A lot has been made of a Connecticut high school baseball hits record over the last few days.
Late last year, we reported Staples’ slugger Ben Casparius had surpassed the state record for career hits in last year’s state championship victory over Amity. Casparius finished with 125 for his career.
Even Connecticut baseball legend Bobby Valentine congratulated Casparius on “becoming the Hit King of state” a day after the game.
Congratulations to Ben Casparius from Staples HS, for becoming the new Hit King of state. Congrats to ur teammates on the great year!!
— Bobby Valentine (@BobbyValentine) June 11, 2017
Based on that number, Amity determined that All-State senior catcher Pat Winkel was getting close to surpassing that mark this season. We even reported that Winkel tied said record with a bunt single in Monday’s win over Hand.
Well, unfortunately for all involved, we’re going to have to scratch all that.
Wherever the figure came from, it’s wrong.
As far as we can tell, the faulty information came from us. But after examination, we’re still not sure where we got it from. (We’ll endeavor to find out and get back to you when we do).
Some commenters on this website wondered aloud about the actual record. With just a little extra reporting from our end, we can now say 125 hits isn’t the state career record.
It’s not even close.
At the request of a commenter, we looked into Montville graduate Jeremy Terni. And, sure enough, according to a 2015 article in the Norwich Bulletin, Terni, who played at Montville from 1997-2000, finished his career with 148 hits. At the time, his feat was considered the state’s hits record.
Former Bulletin reporter Marc Allard confirmed to us the number came from former coach Phil Orbe, whose Montville baseball site lists Terni’s career hits at 148.
Not only that, but Montville also reports that Jesse Sutherland, whose four-year career ended in 2010, finished with 129 hits.
So… OK, Casparius and Winkel are not the all-time hit kings in Connecticut baseball history, according to Montville’s records. So does that mean Terni’s 148 hits are the actual state record?
Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure. It might be! That’s a lot of hits. But it also might not!
The reporting of high schools statistics has always been dicey. Unlike professional leagues or colleges, stat-keeping has always been in the hands of the individual teams and, to a lesser extent, news organizations.
They’re also tougher to align since many scorekeepers don’t know all of the nuances of National Federation rules. Errors are almost par for the course.
And, as far as we know, nobody has compiled a baseball state record book for Connecticut like Gerry deSimas Jr. and Bob Barton have for football (and even those gentlemen will tell you, their efforts are far from 100 percent accurate).
So, right now, there’s really no way to accurately determine who is Connecticut’s hit king.
What we can say for certain is this: We should all remember that high school statistics are wildly uncertain. And, with that in mind, none of us should take statistics, milestones or records at face value. We should always say where we’re getting this information from.
This was an easy determination. All it took was a simple online search to debunk it. We should remember to check this stuff, vigilantly before presenting them.
At least now — albeit a year later — we’ve corrected this for the record. We can now accurately say we have no idea what the state’s career hit record is.
We do know it’s not 125.
We apologize for the error.