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Celebrating the best of the worst

By Gary Hill

The Mariners beat the Angels 3-2 in 10 innings Tuesday night. The boos from the partisan throng reigned down on one of their own as Josh Hamilton struggled through an epically bad night. Hamilton joined an elite group of players who have produced such a grotesque box score line that it is impossible to turn away.

Today we celebrate the best of the worst:

Josh Hamilton, Angels, June 18, 2013: 0-5, 2K, 3GIDP

Hamilton became just the second player to ground into three double plays and fan twice in a game. To make matters worse, one of the strikeuots came with the winning run in scoring position in the ninth inning. The Angels lost to the Mariners 3-2.

Joe Torre, Mets, July 21, 1975: 0-4, 4GIDP

The formula was simple. Felix Millan singled four times in the game and he was doubled off all four times by Torre ground outs.

Alex Gonzalez , Blue Jays, Sept. 9, 1998: 0-6, 6K

Dwight Gooden fanned him three times while Paul Shuey, Doug Jones, Michael Jackson each got him once. To make matters worse for Gonzalez, Cleveland was victorious 6-3 in 13 innings.

Charlie Pick, Boston Braves, May 1, 1920: 0-11

He began the game with a .324 batting average and ended it hitting .250. The Brooklyn Robins and Boston Braves played to a 26-inning 1-1 tie. All 11 outs were against starting pitcher Leon Cadore, who went the distance: 26 innings, 15 hits, one earned run, one walk, and seven strikeouts.

Glenn Beckert , Cubs, Sept. 16, 1972: 0-6, 12LOB

The Cubs pounded the Mets 18-5. Every starter in the Cubs’ lineup reached base and scored a run with one exception. Burt Hooton, the starting pitcher, went 2 for 3 with a homer and four RBIs. Tom Seaver was rocked for eight runs in 2 1/3 innings, but Beckert never joined the fun. He shares the MLB record for most runners left on base in a game. He batted in the first inning with the bases loaded and popped to center. He batted twice with runners on second and third in the third inning and was retired each time.

Ron Swoboda and Tommie Agee, Mets, April 15, 1968: Swoboda: 0-10, 5K; Agee: 0-10, 4K

The Mets and Astros played scoreless baseball until Houston finally won it thanks to an error in the bottom of the 24th. The Mets’ third and fourth hitters had their batting averages absolutely destroyed. Agee: .313 before and .192 after. Swoboda: .385 before and .217.

Jeff King, Pirates, July 2, 1990: 0-6, 2K, 3GIDP

Barry Bonds reached base five times in the game and King had him doubled up on three of those occasions. At least the Pirates beat the Padres 4-3 in 14 innings.

Chris Davis, Orioles, May 6, 2012: 0-8, 5K, 1 GIDP

Baltimore pounded out 15 hits and hung nine runs on the board, but Davis failed to contribute offensively. He did make up for it by pitching the 16th and 17th innings to grab the win in a 9-6 triumph over the Red Sox.

Victor Martinez, Tigers, Sept. 11, 2011: 0-4, 4 double plays)

Martinez grounded into three twin killings and lined into another. However, it was not a total loss. The Tigers won 2-1 over the Twins and one of the runs scored on a double play.

Cecil Cooper, Red Sox, June 14, 1974: 0-8, 6K

The Red Sox lead-off man faced Nolan Ryan seven times in the game and struck out in six of those at-bats. Ryan pitched 13 innings and fanned 19. He walked 10 and surrendered three runs.

Bobby Darwin, Twins, May 12, 1972: 0-9, 5K, 1GIDP, 1BB

The Twins fell to the Brewers 4-3 in 22 innings. Darwin batted fifth that day and Rod Carew rubbed it in by going 5 for 7 with three walks in the third slot.

David Ortiz, Red Sox, May 14, 2009: 0-7, 3K, 12LOB

Ortiz strolled to the dish with runners in scoring position in six of his seven at-bats. He tied an MLB record with 12 left on base and the Angels beat the Red Sox 5-4 in 12 innings.