Saturday, July 7, 2012


The holy grail.  To be able to hit .400 in a season almost seems to be a dream now.  This stat hasn't been accomplished since Ted Williams did it in 1941 (Williams by the way was the youngest to accomplish this at age 22).

It's only been accomplished 28 times during the history of MLB, and only 4 times by someone over the age of 30.  The greats of the game have their names etched in this exclusive club.  Rogers Hornsby 3x, Ty Cobb 3x, Ed Delahanty 3x, George Sisler 2x, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Nap Lajoie.

During my lifetime, there have been some flirtations with .400;  George Brett hit .390 in 1980, Rod Carew hit .388 in 1977.  Those are the only 2 players to come within 15 points since 1967.  [EDIT:  I missed the Tony Gwynn .394 mark in 1994, so there was actually 3 players to come within 15 points]

Tony Gwynn?  .372 in 1997 (see EDIT above)
Wade Boggs?  .368 in 1985
Ichiro?             .372 in 2004

Why a post about the elusive .400 today?  Because I've had the fortune of watching this guy quite a bit this year.

Watching this guy hit a triple is a sight to see.

Do I think he's going to hit .400 this year?  No.  I'd be thrilled to see him do it, but the tear he's been on the past 11 games, going 22/47 (.468) is simply impossible to carry over a season anymore.  Watching teams try to pitch around him the past couple of weeks shows that even with the "diluted" talent pool spread out over 30 teams, the advanced scouting still provides tendencies to managers and pitching coaches that help to mitigate the damage that even the top hitters can create.

The fans have taken to chanting "MVP" when he's at bat.  This year, they have a case.  Andrew was the offense for the Pirates for the first two months.  The fact that he wasn't voted in as a starter for the All Star game is proof that voters miss the mark more often than you think.

I've written on the blog before about John Olerud of the Blue Jays carrying a .400 average right up until August 1st in 1993, only to see his average drop to a mortal .363 by seasons end.  It is a task and a half to keep up a "2 for 5 season".

1994 Pinnacle #5
Similar to the 56 game hitting streak that Joe DiMaggio had in 1941 (oh to have seen his hitting streak and Williams .406 that year...what an amazing season that must have been to watch), the .400 barrier is likely something that we will never see again (IMHO).

There's also another, less important reason that I'm discussing .400 today.  This is my 400th post, something that I also thought I'd never see when I first started.

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. Congrats on 400 :-)

    Here's a good article on Trout and .400 at billjamesonline:

  2. Congratulations on your 400th post!!!

  3. I just bought a book yesterday call Baseball in '41 by Robert Creamer. He says it was the greatest season ever. Congrats on 400!