Mickey Vernon, the leader in all-time double plays by a first baseman

In baseball statistics, a double play (denoted as DP) is the act of making two outs during the same continuous play. One double play is recorded for every defensive player who participates in the play, regardless of how many of the outs in which they were directly involved, and is counted in addition to whatever putouts and assists might also apply. Double plays can occur any time there is at least one baserunner and fewer than two outs.[1]

Most of the career leaders are relatively recent players who have benefitted from improved infield defense, with equipment of better quality; 10 of the top 13 players made their major league debut after 1970. Longer careers have compensated for the fact that as strikeout totals have risen in baseball, the frequency of other defensive outs including ground outs has declined, with double play totals for first basemen likewise declining; 16 of the top 20 single-season totals were recorded between 1944 and 1980.[2] Because a right-handed first baseman needs to turn their body before throwing across the infield, left-handed first basemen are often preferred for defensive purposes; 14 of the top 21 career double-play leaders are left-handed. Mickey Vernon holds the record for the most career double plays by a first baseman with 2,044.[3] Eddie Murray (2,033) and Todd Helton (2,028) are the only other first basemen who have recorded 2,000 career double plays.

Key

Rank Rank among leaders in career double plays. A blank field indicates a tie.
Player (2024 DPs) Recorded double plays in 2024
MLB Total career double plays as a first baseman in Major League Baseball
* Denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame
Bold Denotes active player[a]

List

Joey Votto, the active leader and 29th all-time in double plays by a first baseman
Todd Helton holds the National League record.
Charlie Grimm held the National League record for 80 years.
Jake Beckley held the major league record for 21 years.
Cap Anson reached 1,000 double plays before any other first baseman.
Ferris Fain holds the single-season record of 194 double plays.
Rank Player (2024 DPs) Double plays as a first baseman Other leagues, notes
MLB American League National League
1 Mickey Vernon 2,044 2,041 3
2 Eddie Murray* 2,033 1,500 533 Holds record for right-handed first baseman
3 Todd Helton 2,028 0 2,028
4 Rafael Palmeiro 1,782 1,766 16
5 Fred McGriff* 1,775 882 893
6 Joe Kuhel 1,769 1,769 0 Held major league record, 1946–1955; held American League record, 1944–1955; held the single-season record, 1935-1938
7 Charlie Grimm 1,733 0 1,733 Held major league record, 1932–1946; held National League record, 1930–2010; held the single-season record, 1924-1926
8 Albert Pujols 1,702 439 1,263
9 Chris Chambliss 1,687 1,073 614
10 Paul Konerko 1,660 1,650 10
11 Keith Hernandez 1,654 28 1,626
12 Andrés Galarraga 1,648 28 1,620
13 Jeff Bagwell* 1,618 0 1,618
14 Gil Hodges* 1,614 0 1,614 Held the National League single-season record, 1950-1966
15 Wally Joyner 1,611 1,227 384
16 John Olerud 1,581 1,210 371
17 Lou Gehrig* 1,575 1,575 0 Held American League record, 1938–1944; held the single-season record, 1938-1944
18 Will Clark 1,571 612 959
19 Jim Bottomley* 1,562 119 1,443 Held the single-season record, 1927–1935; held the National League single-season record, 1927-1938
20 Joe Judge 1,543 1,519 24 Held American League record, 1928–1938; held the single-season record, 1922-1923 (tie); held the AL single-season record, 1922-1925 (tie)
21 Mark Grace 1,533 0 1,533
22 Jimmie Foxx* 1,528 1,477 51
23 Don Mattingly 1,500 1,500 0
24 Steve Garvey 1,498 0 1,498
25 Carlos Delgado 1,496 1,045 451
26 George Sisler* 1,495 1,161 334 Held major league record, 1929–1932; held the single-season record, 1926–1927; held the American League single-season record, 1917-1918 (tie), 1926-1934
27 George Scott 1,480 1,480 0
28 Derrek Lee 1,442 67 1,375
29 Joey Votto (0) 1,432 0 1,432
30 Mark Teixeira 1,418 1,287 131
31 Mark McGwire 1,408 1,012 396
32 Willie McCovey* 1,405 0 1,405
33 Tino Martinez 1,398 1,187 211
34 Adrián González 1,381 226 1,155
35 Freddie Freeman (0) 1,373 0 1,373
36 Paul Goldschmidt (0) 1,369 0 1,369
37 Cecil Cooper 1,348 1,348 0
38 Norm Cash 1,347 1,347 0
39 Tony Pérez* 1,342 213 1,129
40 Stuffy McInnis 1,338 1,001 337 Held major league record, 1926–1929; held the single-season record, 1923-1924 (tie)
41 Bill Terry* 1,334 0 1,334
42 Kent Hrbek 1,331 1,331 0
43 Wally Pipp 1,329 1,034 295 Held the American League single-season record, 1917-1918 (tie), 1920–1921; held the National League single-season record, 1926-1927
44 Jake Beckley* 1,327 0 1,266 Includes 61 in Players' League; held major league record, 1905-1926
45 Johnny Mize* 1,320 215 1,105
46 John Mayberry 1,307 1,257 50
47 J. T. Snow 1,298 415 883
48 Ted Kluszewski 1,269 102 1,167
49 Bill Skowron 1,266 1,222 44
50 George McQuinn 1,265 1,235 30 Held the single-season record, 1940-1944 (tie)
51 Eric Karros 1,257 15 1,242
52 Adam LaRoche 1,249 44 1,205
53 Lee May 1,235 335 900
54 Cap Anson* 1,232 0 1,191 Includes 41 in National Association; held major league record, 1886–1905; held the single-season record, 1884–1889; held National League single-season record, 1884-1892
55 Joe Adcock 1,228 268 960
56 Frank McCormick 1,221 0 1,221 Held the National League single-season record, 1939-1950
57 Jake Daubert 1,201 0 1,201
58 Bill Buckner 1,200 410 790
59 Lu Blue 1,196 1,196 0
Eric Hosmer (0) 1,196 807 389
60 Orlando Cepeda* 1,192 0 1,192
61 Dolph Camilli 1,189 62 1,127
63 Justin Morneau 1,180 988 192
64 Bill White 1,157 0 1,157
65 Anthony Rizzo (0) 1,148 159 989
66 Hal Trosky 1,146 1,146 0 Held the American League single-season record, 1934-1935
67 George Burns 1,145 1,145 0 Held the American League single-season record, 1918-1920
68 Carlos Peña 1,140 1,036 104
69 Donn Clendenon 1,136 0 1,136 Holds the National League single-season record of 182 (set in 1966)
70 Boog Powell 1,131 1,130 1
71 Rod Carew* 1,130 1,130 0
72 Lyle Overbay 1,125 699 426
73 Ferris Fain 1,124 1,124 0 Holds the single-season record of 194 (set in 1949)
74 Mo Vaughn 1,119 1,003 116
75 George Kelly* 1,113 0 1,113 Held the National League single-season record, 1921-1923
76 Ryan Howard 1,106 0 1,106
77 Earl Torgeson 1,097 346 751
78 Ed Konetchy 1,093 0 1,010 Includes 83 in Federal League
Jason Thompson 1,090 593 497
80 Elbie Fletcher 1,086 0 1,086
Pete O'Brien 1,086 1,086 0
Gus Suhr 1,086 0 1,086 Held the National League single-season record, 1938-1939
83 Rudy York 1,072 1,072 0 Held the single-season record, 1944-1949
84 Vic Power 1,056 1,047 9
85 Mike Hargrove 1,043 1,019 24
86 Prince Fielder 1,025 292 733
87 Eddie Robinson 1,018 1,018 0
88 Phil Cavarretta 1,012 29 983
89 José Abreu (0) 1,008 1,008 0
90 Ernie Banks* 1,005 0 1,005
91 Chris Davis 1,002 1,002 0
92 Jason Giambi 995 947 48
93 Dan Driessen 979 0 979
94 Miguel Cabrera 974 974 0
95 Hank Greenberg* 973 888 85
96 Walt Dropo 968 926 42
97 Willie Montañez 962 15 947
98 Jim Spencer 956 956 0
Fred Tenney 956 0 956
100 Roger Connor* 955 0 876 Includes 79 in the Players' League

Other Hall of Famers

Player Double plays as a first baseman Other leagues, notes
MLB American League National League
Stan Musial* 935 0 935
Jim Thome* 913 638 275
Dan Brouthers* 891 0 730 Includes 82 in American Association, 79 in Players' League
Frank Thomas* 776 776 0
Charles Comiskey* 743 0 199 Includes 492 in American Association, 52 in the Players' League
Willie Stargell* 701 0 701
Harmon Killebrew* 678 678 0
Carl Yastrzemski* 610 610 0
Joe Torre* 607 0 607
Frank Chance* 470 2 468
George Brett* 365 365 0
Ben Taylor* 260 0 0 Includes 143 in Negro National League (first), 100 in Eastern Colored League,
17 in American Negro League (incomplete)
Buck Leonard* 247 0 0 Includes 247 in Negro National League (second) (incomplete)
Frank Robinson* 237 50 187
Harry Heilmann* 221 202 19
Mule Suttles* 206 0 0 Includes 105 in Negro National League (first), 79 in Negro National League (second),
22 in East–West League (incomplete)
David Ortiz* 177 177 0
Mickey Mantle * 173 173 0
Paul Molitor* 169 169 0
Jackie Robinson* 169 0 169 Negro League totals unavailable
Hughie Jennings* 159 2 147 Includes 10 in American Association
Ed Delahanty* 154 5 149
Buck Ewing* 145 0 145
Ted Simmons* 142 61 81
Honus Wagner* 141 0 141
Oscar Charleston* 139 0 0 Includes 103 in Negro National League (second), 29 in Negro National League (first),
6 in American Negro League, 1 in Eastern Colored League (incomplete)
Nap Lajoie* 137 64 73
Joe Kelley* 136 4 132
Buck O'Neil* 115 0 0 Includes 115 in Negro American League (incomplete)
Jud Wilson* 111 0 0 Includes 68 in Negro National League (second), 31 in American Negro League,
12 in Eastern Colored League (incomplete)
Jim O'Rourke* 110 0 45 Includes 65 in National Association
Deacon White* 65 0 32 Includes 33 in the Players' League
Martín Dihigo* 18 0 0 Includes 8 in American Negro League, 8 in Eastern Colored League,
2 in Negro National League (second) (incomplete)

Notes

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

References

  1. ^ "Official Baseball Rules (2022 Edition): Rule 9.11" (PDF). Major League Baseball. Retrieved 23 Dec 2022.
  2. ^ "Single-Season Leaders & Records for Double Plays Turned as 1B". Baseball Reference. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  3. ^ "Mickey Vernon Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved December 8, 2022.