List of Major League Baseball career on-base percentage leaders

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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 55 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]

Mickey Cochrane is the only catcher and Arky Vaughan is the only shortstop with a career mark of at least .400.[8][9] Of the 43 players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame with a career on-base percentage of .400 or higher, 27 have been elected. 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.[10] 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.[11]

Key

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

List

Joey Votto, the active leader in career on-base percentage and tied for 12th all-time.
  • Stats updated as of June 23, 2017.
Rank Player OBP
1 Ted Williams * .4817
2 Babe Ruth * .4739
3 John McGraw * .4657
4 Billy Hamilton * .4552
5 Lou Gehrig * .4474
6 Barry Bonds .4443
7 Bill Joyce .4349
8 Rogers Hornsby * .4337
9 Ty Cobb * .4330
10 Jimmie Foxx * .4283
11 Tris Speaker * .4279
12 Eddie Collins * .4244
Joey Votto .4244
14 Ferris Fain .4241
15 Dan Brouthers * .4234
16 Max Bishop .4230
17 Shoeless Joe Jackson .4227
18 Mickey Mantle * .4205
19 Mickey Cochrane * .4192
20 Frank Thomas * .4191
21 Edgar Martínez .4178
22 Stan Musial * .4167
23 Cupid Childs .4157
24 Wade Boggs * .4150
25 Jesse Burkett * .4149
26 Todd Helton .4140
Mel Ott * .4140
28 Roy Thomas .4135
29 Lefty O'Doul .4133
30 Hank Greenberg * .4118
31 Ed Delahanty * .4112
32 Manny Ramirez .4106
33 Charlie Keller .4099
34 Eddie Stanky .4098
35 Harry Heilmann * .4095
36 Jackie Robinson * .4089
37 Mike Trout .4083
38 Roy Cullenbine .4082
39 Jake Stenzel .4078
40 Jeff Bagwell * .4076
41 Denny Lyons .4074
42 Riggs Stephenson .4065
43 Lance Berkman .4060
44 Arky Vaughan * .4058
45 Joe Harris .4044
46 Paul Waner * .4043
47 Charlie Gehringer * .4036
48 Joe Cunningham .4035
49 Pete Browning .4028
Paul Goldschmidt .4028
Rank Player OBP
51 Lu Blue .4022
52 Jim Thome .4019
53 Joe Kelley * .4017
54 Rickey Henderson * .4012
55 Chipper Jones .4011
56 Larry Walker .4002
57 Bill Lange .4001
58 Brian Giles .3998
George Selkirk .3998
60 Luke Appling * .3994
61 Jason Giambi .3993
62 Nick Johnson .3989
63 Ross Youngs * .3985
64 Joe DiMaggio * .3983
Elmer Valo .3983
66 Ralph Kiner * .3980
John Olerud .3980
68 Miguel Cabrera .3979
69 Mike Smith .3977
70 Ed Morgan .3975
71 Johnny Mize * .3971
72 Earle Combs * .3969
Roger Connor * .3969
74 John Kruk .3966
75 Richie Ashburn * .3964
76 Mike Hargrove .3958
77 Hack Wilson * .3951
78 Bobby Abreu .3950
79 Earl Averill * .3947
80 Johnny Pesky .3943
81 Mark McGwire .3941
82 Cap Anson * .3940
Frank Chance * .3940
Stan Hack .3940
Eddie Yost .3940
86 Ken Williams .3933
87 Wally Schang .3931
88 Rod Carew * .3930
Gary Sheffield .3930
90 Bob Johnson .3928
91 Bill Terry * .3927
92 George Grantham .3924
Tip O'Neill .3924
94 Jack Fournier .3921
Joe Morgan * .3921
96 Mike Tiernan .3919
97 Honus Wagner * .3911
98 Joe Sewell * .3909
99 Hughie Jennings * .3907
100 Augie Galan .3904

See also

Notes

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

References

General
  • "Career Leaders & Records for On-Base%". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
Specific
  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. ^ "Mickey Cochrane Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Arky Vaughan Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Rules for Election: BBWAA". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ Neyer, Rob (August 2, 2001). "Say it ain't so ... for Joe and the Hall". ESPN Classic. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
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