James Edward "Pete" Runnels
(January 28, 1928 – May 20, 1991) was a Major League Baseball infielder
who played for the Washington Senators
(1951–57), Boston Red Sox
(1958–62) and Houston Colt .45s
(1963–64). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
Runnels was born in Lufkin, Texas
. A master at handling the bat, he was a notorious singles
hitter who had one of the best eyes in the game, compiling an outstanding 1.35 walk-to-strikeout ratio
(844-to-627). Altogether, he batted
over .300 six times, once with the Senators, five with the Red Sox. Despite winning the batting title in 1960, he drove in just 35 runs, a record low for a batting title winner.
Solid and versatile with the glove, Runnels started as a shortstop
with the Senators, but ultimately played 644 games at first base
, 642 at second
, 463 at shortstop, and 49 at third
. Twice he led the American League
in fielding percentage
, at second base in 1960 (.986), and at first base in 1961 (.995). He was not a good base stealer: in 1952 he set the record for most attempted steals with no successes, at 10. In his career he stole 37 bases and was caught 51 times.
In five seasons with Boston, Runnels never hit less than .314 (), winning two batting
crowns in (.320) and (.326), and just missed the 1958 American League Batting Crown by six points to his teammate Ted Williams
on the final day of the season (.328 to .322). On August 30, 1960, in a double-header against the Tigers
, Runnels hit 6-for-7 in... Read More