Five Batters Who Drew the Most Walks
May is National Walk Month, a perfect opportunity to celebrate the players who truly know how to “walk the walk” in baseball. Just like this dedicated month encourages us to embrace the benefits of walking, these batters have mastered the art of working the count and earning their way to first base. Some have relied on their intimidating presence, striking fear into pitchers, while others have shown Marge Simpson-like patience, a keen eye, or a combination of all three. As we recognize National Walk Month, let’s step up to the plate and dive into the fascinating world of the five batters who’ve accumulated the most walks in MLB history and their last Topps cards as active players.
1. Barry Bonds: 2,558 Walks
The boogeyman of baseball, Barry Bonds, struck fear into opposing pitchers whenever he donned the dish. The anxiety of possibly watching a hanging fastball sail into the San Francisco Bay resulted in the MLB’s all-time home run leader taking the title for most homers (762) and walks (2,558) in baseball history.
2. Rickey Henderson: 2,190 Walks
Rickey stole more bases than anyone (1,406). Rickey also drew more walks than them (2,190) — until Barry Bonds came along. He even spoke in the third person, which is quite an accomplishment in itself. Rickey was one of the best baseball players to ever grace the diamond, leaving the game with a bust in Cooperstown.
3. Babe Ruth: 2,062 Walks
Babe Ruth’s propensity for pummeling pitches past fences put helpless heavers in an awkward situation. Either risk the embarrassment of watching Babe round the bases as a packed stadium gawked in awe or take the easy way out and give him a free pass to first. Unfortunately for his adversaries, choosing either helped him into the record books, as he finished his MLB career with league marks for homers (714) and walks (2,062) — both currently ranked third.
4. Ted Williams: 2,021 Walks
Fellow Big Leaguer George Pipgras claimed that Williams had the “greatest” pair of eyes he ever saw. He also said that Williams NEVER swung at a bad ball. *Maury voice* The numbers support both of those claims. The Hall of Famer employed patience and his gift of sight to set an MLB record in on-base percentage (.482), lead The Show in bases on balls eight times and rank fourth in league history in walks (2,021).
5. Joe Morgan: 1,865 Walks
Joe Morgan credits his arrogance for being able to sustain his star. That was evident every time he balked at a bad pitch, forcing pitchers to hit the strike zone or watch him stroll down to first base. While making his opponents on the mound look foolish throughout his Hall of Fame career, Morgan led the National League in walks four times and accumulated 1,865 bases on balls.