History of The Bunt Double

Juan Pierre was one of two players to bunt for a double in 2012. - Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

A quick look at one of baseball's strangest events through the years.

This past Friday Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs wrote a wonderfully entertaining piece that focused on the two occasions in which major leaguers bunted for power in 2012. In his piece, Sullivan shows the gif images of both Quentin Berry and Juan Pierre's awkward-looking bunted doubles, and mentions that this is Pierre's third time pulling off the bizarre feat. As it turns out, Pierre's latest bunt double ties him for the record dating back since play-by-play data is available.

St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal is the only other player in history known to have grabbed the extra base off of a bunt more than twice. Furcal did it in consecutive seasons in 2002 and 2001 and then again just recently in 2009.

Prior to that, only Alfredo Griffin was known to have done it twice, once in 1985 and again two years later in '87. Oddly, Griffin's first bunt double occurred in a season in which three other players also recorded power bunts-- Mariano Duncan, Odibe Mcdowell, and no bunting discussion would be complete without Brett Butler, the all-time leader at bunting for a hit. 1985 was the only season in which there were four instances of bunting for a double, but there were three power bunts in 1975 and in 1997.

Fittingly, Jackie Robinson was the first to record the bunt double in 1951.

No player has ever recorded a bunt triple.

Here is the full list (google doc) of all known bunt doubles:

Bunting for a Double

Name Year game_id event_id hit_cd
Quintin Berry 2012 CLE201205230 38 2
Juan Pierre 2012 PHI201206030 45 2
Cliff Pennington 2010 OAK201004080 70 2
Rafael Furcal 2009 LAN200907200 9 2
Juan Pierre 2007 LAN200707020 60 2
Juan Pierre 2004 NYN200407200 1 2
Endy Chavez 2003 MIL200304300 26 2
Rafael Furcal 2001 NYN200106240 61 2
Rafael Furcal 2000 CIN200008080 1 2
Abraham Nunez 1999 PIT199905310 41 2
Tony Fernandez 1997 TEX199705130 72 2
Mike Lansing 1997 MON199707060 7 2
Edgar Renteria 1997 FLO199704010 24 2
Robby Thompson 1995 PIT199506210 79 2
Chad Fonville 1995 CIN199508170 1 2
Mitch Webster 1991 PIT199105250 17 2
Hal Morris 1990 PIT199008250 62 2
Mark McLemore 1988 CAL198804080 39 2
Alfredo Griffin 1987 OAK198706211 35 2
Oddibe McDowell 1985 KCA198505280 17 2
Mariano Duncan 1985 SLN198507060 2 2
Brett Butler 1985 CLE198509132 6 2
Alfredo Griffin 1985 BAL198509030 33 2
Rick Miller 1981 BOS198109260 63 2
Frank Taveras 1979 SDN197907210 2 2
Darrell Porter 1979 KCA197906120 85 2
Miguel Dilone 1978 OAK197806050 5 2
Bobby Murcer 1976 SFN197607210 66 2
Rick Burleson 1975 BOS197507080 45 2
Larry Bowa 1975 PIT197504270 63 2
Jack Brohamer 1975 MIN197505130 16 2
Don Wilson 1971 PHI197105070 13 2
Willie McCovey 1970 SFN197005032 8 2
Bobby Tolan 1969 CHN196906090 43 2
Hal Lanier 1965 SFN196505150 68 2
Danny O'Connell 1961 DET196108021 2 2
Jackie Robinson 1951 BRO195108240 7 2

. . .

James Gentile writes about baseball at Beyond the Box Score and The Hardball Times. You can follow him on twitter @JDGentile.

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