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Williams hitting .400 or Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Ilmago, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Ilmago

    Ilmago Guest

    They both came in the same year, in your opinion which one is more impressive and please explain why.

    I think Ted's accomplishment was more impressive. This is why:

    Joe's Streak

    I'm a math guy, and, while Joe's streak was certainly impressive, it had more to do with luck than hitting .400 does. DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying that Joe just got lucky and hit in 56 straight games, I'm just saying that for anyone who hits very well over a 56 game period, which he did, it takes some luck to have at least one hit occur in each of those games. As someone already said, Ted Williams had a better batting average than Joe over those 56 games, but he didn't happen to get a base hit in all of them. Is a player who goes 1-4 in consecutive nights more impressive than his teammate who goes 0-4 the first night and 4-4 the next? Not really, but one constitutes a hit streak and the other doesn't. Obviously, no one's going to put together a long hit streak by hitting .250 - it takes a great hitter to do it, but there is some chance involved.

    Ted's .400 Season

    Ted's 1941 season is one of the most impressive seasons ever to me. I'm not sure if the point of this thread is to consider just the fact that he hit .400 or his whole season overall (he also led the league in homers and set the single season record for OBP), so, to be safe, I'll just examine his batting average. In my opinion, Ted Williams is the only .400 hitter from the "modern" era of batting averages. Before 1930, batting averages were extremely high by and large, and .400 hitters were pretty common. There were seven .400 seasons during the 20s, and Bill Terry also had one in 1930, which was a notorious hitters year. After that, no one did it for eleven years, Williams obviously being the next. I think that a lot changed in those eleven years. Look at the margin by which each of the .400 hitters from 1910 and after led (or trailed) the Major Leagues in batting average:

    1911 - Ty Cobb - .012
    1911 - Joe Jackson - (trailed Cobb by .012)
    1912 - Ty Cobb - .014
    1920 - George Sisler - .019
    1922 - George Sisler - .019
    1922 - Rogers Hornsby - (trailed Sisler by .019)
    1922 - Ty Cobb - (trailed Sisler by .019)
    1923 - Harry Heilmann - .010
    1924 - Rogers Hornsby - .046
    1925 - Rogers Hornsby - .010
    1930 - Bill Terry - .008
    1941 - Ted Williams - .047

    The only margin that is comparable to Ted's is Rogers Hornsby in 1924, which is a little deceptive because Hornsby hit a ridiculous .424, the highest average of anyone on the list. I guess my point is that Ted Williams is the only player ever to hit .400 in an era in which it wasn't relatively common and that makes it more significant in my mind. I'm not saying that some of those other guys who hit .420 wouldn't have at least hit .400 under Ted's conditions, but, as it stands, Ted is the only one to actually do it.
  2. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    Pete Rose
  3. Ilmago

    Ilmago Guest

    Good one!!!
  4. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Ted gets notoriety because his was the last .400 average. Before him, .400 averages were fairly common.

    It's like McGwire-Sosa in 1998. Someone had to lose the MVP. Sosa's team got to the playoffs (no thanks to Brant Brown), so he won.
  5. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    Neither compares to Joey chestnut's 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes in 2009.

    That was far better than Takeru Kobayashi's 54 hot dogs in 12 minutes in 2006.

    Sadly, Chestnut fell back to only 54 in 10 minutes, this year.

    There's a pretty good chance that they've begun juicing the dogs, so I doubt anyone will reach that level of achievement, again.
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Son of a fuck, slow down with these.

    Joe, because he wasn't a hinderence when a bat was not in his hands.
  7. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    That wasn't the question, it's which accomplishment was more impressive.

    But since you brought it up, it's Williams and it's not really close.
  8. Ilmago

    Ilmago Guest

    If you guys don't like these type of threads then don't reply. It's not hard to understand.

    But it's funny, people don't like my threads but they seem to be really active.
  9. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    At first, I would have thought Williams hitting .400 would be the more impressive achievement, but after doing a little digging, I'm not so sure. Based on what I dug up, I'd say the chances of someone hitting .400 in a season again are better than those of someone hitting in 56 straight games.

    HITTING .400
    If you take as a given that a player is going to get somewhere around 500 at-bats in a season, then the difference between hitting .370 and .400 is about 15 hits over the course of the season, which is quite doable over a 162-game season. Since 1941, there have been 8 players who finished a season with a BA of .370 or better, including Williams himself, who batted .388 in 1957. That also includes Tony Gwynn's .394 when the season was shut down for the players' strike in 1994. The others:

    George Brett, .390 (1980)
    Rod Carew, .388 (1977)
    Tony Gwynn, .372 (1997)
    Todd Helton, .372 (2000)
    Nomar Garciaparra, .372 (2000)
    Andres Galerraga, .370 (1993)

    Since 1941, only four players have had hitting streaks within 20 games of 56 straight, and none closer than Pete Rose's 44-game streak in 1978. Paul Molitor hit in 39 straight in 1987, Jimmy Rollins hit in 38 straight at the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006 and Tommy Holmes hit in 37 straight in 1945. That's it.
  10. pressboxer

    pressboxer Active Member

    You know what the difference is between hitting .350 and hitting .400? I got it figured out.

    Twenty-five hits a year in 500 at bats is 50 points. Okay? There's six months in a season, that's about 25 weeks. You get one extra flare a week, just one — a gork, a ground ball with eyes, a dying quail — just one more dying quail a week and you're in Yankee Stadium!
  11. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    The two most outstanding single-season offensive achievements in major league history happened in 1920-21, when Babe Ruth hit .376 and .378 and slugged .847 and .846. His on-base percentage was higher in the first year, .532 versus .512, but in 1921 he increased his home runs from 54 to 59, his RBI from 137 to 171 and his runs from 158 to 177. He also had a record 457 total bases in 1921.

    In 1920, he actually outhomered 14 of the other 15 major league teams - only the Philadelphia Phillies, with 64 home runs, hit more than Babe's 54. The major leaguers who finished second through fourth in the home run race, combined, didn't hit as many as he did. Of the 630 home runs hit in MLB in 1920, one man accounted for 8.57 per cent of them.

    The top 16 teams for home runs in 2009 hit a total of 3,219. That means someone would have to have hit 275 home runs to equal what Babe Ruth did in 1920. With all due respect to DiMaggio and Williams, Ruth kind of dwarfs anything they did in 1941.
  12. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    My vote is for Williams.

    To hit in 56 straight games, you get 4-5 chances a night to get one hit.
    To hit .400, you have to average nearly 2 hits in each of those chances over the course of the season.

    I basically think Ted Williams was a son of a bitch, but I give him full props for not ducking hitting .400. He had it wrapped up going into the final day of the season (a doubleheader I think) and was given the opportunity to sit out. He didn't.

    I give him even more props for his military service.
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