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FOUR-BIDDING

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THE .400 HITTER—EVEN THE IDEA OF ONE—HAS BECOME A RELIC OF MLB'S PAST. HERE ARE SOME OF THE 20 PLAYERS WHO REACHED THAT MARK (ALONG WITH ONE MINOR LEAGUER) AND OTHERS WHOSE TRIES FELL JUST SHORT.

1901

NAP LAJOIE (.426) The American League's first superstar set the modern-era batting average record with the Philadelphia Athletics.

1911

TY COBB (.419): MLB's all-time batting leader (.366) had the first of three .400 seasons and received his only MVP award.

1924

ROGERS HORNSBY (.424): The Rajah set the live-ball-era record; the next year he became the fourth to record back-to-back .400 seasons.

1930

BILL TERRY (.401): Tying a National League record with 254 hits, Terry remains the last NL player to eclipse the .400 mark.

1941

TED WILLIAMS (.406): Teddy Ballgame finished .400 after going 6 for 8 on the final day of the season; no one has batted .400 since.

1961

NORM CASH (.361): As Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased 60 homers, Cash posted what would be the best average of the '60s.

1977

ROD CAREW (.388): With his average at .411 in July, Carew landed on the cover of TIME magazine before he cooled off down the stretch.

1980

GEORGE BRETT (.390): He was batting .400 on Sept. 19, chasing the mark deeper into the season than anyone since Williams.

1994

TONY GWYNN (.394): With 45 games remaining, Gwynn was hitting .394, but the players' strike ended MLB's last best hope of a .400 hitter.

1998

TODD PRIDY (.408): The first baseman topped .400 in 418 plate appearances with the independent Sonomoa County (Calif.) Crushers.

2008

CHIPPER JONES (.364): His .400 average through his first 66 games is the longest any player in the last has stayed above that number since 2000.