posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 09:33 PM
Baseball Trivia Question #10----Players with 100 or more Extra Base Hits in a Season
Before the advent of Steroid Ball, one of the rarest--and greatest--feats in baseball was to get 100 or more Extra Base Hits in a season. Prior to
1995, it was rarer than a perfect game, and on 2 of the 9 occasions when it HAD happened, it had unquestionably been helped a lot by an absurd home
park. (The same is true of two of the six times it's happened since 1/1/95.)
It never happened during the Dead Ball Era. For all their doubles and triples (over 1,000 apiece, during their careers), neither Cobb nor Speaker
ever did it. Nor did any other player whose career was centered in the Dead Ball Era.
But in the 1920's, 3 different players had a 100-XBH season.
In the 1930's, 1 of the three previous guys had a SECOND 100-XBH season; a new guy had TWO 100-XBH seasons (aided enormously by an outrageous home
park, which was last used by MLB in the late 30's); and TWO MORE NEW GUYS had one 100 XBH season apiece.
And finally, in 1948, a seventh guy had a 100-XBH season. I wrote at length about that season recently, saying it was perhaps the best season of all
time not had by Babe Ruth or the new-and-inflated Barry Bonds.
Thus, in the 95 years before Steroid Ball got completely out of hand (1900-1994), we had SEVEN PLAYERS who had a total of NINE SEASONS with 100 or
I am nauseated to report that in the scant 11 years since (1995-2005), we have had FIVE PLAYERS rack up SIX SEASONS with 100 or more XBH--though,
while several of those seasons were racked up by obvious suspects, the guy who had TWO such seasons, like the guy who had two such seasons in the
30's, may be clean and his deeds may be attributable to his ridiculous home environs.
This is going to be a two-part question, with the modern players coming tomorrow or Monday. But for now, I want to see how many of the six superstars
of the 20's and 30's you can name, plus whether you remember what I said about the guy who was a god in the year 1948.
I will provide clues, namely the years in which these guys racked up their feats, and the number of XBH they compiled in their magical
1. 1921---119 XBH Still a single-season record, and only right that he still holds it.
2. 1927---117 XBH Check the year, which is still believed by many, probably most, experts to be the year of the greatest team ever. This guy
was a huge part of it, and his name wasn't Ruth. His RBI's were, however, aided enormously throughout his career by his batting behind first Ruth,
3. 1930---107 XBH This was the all-time year of the hitter, more so than any one year of Steroid Ball. Bill Terry, a very overrated player,
batted .401. Hack Wilson hit 56 HR's, which was a NL record until the great, fun HR battle between those two steroid freaks in 1998. And Hack
Wilson's also amassed 191 RBI's, which is a record I do not believe my niece's grandchildren will live to see broken. This guy's 107 XBH's are still
tied for a NL record. He played in the 20th Century's #1 joke of a park. And get this: His TEAM batted .315 that year [the NL, as a whole, batted
over .300], and they still finished DEAD LAST with a 6.71 E.R.A.)
4. 1937---103 XBH This guy drew 102 walks, still got 200 hits and 183 RBI's, which was--and still is--3rd highest RBI total ever
5. 1932---103 XBH Same guy and absurd park as in 1930.
6. 1948---103 XBH He missed by 1 HR being only player ever to lead league in 2B, 3B, HR and virtually everything else positive.
7. 1922---102 XBH He won the Triple Crown in 1922, and it wasn't his only one.
8. 1932---100 XBH If he played today, he'd be automatically condemned for steroid use, due to his phenomenal musculature. An opposing player
once famously asked him how much air his arms held. He was known for cutting his uniforms' sleeves short, so pitchers would see--and freak out
over--his arms. He was 32 years old the day he hit his 500th HR, but then his drinking took him out of the picture, in one of sports' all-time worst
wastes of talent. In his final two seasons, facing terrible WWII pitching, he had 244 AB's and hit 7 HR's, at ages 36 and 37. He didn't even try to
hit the real stuff, when the real pitchers returned in 1946. Twenty years after that, virtually penniless and in terrible health from his drinking,
he apparently choked to death on a piece of food.
1930---100 XBH This is the same guy who hit 117, the second highest total ever, in 1927. Although recent years have seen a Golden Era at his
position, he is still rated by all or nearly all experts as #1 at his position. I've always rated him #1 there, but I need to take a closer look at
the numbers before I make up my mind.
HOOTIE: I've gotten ZERO response so far, and it's not Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Please give it 4 or 5 more hours. I'm going to be interested to see
how many of these you can get. My clues, obviously, have made things a lot easier on you. Do you think you can get 100% with that info?
EVERYONE, PLEASE: No reference books, Internet assistance, etc. The ludicrously easy hitters' park was called The Baker Bowl. Look up its
dimensions on the Net AFTER this question's over.
Part Two to follow tomorrow night, late.
[Edited on 3/19/06 by BaseballHistoryNut]