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Coghlan Isn't the Pitz at the Plate (Not Yet)


  Before long, Chris Coghlan will surely come up with a double, triple or home run -- an extra-base hit in one form or another -- because he has none at the moment. He'll drop a double down the line, or race into third on a sinking liner that gets past a diving outfielder, or perhaps catch a breezy day at Wrigley Field and deposit a home run in the basket. I mean, anything can happen there. We saw Kevin Millar, of all people, hit an inside-the-park home run at Wrigley in 1999. It was his first big-league home run to boot.

  So Coghlan will get his extra-base hit sooner or laterr because, after all, it's only May 10, and it's not like he swings a toothpick. But if he doesn't, well, then we have to start keeping our eye on the record books.

  Doubt you've ever heard of either Herman Pitz or Bill Holbert. I certainly hadn't. But both played in the late 1800s. They're the only two players to have at least 200 at bats in a season without an extra base hit. Since 1900, the so-called "Modern Era," Jack "Rowdy Jack" O'Connor of the 1906 St. Louis Browns holds the distinction of having the most at bats in one season without an extra-base hit -- 174.

  Right now, Juan Pierre of the White Sox has only singles for hits from 126 at bats. Coghlan, who had three singles on Sunday to cross the "Mendoza Line" with a .206 average, has gone 102 at bats with not one extra-base hit so far.

   Not that anyone's counting.

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