That Elusive Club
Only 5 players in MLB history have at least a .300 batting average, .400 on base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, 2,000 hits, 300 home runs, 500 doubles, and 1,000 walks.
Four of them are Hall Famers. The fifth may never get in.
They are Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, and Edgar Martinez.
Edgar Martinez! You’ve got to be kidding me.
It’s true. Being the stat geek that I am, I found this on the internet. I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it. Then, I started digging, and realized it was the truth.
There are the usual suspects that immediately came to mind. None of them made the grade.
Barry Bonds? He’s close, but his .298 average disqualifies him.
ARod? He fails in three categories, with 395 doubles, 915 walks, and a .389 OBP.
Willie Mays? The .384 OBP knocks him out.
Several players will get there, including Manny Ramirez (29 more doubles), Albert Pujols (assuming he stays healthy), and Frank Thomas (12 doubles)
It’s a fascinating stat, because it’s a true measure of power, patience, speed, average, and longevity.
A lot of players come close, but the primary killer was the OBP. Now that the sabermetric and MoneyBall geeks are in vogue, you’ll see a higher OBP in the future. The old timers didn’t think too highly of a free pass.
This brings up a big question. Does Edgar belong in the Hall of Fame?
The purists will say no. As a hitter, he certainly merits consideration. The naysayer’s will say that he was surrounded by good hitters throughout his career, including Junior, A-Rod, Ichiro, Tino, and John Olerud, so he saw a lot of good pitches to hit.
But so did Murderer’s Row and the Gas House Gang.
Before I found this stat, I would have been in the naysayer’s group. I’m still against his induction, because I consider myself a purist, but I’m more willing to listen to the opposition. Whatever happens, Edgar deserves recognition as one of the best hitters of all time.
But I wished he put a glove on more often….