on for 25 pitches, with Hunt fouling off 14 of them and taking 11 pitches for balls.
The End of the At-Bat
After 25 pitches, Wilson finally got Hunt to pop out to right field. It was an incredible battle of endurance between the two players.
The reaction to the at-bat was one of amazement. The spectators were stunned that the at-bat lasted so long. Even the players were amazed. Hunt said, “I just kept fouling off pitches and it just kept going. I don’t think either of us thought it was going to last that long.”
The 25-pitch at-bat set an MLB record that still stands today. It was the longest at-bat in MLB history. The record has been tied several times since, but it has never been broken.
Notable Long At-Bats
- Rico Brogna vs. Greg Maddux (1997): This 20-pitch at-bat between Phillies first baseman Rico Brogna and Braves pitcher Greg Maddux was the longest at-bat of Brogna’s career. The at-bat ended with a walk.
- Jason Giambi vs. Roy Oswalt (2009): This 19-pitch at-bat between Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi and Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt ended with a single.
- Ryan Zimmerman vs. Mark Buehrle (2009): This 18-pitch at-bat between Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle ended with a double.
The Impact of the Longest At-Bat
The longest at-bat in MLB history has had a lasting impact. It has become a symbol of the power of the pitcher and batter duel and has served as an inspiration for many players.
The legacy of this at-bat will live on as long as the record stands. It is a reminder of the sheer determination and skill of the players involved. It is a testament to the power of the sport and the incredible feats of the players who make it possible.
The longest at-bat in MLB history is a remarkable event that will live on in the annals of baseball history. It stands as a reminder of the skill and determination of the players and is a testament to the power of the sport. Ron Hunt and Don Wilson will always be remembered for this incredible feat.