Purdy, Purdy, Purdy…Purdy bad.
According to both the Elias Sports Bureau and Bay Area stats guru David Feldman, the worst batting average of the modern era is considered to be the horrendous .210 mark of the 1910 Chicago White Sox. Although if you go back to the 19th century, that dubious honor goes to the .207 average of the 1888 Washington Nationals—whose catcher was Connie Mack, the future owner of the Athletics franchise when it was located in Philadelphia.
Mack contributed to that 1888 milestone season by batting .187 himself. The Nationals’ best hitter was outfielder William “Dummy” Hoy, who was deaf and mute. Hoy was said not to be offended by the nickname—or be distracted by anything else, apparently, because he batted .274 for that miserable team.
The A’s could use a Hoy right now. Nobody on their roster except Reddick (.271) is hitting better than .250. And this year’s team is definitely on track to surpass (underpass?) the A’s franchise-record-low .223 batting average set in 1908.
Yes, I know. Batting average isn’t everything. Batting average is overrated. I saw “Moneyball.” I understand the Billy Beane first commandment. Walks are as good as hits, right? And as a team, the A’s do own the 12th-most walks in the majors. But sooner or later, hits become mandatory. Which is why the A’s are 27th in runs scored.