Nellie Fox, who was elected to the Hall of Fame last week along with former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and Negro leagues star Willie Wells, is best remembered for two things: planting a wad of tobacco in his cheek and almost never striking out. Fox, a second baseman who spent 14 of his 19 major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox, holds the record for most seasons (15) with at least 400 plate appearances and fewer than 20 strikeouts. Here are a few others who rarely heard the dreaded "STEE-rike three!"...and one who heard it more often than anyone else.
The infielder for the Cleveland Indians (1920 to '30) and the New York Yankees ('31 to '33) boasts baseball's four best single-season ratios of strikeouts to plate appearances, including the record of one K every 192 appearances, in '32, when he struck out just three times in 576 trips to the plate.
The Cincinnati Reds' outfielder didn't fan in 34 World Series plate appearances, tops in that category. All of Roush's whiff less appearances, however, were in 1919, when he batted against the Black Sox.
Joltin' Joe, who finished his 13-year career with only eight fewer career dingers (361) than strikeouts, had seven seasons in which he amassed more home runs than whiffs. Fellow Yankee Yogi Berra ranks second, with five.
Baseball's alltime whiffmeister struck out a whopping 2,597 times in 21 seasons. Well behind him, in second place, is Willie Stargell, with 1,936, also in 21 years.