Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The 3,000 Hit Club Is Closed for Maintenance

There was only a single batter with 2,000 career hits after the 1952 season: Stan Musial, who had 2,023. But that bottleneck is hardly surprising given that many of baseball’s stars missed multiple seasons due to service in World War II. There were 10 active 1,500-hit hitters that year and six of them (Musial, Johnny Mize, Enos Slaughter, Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, and Mickey Vernon) went to war. Baseball set a record for the most active players with 2,000 hits fairly recently, with 27 after the 2004 season. Right now, there are only five: Cabrera, Robinson Canó, Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, and Joey Votto.

The 1990s have the well-deserved reputation of being a home run era but people don’t always remember that it was a high batting average era as well. The league’s batting average during that decade peaked at .271 in 1999, the highest figure since 1939. Part of the reason the 90s don’t have a reputation as a batting average-heavy era is that you didn’t see many players flirting with the .400 mark, especially compared to the last time league batting averages had gone that high. Except for the occasional small uptick — including all of the expansion years — the spread of batting average among hitters has become narrower over time:

That weird outlier blip in 2020 is, naturally, due to the 60-game season. Now, if the decline in league batting average was just due to a less talented pool of hitters, we’d expect there to be more dispersion, not less. Unless league offense changes, ZiPS projects only a single active player, Cabrera, to finish his career past the .300 mark.

So, when will we see another player get 3,000 hits once Cabrera does? None of the other players with 2,000 hits are great candidates. Canó needs two full excellent seasons or three full middling ones to get to 3,000, a tall order for a player who will be 39 and coming off a year-long PED suspension. Last month, Molina announced that he plans to retire after the 2022 season and it seems rather unlikely he’ll get the 900 hits he needs before then. Votto’s had a terrific 2021, but with a thousand hits to go, the calendar is likely too daunting.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2021 at 04:23 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miguel cabrera

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. DL from MN Posted: September 23, 2021 at 04:34 PM (#6041340)
This is why Colorado should be in the DH league.
   2. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 23, 2021 at 05:55 PM (#6041359)

Eyeballing the active leaders list, I was going to say that Freeman seemed like the most likely to reach 3,000 after Cabrera. And I see that ZIPS has Freeman ranked just below Altuve with a 28% chance. I think Freeman has a significantly better chance because they're the same age and Altuve's batting average has been falling for a few years while Freeman has been a model of consistency. And while Altuve has 71 more career hits, Freeman has 95 more over the past 4 seasons, which seems like the more important metric when they're both 1200+ away.

I think that Bogaerts has a better chance than the 1% shown in TFA. 1,233 hits, 28 years old, averages 160-170 per year. I like Tatis/Soto/Acuna as much as anyone, but I'll pick the guy who's already got 1,200 hits over a bunch of guys with <500.
   3. John Northey Posted: September 23, 2021 at 05:56 PM (#6041360)
Cano has a shot - signed for 2 more years, should be in good health after his forced year off, if he does well he should get another deal after those 2 years are up.
Elvis Andrus & Jose Altuve are young enough to have a shot but they need to really get onto the hit parade to do it. For guys over 1500 hits I'd say Freddie Freeman has the best chance - in his age 31 season, 170+ hits both of his last 2 full seasons (2020 is just bizarre), likely to sign a big deal this winter for the long term.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6041362)
It's really, really hard in the best of circumstances but all you need is an insane number of PAs. Of the 20 players of the expansion era who have done it, 12 hit under 300, 9 of those under 290. Somewhere around 12,000 PA gets you there. Easy-peasy. :-) For sure everything in today's game goes against it -- Ks lower BA, teams might delay debuts to control service time, teams avoid players in their mid-late 30s.

It's not really that hard to see some active players making it. Obviously projecting anybody to 12,000 PA means playing until they're 40 which is never an expected outcome. But Altuve is finishing his age 31 season and is at 1767. And if the hit 300 route doesn't get him there, he might be able to Biggio it. Freeman is 154 hits behind Murray but Eddie made it over by 255 hits and wasn't a particularly good player from 32-40 (though he was durable). Mookie is as good a bet to make it to 12,000 PA as anybody. Machado might Beltre his way there. Nick Castellanos is starting to look like a darkhorse candidate (let's comp him to Molitor). Lindor looks less viable every day but he should still be at 1500 hits at the end of his age 30 season.

For 1961-90, there were 25 players with at least 1500 hits through age 30 and 9 of them eventually made it to 3000+. Tim Raines actually had more hits through 30 than Gwynn. Winfield (1399), Boggs (1392 due to a late start) and Molitor (1367 due to injuries) eventually made it.

I know it sounded absurd, that's why I chose it. But here Castellanos vs Molitor through age 29. Let's add Winfield too:

NC 4434 PA, 1134 H, 278 BA
PM 4603 PA, 1203 H, 291 BA
DW 4952 PA, 1248 H, 285 BA

And Molitor made it over 3300 hits by becoming amazingly durable in his 30s. Over the last 4 years, NC has hit 290/345/522 with 567 hits; at those ages, Molitor hit 281/340/409 with 468 hits. Molitor did miss nearly all of his age 27 but Castellanos has 2020 in there so the PA gap is just 300 in NC's favor. Castellanos is a terrible defender so he'll have to make it as a 1B/DH and doesn't have a lot of wiggle room to decline. Winfield 500 PA and just 114 hits ahead.

PM 30-39: 6408 PA, 320/389/477, 133 OPS+, 1811 H
DW 30-41: 6354 PA, 284/352/488, 130 OPS+, 1766 H

Obviously Castellanos isn't gonna hit 320 from here on out but something like Winfield's line is conceivable, not likely obviously. There are obviously 10 times as many "didn't last long enough" stories at this end of the hit list.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 23, 2021 at 06:54 PM (#6041369)

Of the 20 players of the expansion era who have done it, 12 hit under 300, 9 of those under 290.

But if .290 is the new .300 and .280 is the new .290, then it becomes tougher. If you hit .280 for your career, you need 10,714 AB to get to 3,000 hits, and only 16 guys have ever done that.

I'm sure it will happen again -- especially if the NL adopts the DH. But there will be fewer of them if batting averages stay at depressed levels.
   6. villageidiom Posted: September 23, 2021 at 07:52 PM (#6041377)
Rafael Devers has averaged around 175 hits per 162 games so far. He'll probably be just shy of 600 hits by the end of this season. He's 24 years old. If he's able to hit, let's say, 150 per year on average he'd reach 3000 around age 40.

He is so, so, so far away from it that it's almost pointless to entertain the notion. But he's a pretty good hitter who is still crazy young, and that's pretty much how you need to start your career to have a shot.
   7. The Duke Posted: September 23, 2021 at 08:42 PM (#6041386)
There’s only 32 people in total so about 2.5 every 10 years. It doesn’t happen very often. But there’s a lot of young guys coming up lately: Harper, Soto, vlad jr, Acuna, Albies, Tatis jr, Franco, Altuve. But it’s fair to say that there aren’t too many coming any time soon.
   8. Booey Posted: September 23, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6041403)
I miss big numbers. Current trends are going to make all major milestones even more rare than usual (except maybe 3000 k's, and even those will eventually dry up if innings pitched keeps dropping). Cabrera will likely be the last 500 homer hitter for a while, and he could very well be the last 3000 hit guy and the last career .300 hitter for a very long time.
   9. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 23, 2021 at 10:22 PM (#6041405)
My prediction: Nelson Cruz will join the club in his age-48 season, and the 3,000th hit will be his 700th home run.
   10. Booey Posted: September 23, 2021 at 10:54 PM (#6041410)
3000th hits by decade:

1890's - (1) Anson
1900's - (0)
1910's - (2) Wagner, LaJoie
1920's - (3) Cobb, Speaker, Collins
1930's - (0)
1940's - (1) Waner
1950's - (1) Musial
1960's - (0)
1970's - (7) Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Kaline, Rose, Brock, Yastrzemski
1980's - (1) Carew
1990's - (7) Yount, Brett, Winfield, Murray, Molitor, Gwynn, Boggs
2000's - (4) Ripken, Henderson, Palmeiro, Biggio,
2010's - (5) Jeter, Rodriguez, Ichiro, Beltre, Pujols

Due to shorter seasons, war service, the color barrier, etc, we only saw about one 3000 hit player per decade on average through the 1960's. In the last 50 years though, it's almost 5 per decade (4.8), and that's including the 1980's that only saw one 3000th hit. The 1970's, 1990's, 2000's, and 2010's averaged 5.8 players reaching 3000 hits. So it hasn't been THAT rare of an accomplishment for a while now; basically every other season for the last 30 years. After next year, that's gonna change in a big way, though...
   11. John Northey Posted: September 23, 2021 at 11:28 PM (#6041416)
Baseball goes in cycles. From the 30s through the 60's many must have thought 3000 was near impossible with just 2 doing it. Then the 70's came and 7 guys. The 80's looked like we were back to the 'old days' with just 1 getting there, then from the 90's through the 10's tons (16). So the 20's will be a quiet decade to load up for the 30's I suspect when near the end the current crop of kids will be nearing their end and reaching milestones. Vlad, Franco, etc.
   12. homerwannabee Posted: September 23, 2021 at 11:51 PM (#6041418)
It's not just lower batting averages. It's also more batters trying to get a walk. The league leaders in hits is smaller.
In the 2000s we had 22 210 hit seasons.
In the 2010s we had 9 210 hit seasons.
We haven't had a 210 hit season since 2017.
And we won't get one this year either.
   13. The Duke Posted: September 23, 2021 at 11:54 PM (#6041419)
I guess Bonds not getting to 3000 cost him the HOF. Shame he couldn’t have gotten 70 more hits - he would have cruised in
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 24, 2021 at 12:03 AM (#6041420)
There are a couple of things that do cut in favor of getting to 3,000 hits. The super-long contracts that mega-stars (real or perceived) get gives them greater opportunity to reach the milestone, or get close enough that it’s usually not difficult to justify one more season. Supposedly BITD, Sam Rice wasn’t aware that he was so close to 3,000 hits, or that it was such a major milestone, when he retired with 2,987 hits. Folks don’t voluntarily do that anymore.
   15. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: September 24, 2021 at 12:28 AM (#6041422)
the next 3000 hit player is going to be a LH power hitter who decides to start randomly bunting to beat the shift.
   16. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 24, 2021 at 12:57 AM (#6041423)
There are a couple of things that do cut in favor of getting to 3,000 hits. The super-long contracts that mega-stars (real or perceived) get gives them greater opportunity to reach the milestone, or get close enough that it’s usually not difficult to justify one more season. Supposedly BITD, Sam Rice wasn’t aware that he was so close to 3,000 hits, or that it was such a major milestone, when he retired with 2,987 hits. Folks don’t voluntarily do that anymore.

Another off-the-wall idea: With the post-season getting longer and longer, and with participation getting less exclusive, there's a non-zero chance that the powers that be will one day decide that postseason stats also count as "career" stats.

This would bring a couple of people into the club retroactively (Sam Rice and Miguel Cabrera, though Cabrera should get there anyway), and would lower the barrier for active guys. Corey Seager, for example, has 46 postseason hits already, which is almost 7% of his regular-season total. Robinson Cano has 45.

Justin Turner has a whopping 79 postseason hits already, but he's not a candidate for 3,000 unless he goes Julio Franco on us.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 24, 2021 at 01:52 AM (#6041424)
With the post-season getting longer and longer, and with participation getting less exclusive, there's a non-zero chance that the powers that be will one day decide that postseason stats also count as "career" stats.
Not sure that’s likely, but there may be some value in a separate category for all MLB-sanctioned competition, which would include postseason, All-Star Games & the WBC. For a while I kept track of how Derek Jeter could move up on the hit list using that formula. Didn’t get all the way to top, but the total was impressive.
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 06:41 AM (#6041429)
It's not just lower batting averages. It's also more batters trying to get a walk.

I think walks are way down from the level of the 2000s, although they’re up from like 5 years ago.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 07:28 AM (#6041433)
Just to confirm my recollection from #18, here are walks per game over the past few decades:

1986 3.38
1991 3.32
1996 3.55
2001 3.25
2006 3.26
2011 3.09
2016 3.11
2021 3.25

The current period isn't an outlier.

Now, here are Ks per game:

1986 1.74
1991 1.74
1996 1.82
2001 2.05
2006 2.00
2011 2.30
2016 2.58
2021 2.67

Pretty clear which one of these is is the main factor.
   20. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: September 24, 2021 at 09:36 AM (#6041444)
I'm pretty sure there aren't 2.67 K's per game in 2021.
   21. Adam Starblind Posted: September 24, 2021 at 09:39 AM (#6041445)
I think that Bogaerts has a better chance than the 1% shown in TFA. 1,233 hits, 28 years old, averages 160-170 per year.


Sounds like Renteria Talk to me.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 24, 2021 at 09:42 AM (#6041447)
#20, sorry copied the wrong column, that is K/BB. Here is K/G (for each team, not combined). Same point:

1986 5.87
1991 5.80
1996 6.46
2001 6.67
2006 6.52
2011 7.10
2016 8.03
2021 8.70
   23. salvomania Posted: September 24, 2021 at 09:46 AM (#6041448)
I'm pretty sure there aren't 2.67 K's per game in 2021.

Maybe that stat is K/BB ratio? Doesn't make sense as presented.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2021 at 09:46 AM (#6041449)
Sounds like Renteria Talk to me.


Well, Xander is a significantly better hitter, and player, than Edgar was at that age. That was always the problem Edgar's pursuit was going to face. He didn't have much room to slide.

Even so, I would have given Edgar better than a 1 percent chance at age 28.
   25. DL from MN Posted: September 24, 2021 at 09:59 AM (#6041450)
Expansion would help the chances of the current players. Batting averages go up a little and a couple more roster spots open up.
   26. Adam Starblind Posted: September 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6041451)
I guess Bonds not getting to 3000 cost him the HOF. Shame he couldn’t have gotten 70 more hits - he would have cruised in


Baines eventually got in, so maybe Barry has a shot with the Veterans' Committee. ;-)
   27. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 24, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6041452)
I guess Bonds not getting to 3000 cost him the HOF.

Raffy says hi.
   28. escabeche Posted: September 24, 2021 at 04:30 PM (#6041494)
I don't think it looked impossible after the 2018 season that Nick Markakis might get to 3,000. It's just really hard to stay good enough long enough and no matter how durable you've been, the odds are against it.
   29. Darren Posted: September 24, 2021 at 04:53 PM (#6041502)
I can't picture Soto making it to 3,000, given his propensity for drawing walks. Best chance after Cabrera, IMHO, is Altuve.
   30. Jack Sommers Posted: September 25, 2021 at 02:18 PM (#6041620)
Soto is Ted Williams
   31. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 25, 2021 at 02:58 PM (#6041626)
Soto is Ted Williams.
Yeah, I was about to note that although Williams didn’t get to 3,000 hits (‘only’ 2654), he undoubtedly would have done so if not for his military service in WWII & the Korean War. Perhaps it’s still a bit early in Soto’s career to determine how close the Williams comparison will be, but I like his chances for 3,000 hits. Pretty good chance at 500 HRs, too.
   32. DL from MN Posted: September 25, 2021 at 03:54 PM (#6041631)
Best chance after Cabrera, IMHO, is Altuve.


Is Altuve athletic enough to move to LF? Second basemen rarely have long careers.
   33. jingoist Posted: September 26, 2021 at 10:49 AM (#6041736)
I also wonder, now that large money contracts are coming to evolving superstars, won’t some guys just say, “ hey; I’ve got $100Million in the bank, I don’t need to break my neck getting more years/counting stats.
Who cares whether or not I get 3,000 hits; being #35 or 40 on an all time list won’t substantially change my place in history.
   34. Booey Posted: September 26, 2021 at 11:03 AM (#6041737)
#33 - It makes sense, but haven't people been saying that for a few decades now?

I think there's a lot of pride involved with being amongst the best in the world at something, and a lot of players might want to keep that feeling going as long as possible. Personally, if I'd worked my whole life towards accomplishing a single goal, I'd feel lost and wouldn't know what to do with myself once it was over. Retirement lasts a long time; the ability to play professional sports is fleeting.
   35. John Northey Posted: September 26, 2021 at 10:49 PM (#6041823)
#33 - that was a common line when I was a kid in the 80's. Especially regarding one superstar of that day - Rickey Henderson, viewed as the biggest example of being self-centered and likely to walk once 'rich enough'. Instead he kept playing after setting records for most SB, most walks (since broken by Bonds), most lead off home runs, you get the idea. He also played 2 more years in independent leagues after no ML team would sign him. I suspect most guys who make it to the majors just love playing and have no idea what to do once it is over.

There was briefly a seniors league (2 years) where some kept playing as well. Sadly BR doesn't have the stats, but I do have a Fort Myers Sun Sox cap from that tiny time they existed. Some players were Ferguson Jenkins, Luis Tiant, Bert Campaneris, Bobby Bonds, George Foster, Vida Blue, Bill Lee, and many others. Kind of sad as I'd love to have seen it keep going. Catching was a big issue (not many guys 40+ can do that or want to)
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 26, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6041826)
Catching was a big issue (not many guys 40+ can do that or want to)
I think the age requirement was like 5 years younger for catchers, wasn’t it?
   37. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 26, 2021 at 11:04 PM (#6041828)
#33 - It makes sense, but haven't people been saying that for a few decades now?

Yeah, at least since the '80s. And yet it seems that almost every superstar's career ends due to injury or diminished production. The only guy I can think of who voluntarily retired while still productive and close to a milestone stat was Mike Mussina.

Among the Top 50 in career wins (247 or more), here's how it ended for the guys who retired in 1990 or later and didn't reach 300 wins:

287 - Bert Blyleven - Played until he was 41, despite missing his entire age 40 season due to injury. 4.74 ERA (84 ERA+) in final season.
270 - Mike Mussina - Retired at age 39 after a 20-win season.
269 - Jamie Moyer - Played until he was 49; 5.70 ERA (82 ERA+) in final season.
256 - Andy Pettitte - Played until he was 41. He was still pretty good in his final season; he could've stuck around longer but he did pitch into his 40s.
254 - Jack Morris - Played until he was 39, probably would have continued playing but no one wanted him. 6.19 and 5.60 ERAs in his last two seasons.
251 - CC Sabathia - Played until he was 39; as I recall he was hurt and out of gas in his final year.
247 - Bartolo Colon - Played until he was 45 (and might still be playing somewhere). 5.78 ERA (82 ERA+) in final season.

Doing the same for 3000 hits, among the Top 75:

2984 - Miguel Cabrera - In active pursuit, despite diminishing abilities and injuries.
2935 - Barry Bonds - Blacklisted or surely would've continued. Played until he was 43 anyway.
2877 - Omar Vizquel - Played until he was 45. Negative WAR in last two seasons.
2866 - Harold Baines - Played until he was 42. Had a .345 OPS in final season.
2844 - Ivan Rodriguez - Played until he was 39; OPS+ was 87 or lower for last five seasons. Probably would've kept playing if anyone wanted him.
2781 - Ken Griffey Jr. - Despite a completely forgettable second half of his career, he played until he was 40. OPS+ of 30 in his final year.
2774 - Andre Dawson - Played until he was 41 despite being hurt most of his career.
2769 - Johnny Damon - Played for four teams in his last four years, then no one wanted him. (Though he was only 38.)
2726 - Chipper Jones - The Mike Mussina of batters. Still very effective when he retired at age 40.
2725 - Carlos Beltran - Retired at 40, I don't remember why. Negative WAR in his last season, but was pretty good in the two previous seasons.
2724 - Roberto Alomar - Famously fell off a cliff in his mid-30s.

I was gonna look at the 500 HR Club, but I'm not even sure if that's a goal anymore. Of those who missed but are in the Top 50, I'd sort them as follows:

Wanted to play more, couldn't get a job: Fred McGriff, Jose Canseco, Juan Gonzalez
Retired before 40, but after visible decline: Adam Dunn, Jeff Bagwell, Paul Konerko, Andruw Jones
Played into 40s and retired when old: Dave Winfield, Jason Giambi, Andre Dawson, Cal Ripken Jr.
Could've played longer, didn't want to: Adrian Beltre, Chipper Jones, Vlad Guerrero, Carlos Beltran

I don't know where to place Carlos Delgado. He ended with 473 HR but was only 37 and had a 143 OPS+ in his last partial season.

So from those three big milestone clubs, I see Mike Mussina and Chipper Jones as the only guys who arguably retired because they had "money in the bank" and didn't care about milestones. Maybe Vlad too. Beltre and Beltran might've had more in the tank but they both played 20+ years.
   38. John Northey Posted: September 26, 2021 at 11:10 PM (#6041830)
Delgado had a lot of surgery on his hip and didn't fully recover. He tried in 2010 but only played 5 games in AAA (3 for 13, all singles).
   39. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 26, 2021 at 11:23 PM (#6041833)
Vlad was looking pretty toasty in his final season (and the postseason the year before). A DH with a 98 OPS+.

From what I remember he had no major league offers the following season. Baseball reference says he played in the minors for a bit with Toronto that year. He wasn’t a guy who just retired with a lot still left in the tank.
   40. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 26, 2021 at 11:54 PM (#6041839)
Thanks, John and Dave for the follow-ups. I was thinking Delgado's retirement must be injury-related, as he was still hitting quite well.

For Vlad, his relatively young age was what gave me pause. He had definitely declined, but that's an age where superstars sometimes get a second wind (like Joey Votto this year). A 98 OPS+ (with slightly positive WAR) for a 37-year-old future HOFer will usually get you a shot somewhere. If you want one.
   41. Lest we forget Posted: September 27, 2021 at 07:27 AM (#6041850)
Along with the some of the other players mentioned, Harper is a candidate.

He will have around 1,550+ hits by the end of his age 30 season. He tends to walk a lot, but he's getting plate appearances, and could well get near 12,000 threshold by career's end.

I keep waiting for him to 'get consistent', to have dependable output season to season. If he manages to get closer to that, I like his chances.
   42. bunyon Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:01 AM (#6041875)
The biggest problem with "they'll walk once they're rich" is that salaries have gotten steadily higher. If, today, Bryce Harper is 42 and has 2,940 hits and is banged up but still putting up good numbers, someone will offer him enough money to make it worth his while.

If that ever stops, if the superstars get offers a small fraction of what they made in their heydey, I could see some of them walk.

Not the guys who go play indy ball, but those are also outliers, it seems to me. I'd guess anyone of the guys listed in Cooper's excellent 37 could have gone that route. Very few do.

But a few million with lowered expectations? A lot will jump at that.
   43. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:14 AM (#6041878)
If, today, Bryce Harper is 42 and has 2,940 hits and is banged up but still putting up good numbers, someone will offer him enough money to make it worth his while. If that ever stops, if the superstars get offers a small fraction of what they made in their heydey, I could see some of them walk.
Right, the last contract doesn’t have to be for all that much money. Lots of players who made big money will take less at the end. No one is going to pay them $1M or more to do something else, so it makes sense economically, even if that’s only a small part of the decision.
   44. bfan Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:20 AM (#6041880)

But a few million with lowered expectations? A lot will jump at that.


It is a great question to ponder. I kind of cut the other way.

For any guys who have kids, ages 36-39 (that last contract) can be fun years of watching your kids play their sports, and if you really have quitting money, what does an extra heavily taxed $1 to $3 million get you? I understand tax laws change, but anyone playing in California next year that takes over a million in salary loses over 50% of that to state and federal taxes.
Even guys with less than Fantasy Island quitting money (like Nick Markakis) just decided it wasn't worth it any more. He was not hurt and his productivity was not too low, but he wanted to spend some time with his family.
   45. BDC Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:22 AM (#6041881)
Those are great lists in #37, Cooper.

I think the only two hitters who voluntarily and consciously walked away from 3,000 Hits were Rogers Hornsby and Frank Robinson. (Perhaps Hornsby, as is said of Sam Rice, was unaware of how close he was; I tend to think he knew but one can't be certain.)

Both Hornsby and Robinson were their own managers when they had a shot at 3,000; both were still good hitters; both of the teams they managed were mediocre and nobody would have blamed them for playing themselves more; but they just decided not to.
   46. John DiFool2 Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:43 AM (#6041884)
Wanted to play more, couldn't get a job:


One thing which has hurt is that the professional veteran pinch-hitter is pretty much extinct. When we had 10 man pitching staffs teams could afford to have a Rusty Staub or Manny Mota on the end of the bench for when the pitcher' spot comes up at the end of games. Now position player benches are typically only 3-4 players (1 of which is the 2nd catcher), all of which have to be multi-role performers. No more room for the old farts who can maybe play 1st once in awhile.
   47. TomH Posted: September 27, 2021 at 12:54 PM (#6041916)
Juan Soto is a freakishly great young hitter. But Ted Williams? It is almost embarrassing to compare them.

Soto thru age 22 as of this AM has an OPS+ of 161, which is awesome. That would be 12th since 1900 among MLB players for their careers.
The Splendid Splinter was at 183 thru age 22. The difference between 161 and 183 is not small. It is Barry Bonds to Jimmy Foxx.

One could argue that to be fair to Soto, if you take out his age 19 season when Williams did not play, his OPS+ for 20-22 goes up to 168. But then again, Williams absolutely destroyed the PCL in 1938, slugging over 700 and reaching base.. well, like Ted Williams always reached base. So 183 to 161 is a fair comparison.

In Williams age 23 season, he upped his game and his OPS+ thru 23 is 190. Then after age 23 through age 30 Williams' WORST YEAR by OPS+ was 189.

So if Soto at age 23 Crushes the best ever OPS+ by a 23-year old ever (oh Wait.... that would be Ted Williams in 1942...) maybe if he has a Bonds 2001 or Ruth 1920, we can say young Soto = young Williams.
   48. DL from MN Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6041924)
Soto might have to settle for being Stan Musial.
   49. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#6041926)
Eh, I think it's a fair comparison. Soto isn't as good as Williams, but TW might well be the greatest hitter the game has ever known, so the fact that Soto doesn't look ridiculous next to him says an awful lot.

Also, remember that since last year was severely truncated, his 19-20 seasons still carry a lot more weight in his career numbers than his age-21 2020 season does. Since Juan Soto has turned 21, he's hit .329/.476/.586, for a 191 OPS+. That is definitely Williams-esque.
   50. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:46 PM (#6041933)
Has the distribution of talent over eras been studied? If talent was more uneven in Williams' era, a 183 OPS+ could be easier to achieve than 161 today.

And this is before we consider that Williams' younger years came in a segregated league.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BarrysLazyBoy
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog2021 LCS OMNICHATTER!
(704 - 1:00am, Oct 23)
Last: Voodoo

Sox TherapyWhat a Ride
(1 - 11:52pm, Oct 22)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

Sox TherapyThe Boston Red Sox Will Play for the Pennant
(195 - 11:50pm, Oct 22)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

NewsblogNBA 2021-2022 Season Thread
(299 - 11:50pm, Oct 22)
Last: Hombre Brotani

NewsblogCarlton Fisk kept it fair, but Keith Olbermann’s attempt to sell historic ball is foul
(40 - 11:04pm, Oct 22)
Last: Best Dressed Chicken in Town

NewsblogChris Taylor hits 3 home runs, leads Dodgers to huge NLCS Game 5 win over Braves
(2 - 7:08pm, Oct 22)
Last: Jack Sommers

NewsblogThe fans' way at Fenway: loud, louder, loudest
(57 - 7:01pm, Oct 22)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-21-2021
(16 - 6:59pm, Oct 22)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogIt’s time for the city of Chicago to repeal the Wrigley Field night game ordinance
(28 - 6:16pm, Oct 22)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogYankees GM Brian Cashman says club will 'address' shortstop and 'evaluate' catcher positions
(14 - 6:08pm, Oct 22)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-22-2021
(5 - 5:46pm, Oct 22)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Transfer! Kits! Other Stuff!
(459 - 5:14pm, Oct 22)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogDodgers Albert Pujols Hits the COVID-19 Injured List
(223 - 12:28pm, Oct 22)
Last: 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price

NewsblogNew MLB CBA should include amnesty clause
(18 - 8:22am, Oct 22)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogBaseball Games Are Still Too Long—and Getting Longer
(110 - 5:52am, Oct 22)
Last: McCoy

Page rendered in 0.3698 seconds
48 querie(s) executed