posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 11:27 PM
[Again, I ask that you please refrain from using Google or other reference tools, or that you please refrain from posting the answer, if you do
This is a stat I heard awhile ago. It's one somebody strained to think up, but it's still an interesting one, when you get to the answer. Trust me
It is an undeniably impressive combination of feats to bat at least .370 and steal at least 50 bases in the same season. Common sense would suggest
this feat has been accomplished, if at all, only by superstars in the Dead Ball Era. And, with one exception, this suggestion would be correct.
FOUR players have done this since 1900. THREE of them are as follows:
1. TRIS SPEAKER, in 1912, when he batted .383 and stole 82 bases. Believe it or not, he was NOT the Red Sox best player that year--at least, not in
my opinion. Pitcher Smoky Joe Wood had one of the greatest pitching seasons ever that year, leading the league in every desirable stat, going 34-5,
and winning 3 games in the Series, including the do-or-die finale, in relief;
2. GEORGE SISLER, in 1920, when he batted a whopping .420 and stole 51 bases. Obviously, for that year at least, he did not validate Bill James'
opinion that he was the most overrated player of all time, nor mine that he was #2; and
3. TY COBB, the guy who averaged almost .370 for his career, and over 50 SB per season, even if you count his tiny first season, when he stole only 2
bases, had only 50 AB's, and batted under .300 for the ONLY time in his 24-season career. Cobb accomplished this .370/50-SB feat in--are you ready
for this?--1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1916 and 1917.
Okay. Those are three of them. But the fourth guy is not from the Dead Ball Era. And the stolen base pretty much went the way of the dinosaur
during the Babe Ruth Era, and did not resurface until the Maury Wills Era in the early 60's. When Wills stole 51 bases in 1960, he was the first N.L.
player to break the 50 barrier since Max Carey in 1923. The A.L. had a few 50 S.B. men in that time, but none who hit .370 in the same season.
IN FACT, the fourth player is one who accomplished the .370/50 SB feat after Cobb (1961), Speaker (1958) and for that matter Sisler (3/73) were dead
and buried. And this guy is/was a pretty great player--a fact not necessarily shown by the 50 SB, but certainly shown by the .370.
QUESTION: NAME HIM.