Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

anthony rizzo on base smile helmetAnthony Rizzo took another ball off his body last night, and, with it, entered an elite circle of powerful human targets: only he and Don Baylor (1986) have hit at least 30 homers and been hit by at least 30 pitches.

If only Rizzo had been able to keep up his sneaky base-stealing ways from earlier this year – he could have been baseball’s first, and almost certainly only ever, 30/30/30 player in HR/HBP/SB.

As it stands, he’ll have to settle for being baseball’s only 30/30/17 player. Baylor’s in the meager 30/30/3 club.*

You can see a nice catalog of Rizzo’s HBPs this year over at Cut4, and Rizzo’s 30 leads baseball by a huge margin (Brandon Guyer is at 21). It’s also a sizable bump over the 15 HBPs he received last year, his first season after really starting to crowd the plate. The increase is undoubtedly thanks in large part to a refusal this season to swing at pitches that thereafter hit his body. (My tone should be read as joking, of course, but Rizzo really did swing at about five or six pitches last year that hit him.)

It’s nice to see that Rizzo’s teammates were there to have his back for the historic moment:

*(Though, holy crap: Baylor once stole 52(!) bases in a season.)

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