I usually put out a call for the DiSar Awards in March, but they slipped by this season. In fact, I never even handed out the 2004 Golden Crutches. No, I should rephrase…I never even asked Keith Woolner to tell me who won the ’04 Golden Crutches.

For those of you new to this space, the DiSar Awards are named in tribute to former Angels shortstop Gary DiSarcina who, bless him, once said that he had a goal of going through an entire season without drawing a walk. DiSarcina has left the field, but the DiSars live on to honor that notion, going to the position player in each league who goes the deepest into his season without hearing the words, “Take your base!”

For the history buffs, the first four winners of the awards were:

Year    American League        National League

2003        Jose Molina          Rainer Olmedo
2002      Carl Crawford         Shawon Dunston
2001    Alfonso Soriano        Marquis Grissom
2000       Jacque Jones         Shawon Dunston

The 2004 honorees are a pair of bench players who, in the tradition of ’03’s winners, didn’t let part-time status get in the way of swinging the bat. Like Jose Molina and Rainer Olmedo, Jose Macias and Cesar Crespo parlayed their limited opportunities into glory, not wasting their time at the plate watching pitches, but getting after them in the manner that made Gary DiSarcina an Orange County Legend.

Macias racked up 98 at-bats before drawing his first free pass on June 23. Diamondbacks’ rookie shortstop Jerry Gil made a spirited run at Macias, but ran out of season–Gil ended the year with 86 at-bats and no walks. Crespo might well have walked…er…swung past all of them, but he was banished from the Red Sox bench early in July, having picked up 79 at-bats and not a single base on balls. He does, however, take home AL honors. Jorge Cantu was the only player to make a charge; he drew a walk in August, after 54 at-bats.

Pitchers aren’t eligible for the award, but they peppered the list, holding down five of the top ten DiSar streaks. Among position players, Alex Sanchez (72), Jolbert Cabrera (59) and Bret Boone (58) were next in line.

There was a contest last year, and that contest once again had no winners. No one named Macias or Crespo, much less both. I seem to remember a rider about picking a winner based on who amused me, but after re-reading the e-mails, it appears no one even tried.

This year, there are some terrific DiSar races going on in the early going, although recent history has taught us that these things are won in the summer. Through Sunday, four players had already set DiSar numbers of 50 or higher, and two of those took active streaks into the season’s fourth week.

Jose Reyes           82*
Orlando Hudson       68
Aaron Miles          67*
Grady Sizemore       54
Jason Lane           46
Jorge Cantu          45
Jose Guillen         42
Edgar Renteria       40

The only other active streak of note through Sunday is Lance Niekro‘s 35 and counting.

Finally, Keith Woolner, being the type of guy he is, passed along a list of the longest DiSar streaks since 1972. We’re still waiting for that elusive walkless season, but there were some doozies. Enjoy.

YEAR NAME                  AB

1980 Rob Picciolo         259
1995 Mariano Duncan       213
1994 Kim Batiste          179
1973 Craig Robinson       146
1987 Angel Salazar        144
1985 Mickey Hatcher       134
1985 Alejandro Sanchez    133
1984 Jeff Kunkel          125
1990 Oscar Azocar         125
1986 Tom Paciorek         124
2001 Marquis Grissom      121
1984 Rob Picciolo         119
1983 Brian Harper         117
1974 Al Oliver            110
1986 Fernando Valenzuela  109
1977 Phil Niekro          109
1989 Kevin Romine         107
1972 Terry Humphrey       106
1978 Mike Colbern         105
1978 Taylor Duncan        105
1979 Rob Picciolo         105
1972 Catfish Hunter       105
2003 Jose Molina          104
1993 Alvaro Espinoza      104
1985 Milt Thompson        103
1992 Greg Briley          103
1974 Steve Carlton        102
2001 Alfonso Soriano      101
1989 Mariano Duncan       101
1982 Steve Carlton        101
1979 Joe Cannon           101
1976 J.R. Richard         100

Thank you for reading

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