Daily Archives: July 26th, 2012

Mike Trout looks to make history as batting champ and stolen base champ

Mike Trout

Mike Trout (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Angels outfielder Mike Trout had a pair of hits in four at-bats in yesterday’s 11-6 win over the Kansas City Royals. Trout upped his league-leading batting average to .356, giving him a 20-point lead over White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko in the AL batting race.

Should Trout remain at the top of the AL batting average category, he would be the first Angels batting champion since 1970 when California Angels outfielder Alex Johnson won the crown with a .329 average.

While Trout is challenging history atop the batting leaders, he is also challenging for another piece of baseball history. Trout is leading the AL in stolen bases with 31. Should he win the stolen base crown and the batting crown, he would become the first AL player to do so since 2001 when Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki won both categories. Jackie Robinson also accomplished this feat in 1949 when he led the National League in both categories. Trout would become the third player to accomplish this in 63 years, and the seventh player to do so since 1901.

Following are the players since 1901 who won both the league batting crown and league stolen base crown in the same year.

Led league in batting average and stolen bases

2001: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle

1949: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn

1945: Snuffy Stirnweiss, NY Yankees

1922: George Sisler, St. Louis Browns

1917: Ty Cobb, Detroit

1915: Ty Cobb, Detroit

1911: Ty Cobb, Detroit

1909: Ty Cobb, Detroit

1908: Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh

1907: Ty Cobb, Detroit and Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh

1904: Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh

A handful of players fell a little short of leading the league in both batting average and stolen bases. Following are the lists of players who led the league in one of the two categories but finished in second in the other, and players who finished as runner-up in both categories in a season.

Led league in batting average and was second in stolen bases

2004: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle

1987: Tony Gwynn, San Diego

1974: Rod Carew, Minnesota

1958: Richie Ashburn, Philadelphia

1920: George Sisler, St. Louis Browns

1919: Ty Cobb, Detroit

Led league in stolen bases and was second in batting average

1990: Rickey Henderson, Oakland

1958: Willie Mays, San Francisco

1957: Willie Mays, San Francisco

1948: Richie Ashburn, Philadelphia

Was second in the league in both batting average and stolen bases

1961: Vada Pinson, Cincinnati

1955: Willie Mays, San Francisco

1951: Minnie Minoso, Chicago White Sox and Richie Ashburn, Philadelphia

1930: Babe Herman, Brooklyn

1914: Eddie Collins, Philadelphia A’s

1909: Eddie Collins. Philadelphia A’s

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