Dave Campbell didn't even know he was in a slump.
Well, he knew, but he had no idea about the magnitude of it. The year was 1973, and Campbell was in the midst of an 0-for-45 odyssey that spanned three different teams and, until this week, was tied for the second-longest hitless streak in major league history.
It started in San Diego, where Campbell was an infielder for the Padres. It followed him to St. Louis, where he was traded in June of that year, and then to Houston, where he was dealt in August. Through it all, Campbell was clueless. It wasn't until 2011, when current Brewers manager Craig Counsell went through an 0-for-45 of his own during his final season as a player, that Campbell discovered just how historic his slump was.
"I only learned about it after a couple calls from some buddies at ESPN," says Campbell, who transitioned to the broadcast booth after his playing days. "Nobody was detailing those types of stats [back then]."
Unlike Campbell, today's players don't have the luxury of ignorance. Just ask Chris Davis.
At the Orioles' home opener last week, fans at Camden Yards were merciless in their treatment of Davis. Knowing full well he hadn't recorded a hit since the middle of September, they booed him when he ran down the orange carpet during pregame intros. They booed him in his first at-bat and each AB after that, getting progressively saltier each time. When he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, the crowd gave a sarcastic standing ovation.