Posted at 2:33 PM on September 15, 2005
by David Zingler
As ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark interestingly pointed out today, Placido Polanco could wind up with the highest overall batting average in the major leagues and not win a batting title. Polanco, who is currently hitting .336, trails only the Cubs Derek Lee in the batting average department. The problem is, he began the year with the Phillies before being dealt to Detroit on June 9 and doesn’t have enough plate appearances in either league to qualify for the batting title.
Back in 1990 Eddie Murray, then with the Dodgers, endured a similar fate. St. Louis’ Willie McGee was hitting .335 when he was dealt to Oakland in late August. Acclimating to a new league was a bit of a struggle for the E.T. look-alike, as he hit .274 for Oakland that September, dropping his overall average to .324. Murray finished the season at .330 which edged out AL batting champ George Brett by one point. But since McGee had enough NL plate appearances, he was regarded as the league’s batting champion.
So you can have the highest batting average in all of baseball, but not win a batting title. That doesn’t seem right, does it? Before you get too outraged, remember that you can accumulate the most votes and still lose a presidential election. Anyone heard from Al Gore lately?