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Brock Davis' Place In Baseball History Remains Secure

You might not be familiar with Bryshear Bennett "Brock" Davis and perhaps you shouldn't be because, truth be told, he wasn't very good. But he holds a fairly dubious Brewer record, a record that no one had approached in over ten years until recently.

On April 18, 1972, Davis made his Brewer debut, pinch hitting for pitcher Jim Slaton in the sixth inning of a 2-0 loss to the Yankees. Davis went 0-for-1 that day. He picked up his first Brewer hit eight days later, a pinch hit RBI single in the ninth inning of a 3-1 loss to the Angels. 

What happened that day isn't what's relevant, though*, it's what didn't happen. You see, Davis came to the plate in five games in April, 12 in May, 13 in June, 20 in July and five in August before picking up his first Brewer extra base hit: A double off Yankee starter Mel Stottlemyre on August 13 (it was the only Brewer XBH in a 5-3 loss). After 55 games, Davis had finally connected for extra bases for the first time. His run of XBH futility by a non-pitcher was the longest in the history of the young Brewer franchise.

* - Actually, none of this is relevant. Follow the jump for more, though.

Davis finished the 1972 season with two doubles (the second one came on October 2), no triples, and no home runs. Despite his .318/.365/.331 slash line, the Brewers went just 20-65 on days when he appeared. He opened the 1973 season in the minors, was traded to the Padres and never surfaced in the major leagues again. But his record lived on.

Since then, a handful of Brewers have approached the record, but none have eclipsed it. Some of the more notable attempts:

  • From 1972-1973, catcher Ellie Rodriguez went 48 games.
  • From 1986-1987, first baseman Billy Jo Robidoux went 49 games.
  • Juan Castillo went 51 games between XBH from September of 1987 to April of 1989.
  • After Castillo, no Brewer went more than 35 games until Sean Berry went 43 in 1999-2000.
Entering the 2010 season, no Brewer had an XBH-free streak of more than 30 games since Brady Clark did it for 32 straight games in 2004. But all of that was about to change.

Craig Counsell doubled to right in the fifth inning of the Brewers' 9-0 loss in San Diego on April 29. The next day he singled in a pinch hit appearance (another Brewer loss), and the streak was on. He played in 18 games in May, hitting .216/.237/.216. He didn't get much better in 18 games in June, hitting .227/.320/.227. And entering play on Thursday he was hitting .143/.296/.143 in 12 games in July. All told, he'd gone 49 straight games without an extra base hit, tied for the fourth longest streak in Brewer history. Counsell was the first position player to come within six games of Davis' record since 1989.

But then, the impossible happened. Counsell stepped to the plate for his first at bat of the day in the second inning on Thursday and doubled to center off Ross Ohlendorf, snapping the streak. After nearly 3 full months and 103 ABs, the streak was over. Davis' record was once again safe.

Fifty five games without an extra base hit isn't an unbreakable record**, but it seems unlikely that anyone will approach it anytime soon, especially in a single season. Here are the longest Brewer streaks by season since 1990:

Season Player Start End Games
2010 Craig Counsell April 30 July 22
2009 Jody Gerut May 22 July 20 29
2008 Tony Gwynn, Jr. April 23 September 20 23*** (t)
2007 Gabe Gross May 26 July 18 20
2006 Gabe Gross April 26 June 3 30
2005 Chris Magruder July 16 August 18 21
2004 Brady Clark April 18 May 29 32
2003 Enrique Cruz May 19 September 28 31
2002 Lenny Harris April 2 May 24 34
2001 Tony Fernandez April 2 May 15 27
2000 James Mouton April 29 June 28 33
1999 Sean Berry July 28 October 3 30****
1998 Marc Newfield May 20 July 9 24
1997 Jeff Huson May 5 July 14 33
1996 Jesse Levis June 30 August 17 33*****
1995 Pat Listach May 29 July 22 30
1994 Jody Reed April 19 May 11 20
1993 B.J. Surhoff April 23 May 26 25
1992 B.J. Surhoff April 9 May 25 29
1991 Willie Randolph April 11 May 26 27
1990 Edgar Diaz April 9 May 11 26

** - Counsell might be able to break it if he comes back next season 
*** - Joe Dillon also had a 23 game streak in 2008.
**** - Berry also had a 21 game streak in 1999, from June 12 to July 23.
***** - Levis also had a 29 game streak in 1996, from April 9 to June 15.