Nowadays it’s impossible to play a whole week without slamming one over the fence, but in the early part of the century it was not out of the ordinary to go an entire season without a homer. Since no one was hitting them in abundance, guys with zero home runs could easily be found batting near the middle of the lineup. One such player was third-baseman Lave Cross, who piled up 1,378 RBIs, more than Johnny Bench, Duke Snider, or Pete Rose. Cross knocked in all those runs with the benefit of only 47 home runs, far fewer than his fellows on the all-time RBI list.
His best season came in 1894, when he knocked in a career-high 132 with seven homers, also a career-high. An impressive ratio, but not as impressive as his 1902 season. That year, with the Philadelphia Athletics, he pushed 108 men across the plate, good for third in the league. However, he did it without hitting a single home run. Even Boston pitcher Cy Young hit one out that year. Cross accumulated his many RBIs with the help of a .342 batting average (fourth in the league) and 39 doubles (third in the league). Since 1900, no other player has had as many RBIs without a home run.