Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Stan the Man's Man-Sized Year
In the volume of Stan Musial tributes this weekend mourning the greatest Cardinal's passing, I had occasion to notice his stats for his greatest year, 1948.
Batting avg. .375.
On-base percentage .450
Slugging pct. .701.
His totals for runs, hits, HRs, RBIs, BA, OBP, SA, and OPS are the highest of his career. He led the major leagues in batting average (.376), hits (230), doubles (46), triples (18), total bases (429), and slugging percentage (.702). He won the NL batting title by 43 points, and his third MVP. He would have won the Triple Crown if a HR he hit hadn't been rained out.
Wow. But think of this... he had more than three times as many extra base hits (103) than strikeouts (34). In his best year, the best hitter of the modern era, Albert Pujols, had 99 extra base hits and 52 strikeouts. Barry Bonds, in his steroid peak year, had 107 extra base hits and struck out 93 times.
Three times as many!
A side note. This is an oddity... Musial also stole 7 bases in 1948 without being caught. I saw that and then did a double take. In his first ten years in the bigs, Musial, never a big base-stealer, stole 49 bases. OK. That's not a lot, only about five a year. But... he never got caught. In his first ten years in the big leagues! Not once.
Stan the Man, indeed.