Friday, August 1, 2008

Brian Roberts, Record Breaker

Brian Roberts hit his 40th double tonight in game number 108 for the Orioles. Doing some easy math, that projects out to 60 doubles for the 2008 season. That would shatter the AL single-season record for doubles in a season by a switch hitter originally set by. . .Brian Roberts in 2004 with 50. It would also easily beat the major league record set by Lance Berkman in 2001 of 55 two-baggers. It's Roberts' fourth season (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008) with at least 40 2B.

The Baseball-Reference Play Index is fun to play around with when looking for obscure "records" that could be broken. Charlie Gehringer hit 60 two baggers with the Tigers in 1936 to set the record for most doubles by a second baseman - that mark is obviously also within Roberts' reach. BRob also has 8 triples so far, and he could join Gehringer as the only 2B to have 50 2B and 10 3B in the same season.

One record that Roberts won't be catching anytime soon is Craig Biggio's all-time record for a second baseman of 668 doubles. Roberts, now with 251, will need another decade to reach that mark. And when he does, we'll put numbers on the Warehouse (even if he gets traded!) as he chases Tris Speaker's all-time record of 792 doubles.

And speaking of Speaker (har har), one more quick fact. Roberts can become the third player ever to have 50 2B, 30 SB, and 10 3B in the same season joining Speaker of the 1912 Red Sox and Kiki Cuyler of the 1930 Cubs. Meaningless? Rare and Kurkjianian? All of the above.

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