The Top 20 MLB Season Walk Leaders

Jimmy Wynn of the Astros is tied for 14th place on the list of MLB season walk leaders.

Jimmy Wynn of the Astros is tied for 14th place on the list of MLB season walk leaders. – Jeff Bagwell is tied for the 12th spot.


If there’s one idea that describes most of the men on the all time MLB list of Top 20 Season Walk Leaders, it is that all, but four of them had tremendous power. Only the three “Eddies” (Yost, Joost, and Stanky) and Jimmy Sheckard were simply little guys who knew both the strike zone and the arts of getting into the pitcher’s head about less explosive concerns. – Eddie Yost was so good at working the base on balls calls that he even drew his “the Walking Man” nickname from those skills.

The other guys on the list were bashers – and they all shared the ability to strike terror in the hearts of pitchers who knew darn well what probably would happen if they received a pitch too good to miss. As most of you know too, that fear of these batters grew with runners on base in a close game.

Barry Bonds and five others were the only men to ever receive the extreme strategic response to that fear of what might happen if they were allowed to hit with men in scoring position – but none of the others were on the top 20 season walk leader list. Bonds and company were given intentional walks with the bases loaded, a strategy dedicated to the idea that giving up one run for certain was preferable to the probability of giving up four with a grand slam. In chronological order, the six players given such passes are Abner Dalrymple (1881), Nap Lajoie (1901), Del Bissonette (1928), Bill Nicholson (1944), Barry Bonds (1998), and Josh Hamilton (2008). In all six cases, the pitching team went on to win the game with the help of this unorthodox strategy.

Here’s the list, thanks to Baseball Reference.Com:

The Top Twenty MLB Season Walk Leaders Table

# Player Bats Age Walks Year
1 Barry Bonds L 39 232 2004
2 Barry Bonds L 37 198 2002
3 Barry Bonds L 36 177 2001
4 Babe Ruth L 28 170 1923
5t Mark McGwire R 34 162 1998
5t Ted Williams L 28 162 1947
5t Ted Williams L 30 162 1949
8 Ted Williams L 27 156 1946
9t Barry Bonds L 31 151 1996
9t Eddie Yost R 29 151 1956
11 Babe Ruth L 25 150 1920
12t Jeff Bagwell R 31 149 1999
12t Eddie Joost R 33 149 1949
14t Barry Bonds R 38 148 2003
14t Eddie Stanky R 29 148 1945
14t Jimmy Wynn R 27 148 1969
17t Jimmy Sheckard L 32 147 1911
17t Ted Williams L 22 147 1941
19 Mickey Mantle B 25 146 1957
20t Barry Bonds L 32 145 1997
20t Harmon Killebrew R 33 145 1969
20t Babe Ruth L 26 145 1921
20t Ted Williams L 23 145 1942


Interesting to Note:

  • Barry Bonds leads all others in the Top 20 Season Walk list with six appearances – and he was over age 30 for each of those, achieving the all time record for season walks with 232 in 2004 at age 39.
  • Two former Houston Astros, Jeff Bagwell (12t in 1999) and Jimmy Wynn (14t in 1969) both made the Top 20 List.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: