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Marlon Byrd: Taking One (Or More) For The Team

Cubs fans are seeing something this year that they haven’t seen in more than a century — and a 100+ year old team record is about to be broken.

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Marlon Byrd got hit by a pitch twice Sunday night. The club record for HBP in a season is 23, set by outfielder Bill Dahlen in 1898. The post-1900 record (since many keep track of baseball records by that demarcation line) is 17, by Frank Chance in 1905.

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Byrd has now been hit 16 times this year — so the post-1900 record is in imminent danger of being broken, and he’s got a shot at the all-time team mark. The post-1900 MLB record for HBP in one year is 50, set by Ron Hunt of the Montreal Expos in 1971. (Ouch! Byrd probably doesn’t want that one.)

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Since 1906 — when Harry Steinfeldt took a baseball off some part of his body 14 times — only one other Cub has had that many before Byrd. Scott Servais was hit 14 times in 1996.

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Byrd’s two HBP were productive last night, too — he scored after both of them, on home runs by Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano.