In MLB history, 20 players have surpassed the.400 mark, with five doing so more than once. Ten of these batters batted right-handed, nine batted left-handed, and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Terry and Williams, two of these guys, each played for only one big league franchise. The other eight members of this group have played in the Majors for between them more than 10 seasons.
The first player to reach.400 was Grover Cleveland Alexander, who did so in 1937 while playing for the Cleveland Indians. He is the only player to achieve this feat twice. Joe DiMaggio and Mel Ott are the only others to do so more than once.
Alexander's career batting average of.404 is the highest of any major league player who spent their entire career with one team. His lifetime batting title is even more impressive when you consider that there were only 495 games played in the American League during his career. That means that just over 5% of all AL baseball games played during that time period belonged to someone other than George S. Alexander or Joe DiMaggio.
It took Alexander 38 games to reach.400, which is the fastest time ever to reach this mark. It's also worth mentioning that he finished with 137 hits, 45 walks, and 15 errors in 149 games played. Those numbers give him a.447 average that would still be good for third among major league hitters today.
There are four players. Only four players in MLB history have achieved the 40-40 club, and none have done it more than once. Three of these hitters were right-handed, while one was left-handed. Two other players, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez, have 600 home runs. They also both have 80-80 seasons.
The first player to achieve the 40-40 mark was Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees. He did so in 1941 when his batting average was.406 and he hit game-winning hits in all three games that he played in during that season's World Series against the Athletics. DiMaggio is considered by many to be the greatest hitter that ever lived and has been referred to as "Mr. November."
The second player to do so was Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox. He accomplished this feat in 1947 when his batting average was.440 and he hit game-winning hits in all four games that he played in during that season's World Series against the Indians. Like DiMaggio, Williams is considered by many to be the greatest hitter that ever lived and has been referred to as "The Man" due to his dominance at the plate.
The third player to reach the 40-40 mark was Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees.
According to Batting Season Finder | Baseball-Reference.com, there are presently 23 players that throw left and bat right, accounting for around 3% of all players. Switch hitters aren't on the list. Approximately the same number as those who throw right and bat left. That's how I played, and I was the only one in my league that did, so I suppose the opposite would be equally uncommon.
Here's the list:
Royals pitcher Brian Fuentes is the most common combination of skills among current major league players, as he combines throwing left with batting right. Three other pitchers - Fuentes, Joe Smith (both Royals), and Scott Schoeneweis (Tigers) - play in more than one major league city if you count cities not as countries. All four men are right-handed.
The only other position players that combine throwing left with batting right are first baseman Justin Huber of the Marlins and catcher Mike Rivera of the Tigers. Both are left-handed.
There are currently 22 batters that throw left and hit right. Only one of them - Fernando Vina of the Giants - is still active in the major leagues. Vina was born in Venezuela and has been a switch hitter since childhood years. He is now considered one of the best defensive first basemen in baseball.
Batters that can do both left and right seem rare.
There are 20 batters. Four players have done it more than once in their careers, but no one has ever struck out 20 hitters in a nine-inning game. The all-time record is 19 strikeouts, set by Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003.
The most anyone else has ever struck out 20 batters in a game is 17, which is held by Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies and Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both pitchers did it on September 5, 2002.
They're still batting him down off the bench! They must be going with a short lineup. That's got to be hurting someone's chances of hitting for average or getting on base. Either that or they just aren't making contact.
Wow! What an incredible feat! It's hard to believe that there hasn't been any more than 17 strikeouts in a game since 2002.
Strikeouts are awesome. They are so rare you can strike out everyone in the order at least once in baseball history. This guy has managed to do it twice in less than a year!
You probably know this number: 3,909. That's how many hits Charlie Gehringer had before he was caught stealing in 1939.