Babe Ruth didn’t just knock home runs, he hit for average too you know.
In fact, Babe Ruth has the highest lifetime average of any Yankee ever. He finished his career in pinstripes at a hot .349.
Today’s list checks out all 30 baseball franchises’ greatest hitters, in terms of highest lifetime average.
Now, some of these names will throw you for a loop. For example, Bill Madlock is the Cubs‘ all time average leader (not Cap Anson); Jose Offerman tops all Royals (what? not George Brett?); and Jake Stenzel is the Pirates‘ all-time leader, not Paul Waner.
That’s due to the minimum statistical requirements… just 1,500 plate appearances. So, officially, these are the guys.
I’ve provided at-bats in the final column, because that is that stat used when calculating batting average (hits/at-bats).
You can see both the all-time franchise leader and current team leader for those teams who have different leaders for each. These cases are represented by the ellipsis (“…”).
Tomorrow: Home Runs.
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|Arizona Diamondbacks||Luis Gonzalez||.298||4,488|
|Atlanta Braves…||Boston Beaneaters||Billy Hamilton||.339||2,613|
|Atlanta Braves||Ralph Garr||.317||3,222|
|Baltimore Orioles…||St. Louis Browns||Heinie Manush||.362||1,410|
|Baltimore Orioles||Roberto Alomar||.312||1,588|
|Boston Red Sox||Ted Williams||.344||7,706|
|Chicago Cubs||Bill Madlock||.336||1,481|
|Chicago White Sox||Shoeless Joe Jackson||.340||2,439|
|Cincinnati Reds||Cy Seymour||.332||2,221|
|Cleveland Indians…||Cleveland Naps/Indians||Shoeless Joe Jackson||.375||2,502|
|Cleveland Indians||Tris Speaker||.354||5,546|
|Colorado Rockies||Larry Walker||.334||4,076|
|Detroit Tigers||Ty Cobb||.368||10,591|
|Houston Astros||Moises Alou||.331||1,551|
|Kansas City Royals||Jose Offerman||.306||1,592|
|Los Angeles Angels
|Los Angeles Dodgers…||Brooklyn Superbas||Willie Keeler||.352||2,367|
|LA Dodgers||Mike Piazza||.331||2,707|
|Miami Marlins||Florida Marlins||Miguel Cabrera||.313||2,694|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Ryan Braun||.312||3,054|
|Minnesota Twins||Rod Carew||.334||6,235|
|New York Mets||John Olerud||.315||1,662|
|New York Yankees||Babe Ruth||.349||7,217|
|Oakland Athletics…||Philadelphia A’s||Al Simmons||.356||5,130|
|Oakland A’s||Jason Giambi||.300||3,667|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Billy Hamilton||.360||3,007|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Jake Stenzel||.360||1,755|
|San Diego Padres||Tony Gwynn||.338||9,288|
|San Francisco Giants…||NY Giants||Bill Terry||.341||6,428|
|SF Giants||Barry Bonds||.312||6,263|
|Seattle Mariners||Ichiro Suzuki||.324||7,663|
|St. Louis Cardinals…||St. Louis Perfectos/Cards||Jesse Burkett||.378||1,718|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Rogers Hornsby||.359||5,881|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Carl Crawford||.296||4,992|
|Texas Rangers||Al Oliver||.319||2,094|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Paul Molitor||.315||1,615|
|Washington Nationals…||Montreal Expos||Vladimir Guerrero||.323||3,763|
|Washington Nationals||Ryan Zimmerman||.287||3,417|
So, who have been the most feared hitters in baseball?
One way to look at it is to check out the records on intentional walks (or intentional bases on balls), a statistic that has been officially kept by Major League Baseball since 1955.
With an intentional walk, the pitcher purposely gives the batter first base by walking him with at least the last pitch intentionally tossed far outside the strike zone, beyond the batter’s ability to make contact.
The pitcher’s team would rather give the current hitter a base and face the next batter, than give him an opportunity to put the ball in play. That’s a fair indication of “fear,” if you ask me.
Steroids or not, Barry Bonds has unquestionably been the most feared hitter of the last six decades. He recorded a whopping 688 career intentional bases on balls, more than twice as many as second-place (and previous all-time home run leader) Hank Aaron.
This list, the top 20 all-time leaders in drawing intentional walks, features the best hitters in baseball since 1955 – mostly in terms of thunderous power (Bonds, Aaron, Willie McCovey, Albert Pujols, etc), but also in terms of high average (George Brett, Tony Gwynn).
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Ted Williams was the last baseball player to hit .400 – now a hard to believe 70 years ago, 1941. Is the .400 hitter extinct? It sure seems so.
Here are all of baseball’s .400 hitters. Most of them played before 1930 and many in the 1800′s. The game is so different today, everything from the talent level to the equipment to the test of endurance 162 games around the country demands. Don’t forget the media.
In about 135 years or so of baseball (National League – 1876; American League – 1901), a player has hit .400 only 28 times.
Twenty players have hit .400. Ed Delahanty (3), Rogers Hornsby (3), Ty Cobb (3), George Sisler (2) and Jesse Burkett (2) are the only players to do it more than once.
|15.||Shoeless Joe Jackson||.408||1911||L|