Most Hits by Batting Order Position

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Mickey Doolin was born about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia. He didn’t have to travel far to become a major league ballplayer. In 1905 he was inserted as the starting shortstop for the Phillies. He held that job for nearly a decade, and was usually the best defender at his position in the National League.

Those were the deadball days, and a time when copywriters frequently misspelled Mickey’s name as “Doolan.” Ah, the disrespect. But Mickey didn’t mind: he made thousands of dollars playing ball in wool uniforms. That was enough in that era to buy a house and maybe even a rudimentary (and dangerous) autombile.

At any rate, you may have never heard of Mickey Doolin, but he wants his name to be remembered. Even if it’s for something as simple as most hits by a batter in the 7th position in the batting order.

The list below shows the players, since 1901, who accumulated the most hits by batting order position in a career.

Most Hits by Batting Order Position, MLB Since 1901

  1. Rickey Henderson … 3,020
  2. Nellie Fox … 2,025
  3. Tris Speaker … 3,328
  4. Honus Wagner … 2,282
  5. Harry Heilmann … 1,655
  6. Charlie Grimm … 962
  7. Mickey Doolin … 1,162
  8. Al López … 1,163
  9. Ozzie Guillen … 1,053

It’s the stable players, the ones who had a long career and were steady in their usage that make this list. There were better #2 hitters in baseball history than Nellie Fox, but the little second baseman was in that lineup spot more than any other player in modern MLB history.

We think of Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench, Mike Schmidt, and other sluggers as cleanup hitters, but Honus Wagner was used in that spot for much of his storied career. Many of the famous cleanup hitters were also used in the #3 and #5 spots too, such as Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Henry Aaron, as well as Albert Pujols and Eddie Murray.

There was a time when teams almost exclusively used their catcher in the #8 slot in the lineup, say from the early 20th century until the 1940s. Exceptions like Ernie Lombardi and Walker Cooper, as well as #2 hitter Mickey Cochrane were around, but most MLB teams liked to put the catcher in the 8-spot. That’s where Al López, who was known for his glove, was ensconced. He played 19 years from 1928 to 1947.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is the author of three books about baseball, including Ty Cobb: A Biography. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. He lives in Michigan where he writes, runs, and enjoys a good orange soda now and again.
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