Ted Williams has the highest career on-base percentage in MLB history, led the American League in 12 seasons (also a record), and held the single-season on-base percentage record for 61 years.
Ted Williams has the highest career on-base percentage in MLB history, led the American League in 12 seasons (also a record), and held the single-season on-base percentage record for 61 years.

In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped or uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference. OBP is calculated in Major League Baseball (MLB) by dividing the sum of hits, walks, and times hit by a pitch by the sum of at-bats, walks, times hit by pitch and sacrifice flies.[1] A hitter with a .400 on-base percentage is considered to be great[2] and rare;[3] only 61 players in MLB history with at least 3,000 career plate appearances (PA) have maintained such an OBP. Left fielder Ted Williams, who played 19 seasons for the Boston Red Sox, has the highest career on-base percentage, .4817, in MLB history.[4] Williams led the American League (AL) in on-base percentage in twelve seasons, the most such seasons for any player in the major leagues.[4][5] Barry Bonds led the National League (NL) in ten seasons, a NL record.[5][6] Williams also posted the then-highest single-season on-base percentage of .5528 in 1941, a record that stood for 61 years until Bonds broke it with a .5817 OBP in 2002.[7] Bonds broke his own record in 2004, setting the current single-season mark of .6094.[7]

Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame if they have played at least 10 major league seasons, have been either retired for five seasons or deceased for six months, and have not been banned from MLB.[8] These requirements leave 6 living players ineligible who have played in the past 5 seasons; 5 players (Bill Joyce, Ferris Fain, Jake Stenzel, Bill Lange, and George Selkirk) who did not play 10 seasons in MLB; and Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was banned for his role in the Black Sox Scandal.[9]

Key

Rank Rank amongst leaders in career on-base percentage. A blank field indicates a tie.
Player Name of the player.
OBP Total career on-base percentage.
* Denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bold Denotes active player.[note 1]

List

Mike Trout, the active leader and 26th all-time in career on-base percentage.
Mike Trout, the active leader and 26th all-time in career on-base percentage.
Rank Player OBP
1 Ted Williams * .4817
2 Babe Ruth * .4739
3 John McGraw * .4657
4 Billy Hamilton * .4552
5 Oscar Charleston * .4487
6 Lou Gehrig * .4474
7 Barry Bonds .4443
8 Jud Wilson * .4351
9 Bill Joyce .4349
10 Rogers Hornsby * .4337
11 Ty Cobb * .4330
12 Jimmie Foxx * .4283
13 Tris Speaker * .4279
14 Eddie Collins * .4244
15 Ferris Fain .4241
16 Dan Brouthers * .4234
17 Max Bishop .4230
18 Shoeless Joe Jackson .4227
19 Mickey Mantle * .4205
20 Mickey Cochrane * .4192
21 Frank Thomas * .4191
22 Edgar Martínez * .4178
23 Turkey Stearnes * .4174
24 Stan Musial * .4167
25 Cupid Childs .4157
26 Mike Trout .4151
27 Wade Boggs * .4150
28 Jesse Burkett * .4149
29 Todd Helton .4140
Mel Ott * .4140
31 Roy Thomas .4135
32 Lefty O'Doul .4133
33 Joey Votto .4122
34 Hank Greenberg * .4118
35 Ed Delahanty * .4113
36 Manny Ramirez .4106
37 Charlie Keller .4099
38 Jackie Robinson * .4098
Eddie Stanky .4098
40 Mule Suttles * .4097
41 Harry Heilmann * .4092
42 Willie Wells * .4086
43 Roy Cullenbine .4082
44 Jake Stenzel .4078
45 Jeff Bagwell * .4076
46 Denny Lyons .4074
47 Riggs Stephenson .4065
48 Lance Berkman .4060
49 Arky Vaughan * .4058
50 Joe Harris .4044
Rank Player OBP
51 Paul Waner * .4043
52 Charlie Gehringer * .4036
53 Joe Cunningham .4035
54 Pete Browning .4028
55 Lu Blue .4022
56 Jim Thome* .4019
57 Joe Kelley * .4017
58 Rickey Henderson * .4012
59 Chipper Jones * .4011
60 Larry Walker * .4002
61 Bill Lange .4001
62 Brian Giles .3998
George Selkirk .3998
64 Luke Appling * .3994
65 Jason Giambi .3993
66 Nick Johnson .3989
67 Ross Youngs * .3985
68 Joe DiMaggio * .3983
Elmer Valo .3983
70 Ralph Kiner * .3980
John Olerud .3980
72 Mike Smith .3977
73 Ed Morgan .3975
74 Johnny Mize * .3971
75 Earle Combs * .3969
Roger Connor * .3969
77 John Kruk .3966
78 Richie Ashburn * .3964
79 Mike Hargrove .3958
80 Hack Wilson * .3951
81 Bobby Abreu .3950
82 Hurley McNair .3948
83 Earl Averill * .3947
84 Cool Papa Bell * .3946
85 Johnny Pesky .3943
86 Mark McGwire .3941
87 Cap Anson * .3940
Frank Chance * .3940
Stan Hack .3940
Eddie Yost .3940
91 Ken Williams .3933
92 Wally Schang .3931
93 Rod Carew * .3930
Gary Sheffield .3930
95 Bob Johnson .3928
96 Bill Terry * .3927
97 George Grantham .3924
Tip O'Neill .3924
99 Jack Fournier .3921
Joe Morgan * .3921

See also

Notes

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

References

  1. ^ "Official Rules: 10.00 The Official Scorer". MLB.com. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  2. ^ Verducci, Tom (April 5, 2004). "Smart Stats, Dumb Stats". CNN Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  3. ^ Lewis, Michael (2003). Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. United States: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. p. 127. ISBN 0-393-05765-8.
  4. ^ a b "Ted Williams Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Yearly League Leaders & Records for On-Base%". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  6. ^ "Barry Bonds Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Single-Season Leaders & Records for On-Base%". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  8. ^ "Rules for Election: BBWAA". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  9. ^ Neyer, Rob (August 2, 2001). "Say it ain't so ... for Joe and the Hall". ESPN Classic. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved January 15, 2010.