Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And today I turn 30

Today is my 30th birthday. This reality has been hard on me. /Moment of silence.

So aside from wondering what you, dear reader, did on your 30th birthday (if you've hit it yet. If you haven't, hold on for dear life.), I got to wondering this morning as I got out of bed and heard my hip pop: who had the best baseball season in a year they turned 30?

5. Jesse Burkett
The Hall of Famer hit .400 twice, but in 1899 Burkett posted the highest batting average in baseball history for a 30-year old player, hitting .396/.463/.500, with 71 RBI and 25 stolen bases.

4. Hack Wilson
As a 30-year old in 1930 Hack Wilson set the all-time record for RBI in a season with 191. It would take Geoff Blum approximately 13 years to acheive this. But that's not all. Wilson also led the NL with 56 home runs, 105 walks, and posted a .356/.454/.723 line.

3. Ted Williams
There was a stretch of ten years (seven seasons - Williams lost 1943-1945 to the War) in which Ted Williams led the League in OBP, culminating in Williams' 1949 season as a 30-year old. In 1949, Williams also led the AL in games, plate appearances, runs scored, doubles, home runs, RBI, and walks. Williams walked 162 times in 1949, and only struck out 48 times, while posting a .343/.490/.650 line.

2. Ichiro Suzuki
Future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki set the single season hits record in 2004 with 262 hits - breaking George Sisler's record - when he was 30. This makes him my hero. Ichiro also hit .372/.414/.455, striking out only 63 times in 762 plate appearances. In 2004, Ichiro had five 4-hit games, 14 3-hit games, and 54 2-hit games.

1. Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb led the AL in a number of categories over the years, including beating up handicapped fans, but in 1917, a 30-year old Cobb led the AL in hits (225), doubles (44), triples (24), - he finished 4th in the AL with six homers - stolen bases (55), batting average (.383), OBP (.444), and SLG (.570), posting a career-high OPS+ of 209.

And yes, this does make me feel better.