In the movie “Mr. 3000,” actor/comedian Bernie Mac played a baseball player who retires after collecting his 3,000th hit. Years later, however, a clerical error notes that Mac’s character really ended his career three hits short of that milestone number. He then makes a comeback at age 47 hoping to collect the three hits he needs to reach 3,000.
It’s pretty unlikely that we’ll ever have a scenario like that of “Mr. 3000,” but there is an interesting case developing with Alex Rodriquez that may prove to have a little “Hollywood” script as the backdrop.
Rodriquez, who was suspended from baseball last year, is looking to make a “comeback” of sorts to play in 2015. His career totals show 2,939 hits and a career batting average of .299. Is it possible that one reason ARod wants to put on the uniform again is to reach the 3,000-hit mark and possibly end his career with a .300 batting average?
Looking at the career batting averages of past MLB players, we discover (via baseball-reference.com) that 15 players have a career batting average of .299 (minimum of 1,000 at bats to qualify). In fact, in addition to Rodriquez, three well-known stars in today’s game are sitting at .299 for their career: Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki, Boston’s Dustin Pedroia and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutcheon. All three seem to have many more years to play and get those averages over .300.
There have been, however, several other players who have long retired with a career batting averages sitting at .299. Chances are we won’t see them try to make a late-in-life comeback to push that average over .300, but you never know.
Here’s a look at the players whose career batting averages sit at .299. Also noted is their last season in baseball.
Troy Tulowitzki (2014)
Dustin Pedroia (2014)
Andrew McCutcheon (2014)
Alex Rodriquez (2013)
Kenny Lofton (2007)
Dante Bichette (2001)
Shane Mack (1998)
Bake McBride (1983)
Rico Carty (1979)
Carl Furillo (1960)
Frank McCormick (1948)
Frank Demaree (1944)
Sam West (1942)
Buck Jordan (1938)
Harry Rice (1933)
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Here’s a quick trivia quiz for you: Can you name the last pitcher to lead the American League in complete games in two consecutive seasons? And… Can you name the last pitcher to lead the National League in complete games in two consecutive seasons?
If you answered Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay to both questions, you know your baseball.
Halladay last year topped the N.L. with eight complete games after leading the league in that category in 2010 with nine complete games. As a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, he led American League starters in complete games in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Following is a look at five different individual pitching and batting stats and the last time a player led the league in that category in two consecutive seasons. (Note: If a player tied for that stat title in one or more seasons, it is noted).
Complete Games, American League: Roy Halladay (Toronto) 2007, 2008, 2009
Complete Games, National League: Roy Halladay (Philadelphia) 2010, 2011
Wins, American League: LaMarr Hoyt (Chicago) 1982, 1983… Note-C.C. Sabathia was tied with two other pitchers for most wins in 2009 and led the league in wins in 2010.
Wins, National League: Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles) 1965, 1966… Note-Greg Maddux was tied with Ken Hill for most wins in 1994 and led the league in wins in 1995
ERA, American League: Pedro Martinez (Boston) 2002, 2003
ERA, National League: Randy Johnson (Arizona) 2001, 2002
Strikeouts, American League: Johan Santana (Minnesota) 2004, 2005, 2006
Strikeouts, National League: Tim Lincecum (San Francisco) 2008, 2009, 2010
Saves, American League: Dan Quisenberry (Kansas City) 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985… Note: Francisco Rodriquez was tied with Bob Wickman for most saves in 2005 and led the league in saves in 2006
Saves, National League: Jose Valverde (Arizona, Houston) 2007, 2008
Batting Average, American League: Joe Mauer (Minnesota) 2008, 2009
Batting Average, National League: Larry Walker (Colorado) 1998, 1999
Home Runs, American League: Jose Bautista (Toronto) 2010, 2011
Home Runs, National League: Albert Pujols (St. Louis) 2009, 2010
Runs Batted In, American League: David Ortiz (Boston) 2005, 2006
Runs Batted In, National League: Andres Galarraga (Colorado) 1996, 1997… Note: Ryan Howard led the league in RBIs in 2008 and tied with Prince Fielder for the RBI title in 2009
Stolen Bases, American League: Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston) 2008, 2009
Stolen Bases, National League: Michael Bourn (Houston, Atlanta) 2009, 2010, 2011
Runs Scored, American League: Dustin Pedroia (Boston) 2008, 2009
Runs Scored, National League: Albert Pujols (St. Louis) 2009, 2010
“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.
With all the excitement about the Packers unbeaten season and the Wisconsin Badgers football team’s journey to the postseason, haven’t had an appropriate tribute to Ryan Braun‘s National League MVP honor. Here’s a look at some of the stats behind the honor.
1. Braun and Prince Fielder became the first teammates since 2000 to finish in the top 3 in the National League MVP balloting (Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants finished 1-2 in the 2000 NL MVP Award.) Twenty-three sets of teammates have finished in the Top 3 of A.L. or N.L. MVP balloting since 1970. The last American League duo was New York’s Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter who finished 2-3 in 2009.
2. This was the first year in Major League history that the two winners of the MVP awards were former Rookie of the Year recipients. Braun was N.L. ROY in 2007; Justin Verlander was A.L. ROY in 2006.
3. As noted above, Braun was N.L. ROY in 2007. The A.L. ROY that year was Boston’s Dustin Pedroia. Braun won the N.L. MVP this year, Pedroia was A.L. MVP in 2008. This is the first time in baseball history that two Rookie of the Years from the same year have both gone on to win an MVP award.
4. Braun became the 22nd player in baseball history to win a Rookie of the Year award and a league MVP honor. Of the 22 players who have accomplished this feat, nine are currently in baseball’s Hall of Fame: Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Billy Williams, Rod Carew, Johnny Bench, Andre Dawson and Cal Ripken, Jr. Of those 22 players, 14 of them won their MVP award within five years of winning their ROY honor. Both Braun and Verlander joined that group this year.
5. Since 2007 when Braun began his major league career, he has received votes for the league MVP each of the five years of his five-year MLB career. The only other players to have received MVP votes in each of the past five years are: Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez.
6. Braun became the fourth Brewers player to finish in the Top 5 of the league MVP in two or more seasons. Can you name the other three players? Braun finished in the Top 5 of the league MVP in 2008 and 2011; Fielder finished in the Top 5 in 2007, 2009 and 2011; Robin Yount in 1982 and 1989 (he won the award both years) and Cecil Cooper, who finished in the Top 5 in 1980, 1982 and 1983.