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Eugenio Velez sets a dubious record

Sep 29, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

Last night wasn’t all about heroic comebacks and epic collapses. Some history of a smaller, more dubious nature was made. Specifically: Eugenio Velez broke a modern-day record for a non-pitcher by going hitless in his final 46 at-bats. He did it with a grounder to second as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning against the Diamondbacks.

One wonders why Don Mattingly, presumably aware of the streak, let Velez hit in that situation when he could have just rode the pine. Maybe it was because he had already tied the record and he figured, hey, why not give him a chance to snap it with one final hit.  I suppose it won’t matter too much — only Velez and some weirdos like me will remember this in two weeks — but normally baseball custom dictates that players sit in such situations.

Oh well. Sorry Eugenio, but there is at least some sort of compliment to you in all of this. Like they used to say back at the law firm, “it takes a damn good lawyer to lose a big case.”  Meaning, you never get a chance to handle a big case if you weren’t good to begin with.  Same with dubious baseball records.  If you weren’t thought highly of in some way Mattingly never would have kept sending you out for those 46 times.

It’s OK if that doesn’t make you feel better.

  1. Joe - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    The streak goes back to last season, so Velez actually had a .000 BA in 38 AB for the 2011 season, which I think someone in SABR said is also a record for a non-pitcher. That’s not going to look good on the back of his baseball card.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      He has a baseball card?

      • Gobias Industries - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        They still make baseball cards?

      • Joe - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:21 AM

        That doesn’t look good on his Baseball-Reference page.

      • Chris K - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:09 PM

        Doesn’t reference that good baseball on his page

  2. 78mu - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    I thought there were only four games played last night. Who are these Diamondbacks and where is this place called Los Angeles? Does this Mattingly guy play for the Braves, Cardinals, Ray or Red Sox?

    Velez setting the record last night is like the White House doing a Friday night news dump. It will be forgotten in the swirl of the other games played in Houston, Baltimore, St Pete and Atlanta.

  3. foreverchipper10 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    I will gladly sit on a bench for most of the year and go 0-38 or however many at bats a team wants to give me so long as I can reap the benefits of being a professional baseball player.

    • lanflfan - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      Seconded. I’ll go 0 for infinity if I can get an MLB paycheck.

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