I’m not here to argue a point. I’m here for two things. Thing number one is showing you my new episode of Rewinder, which I made with the excellent director Brian Torres. It’s about Bartolo Colon stepping up to the plate for an at-bat in which he was absolutely, statistically doomed to fail. Colon was a pitcher who spent most of his career playing for American League teams that rarely needed him to hit, and by the time of this game in 2016 he was 42 YEARS OLD. I guess this post’s headline has already spoiled what happens in the video, but I’m not particularly worried about that. It’s vital that you not just watch this moment, but understand just how unlikely that was, and the reasons why that’s the case.
Meanwhile, I was talking about this video with my Dorktown friends Jon and Alex, and they showed me this chart from Stathead:
Of players to log more than 300 career plate-appearances (a group that would not have included Bartolo if he didn’t join the Mets in his 40s), these are the players with the worst batting averages. Colon’s not far from the bottom (tied for 13th-worst). Even better: Of everyone in this group, he’s the only player with a home run to his name.
So, at least by this set of parameters, which is certainly not definitive, Bartolo Colon might just be the worst batter ever to hit a home run. The subject of this Rewinder episode might be the unlikeliest home run ... ever? Please offer alternatives answers here. I’m all ears.
And watch the episode. Thanks. I love you.