The national finals of the weekend just gone, as always, were about much more than just watching baseball. Top of my extra-curricular list was talking with fans, coaches, players, and officials. While it might be the only chance all year to meet some of the “old timers”, it’s also a great opportunity to catch up with the current players. You might bump into them more regularly than the “old timers”, but it’s only at an event like the finals that they have time to sit around and talk while watching a game not involving their own team.
One of my favourite conversations of the weekend concerned longevity. I was congratulating Ryan Trask on his 11th straight year of top-tier competition, and we were both lamenting the dearth of players who give that many seasons to the league.
The longest streak of continuous seasons in the top tier among players competing in 2010 is 13, held jointly by Michael Osborn (London Warriors and Richmond Flames) and Rob Rance (Bracknell). Trask’s active streak of 11 is third on the list, and one other player has reached double digits, that being Will Lintern (Brighton Buccaneers and London Mets).
For me, it is the players like these that make tracking stats over the years so enjoyable. I’m not suggesting that the British Baseball Federation put in a bulk order for silver carriage clocks, but I do think that followers of the game should be saluting these dedicated individuals. My humble offering is a list below of players active in 2010 with at least 225 top-tier plate appearances (PA) or 150 innings pitched (INN), recorded post-1994. These are the minimum cut-offs to be career leaders in average-based categories.
- TRASK Ryan (811 PA)
- OSBORN Michael (791 PA; 321.1 INN)
- CAIN Cody (630 PA; 289.1 INN)
- MATTHEWS Phil (485 PA)
- RANCE Rob (476 PA)
- DELZOPPO Grant (465 PA)
- COLLINS Henry (454 PA; 299.0 INN)
- VISSER Martin (366 PA)
- LINTERN George (362 PA)
- LINTERN Will (358 PA)
- MAITLAND Matt (350 PA; 230.0 INN)
- CATTERMOLE Mike (327 PA)
- SAITO Yoshi (322 PA)
- VERNON Paul (293 PA)
- CLARK Phil (284 PA)
- AZCUY Maikel (273 PA)
- GILBERT Matt (256 PA; 236.0 INN)
- STABE Martin (250 PA)
- TRASK Michael (242 PA)
- CRAMMAN Jonathon (225 PA)