Today’s Random Player That Sticks Out To Me In My Research Project That May Or May Not Amount To Anything is Eddie Yost. Yost was signed as a 17-year old out of John Adams High School in New York by the Washington Senators in 1944. After serving 18 months in the service, he started getting regular playing time at third base in 1947. He hit only .238, but did draw 48 walks against 57 strikeouts. That would be the worst ratio of his career.
Walks were deemed as a sign of weakness in those days while people only focused on batting average, homeruns, and RBI. Yost did not let that bother him. In 1948 he walked 82 times and struck out 51. In 1949 his ration was 91/41. The next year he led the league with 141 walks (only 63 strikeouts). He would lead the American League in walks six times in his career. Despite a .254 career average, his walks helped him to a career .394 on-base percentage and led the AL both in 1959 and 1960. In 1956 he fell just 19 walks short of Babe Ruth’s then single season record of 170.
When he retired after the 1962 season he ranked fourth all-time in walks, trailing only Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Mel Ott. He now ranks 11th, but of the seven players to pass him up, only Carl Yastrzemski and Mickey Mantle were playing at the time he retired. He never did have much power (.371 career slugging average), but “The Walking Man” did manage to reach base 3,576 times in his career and scored 1,215 runs. His BB/K ratio of 1.75 ranks 173rd out of over 3,000 qualified hitters since 1920 (when strikeouts for hitters became an official stat).