Boston Red Sox LF Ted Williams batted .406/.553/.735 in 143 games and 456 AB in 1941. No player has been able to bat over .400 in a full season since then. Miami Marlins 2B Luis Arraez can be the one to do it. It's probably time to extend him by the way, so take notes Kim Ng. Luis Arraez is chasing history and the question is how close is he?
Can Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez make history this season?
After 81 games and 242 AB in 1941, Ted Williams had a .397 batting average with 96 hits. After 81 games and 288 AB, Luis Arraez has a .396 batting average and 114 hits. As you can see they're very close. Ted had a higher batting average higher by just a point. Arraez however has more hits in more AB's. I feel that it makes Luis Arraez's line at 81 games more impressive.
Luis Arraez has more history to pursue.... No player since 1900 has led both the AL and NL in batting in consecutive seasons. Arraez of course was the AL batting champ last season, and will almost certainly win the NL version this season.
Has anyone come close but failed at breaking Ted's milestone record? Yes. Let's look at that list.... Kansas City Royals legend George Brett was hitting over .400 at the 134 game mark in 1980. He ended that season with a remarkable .390 batting average. Then Toronto Blue Jays first baseman John Olerud was hitting .400+ after 107 games in 1993. He finished that season with a .393 batting aveage.
Then Colorado Rockies RF Larry Walker was hitting .400+ in 1997 at 96 games. He finished the season with a .366 batting average. He clearly lost a lot of points down the stretch, but the final batting average was still impressive. San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn was hitting .400+ after 92 games in 1997. He was basically chasing the record in the same season as Walker. He beat Walker by finishing with a .372 batting average.
Boston Red Sox SS Nomar Garciaparra was at .400+ after 91 games in 2000. He finished that season with a .372 batting average. Minnesota Twins great Rod Carew almost did it twice! He was hitting .400+ after 85 games in both 1977 and 1983. He finished those seasons with .388 and .339 batting averages. Can Luis Arraez be the one to do it? I hope so!