Cy Young, the all-time leader in career assists by a pitcher.
Cy Young, the all-time leader in career assists by a pitcher.

In baseball, an assist (denoted by A) is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is credited to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball (after it has been hit by the batter) before the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional. For example, if a ball strikes a player's leg and bounces off him to another fielder, who tags the baserunner, the first player is credited with an assist. A fielder can receive a maximum of one assist per out recorded. An assist is also credited if a putout would have occurred, had another fielder not committed an error. For example, a shortstop might field a ground ball cleanly, but the first baseman might drop his throw. In this case, an error would be charged to the first baseman, and the shortstop would be credited with an assist.

In baseball, the pitcher is the player who pitches the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and closer.

Traditionally, the pitcher also bats. Starting in 1973 with the American League and spreading to further leagues throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the hitting duties of the pitcher have generally been given over to the position of designated hitter, a cause of some controversy. The National League in Major League Baseball, although it was adopted for the 2020 season, and the Japanese Central League are among the remaining leagues that have not adopted the designated hitter position.

Cy Young[1][2][3] is the all-time leader in career assists as a pitcher with 2,014. Young is the only pitcher with more than 2,000 career assists.

Key

Rank Rank amongst leaders in career assists. A blank field indicates a tie.
Player (2021 As) Number of recorded assists during the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
A Total career assists.
* Denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bold Denotes active player.[a]

List

Christy Mathewson, 2nd all-time in assists by a pitcher.
Christy Mathewson, 2nd all-time in assists by a pitcher.
Rank Player (2021 As) A as P
1 Cy Young * 2,014
2 Christy Mathewson * 1,503
3 Pete Alexander * 1,419
4 Pud Galvin * 1,404
5 Walter Johnson * 1,351
6 Burleigh Grimes * 1,252
7 George Mullin 1,244
8 Jack Quinn 1,240
9 Ed Walsh * 1,207
10 Eppa Rixey * 1,195
11 Greg Maddux * 1,194
12 John Clarkson * 1,143
13 Carl Mays 1,138
14 Hooks Dauss 1,128
15 Vic Willis * 1,124
16 Red Faber * 1,108
Eddie Plank * 1,108
18 Tim Keefe * 1,060
19 Tony Mullane 1,041
20 Kid Nichols * 1,031
21 Tommy John 1,028
22 Red Ames 1,000
23 Warren Spahn * 999
24 Eddie Cicotte 998
25 Jack Powell 967
26 Doc White 966
27 Harry Howell 965
28 Al Orth 957
29 Ted Lyons * 943
30 Freddie Fitzsimmons 942
Old Hoss Radbourn * 942
32 Chick Fraser 939
33 Bill Doak 934
34 Joe McGinnity * 929
35 Jim McCormick 922
36 Red Donahue 903
37 Tommy Bond 896
38 Phil Niekro *
39 Gaylord Perry * 877
40 Sad Sam Jones 874
Amos Rusie * 874
42 Clark Griffith * 863
43 Tom Glavine * 856
44 Howard Ehmke 853
45 Charlie Buffinton 851
Stan Coveleski * 851
47 Lee Meadows 850
48 Addie Joss * 846
49 Mordecai Brown * 843
50 Waite Hoyt * 842
Rank Player (2021 As) A as P
51 Jesse Tannehill 840
52 Bullet Joe Bush 839
53 Jack Chesbro * 836
54 Carl Hubbell * 824
Herb Pennock * 824
56 Ed Reulbach 814
57 Eddie Rommel 810
58 Charles Bender * 808
59 Bill Dinneen 800
60 Bobby Mathews 791
61 Dolf Luque 786
62 Wilbur Cooper 785
63 Frank Smith 782
64 Tom Zachary 773
65 Brickyard Kennedy 769
Jim Whitney 769
67 Dennis Martinez 763
68 Willie Sudhoff 762
69 Art Nehf 749
70 Jesse Barnes 748
71 Bucky Walters 746
72 Gus Weyhing 745
73 Jim Kaat 744
74 Kenny Rogers 743
75 Hippo Vaughn 740
Rube Waddell * 740
77 Jack Taylor 738
78 Mel Harder 734
Willis Hudlin 734
80 Cy Falkenberg 728
81 Steve Carlton * 724
Claude Hendrix 724
83 Lefty Grove * 722
Adonis Terry 722
85 Dutch Leonard 719
86 Will White 715
87 Bob Lemon * 709
88 Mickey Welch * 705
89 Earl Whitehill 701
90 Claude Osteen 699
91 Rube Marquard * 697
Bob Shawkey 697
93 Ed Willett 692
94 Theodore Breitenstein 692
Tom Seaver * 692
96 Pink Hawley 688
97 Don Drysdale * 686
Sherry Smith 686
99 Bob Groom 682
100 Rube Benton 680

Notes

  1. ^ A player is considered inactive if he has announced his retirement or not played for a full season.

References

  1. ^ "Cy Young Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  2. ^ Nowlin - Southwick, Bill - David. "Cy Young Bio". Society For American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  3. ^ "Cy Young Hall of Fame Profile". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 1, 2021.