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The Top 5 Hitting Seasons of All Time

Arad MarkowitzContributor IIIJune 11, 2011

The Top 5 Hitting Seasons of All Time

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    Barry Bonds
    Barry BondsHarry How/Getty Images

    Since the beginning of baseball, there have been players who have had mind boggling, amazing, record-breaking seasons. Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Ted Williams are some of the best to ever play the game of baseball, and they have all had historic seasons. So have many others.

    These are the top 5 hitting seasons of all time.

5. Ted Williams: 1941 Boston Red Sox

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    Statistics: .406 Batting Average, 33 Doubles, 37 Home Runs, 120 RBI, 135 Runs, 335 Total Bases, OPS-plus of 234, WAR of 11.3, 147 Walks, .553 OBP, and a .735 SLG.

     

    The last player to hit .400 in a season, Williams had the third highest OBP in a regular season. Then 22, Williams had the best season of his hall-of-fame career.

    And he didn't even win the MVP that year, losing out to Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees.

4. Hack Wilson: 1931 Chicago Cubs

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    Statistics: .356 Batting Average, 56 Home Runs, 191 RBI, 146 Runs, .454 OBP, .723 SLG, 423 Total Bases and an OPS-plus of 177. 

     

    While Wilson was not a bad baseball player, this was by far the best season he ever had. Wilson broke the record for RBI in a single season, and that record still stands today. Wilson also led the league in slugging, total bases and OPS.

3. Lou Gehrig: 1927 New York Yankees

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    Statistics: .373 Batting Average, 52 Doubles, 18 Triples, 47 Home Runs, 175 RBI, 149 Runs, 447 Total Bases, OPS-plus of 220, WAR of 12.0.

     

    On arguably the greatest baseball team ever, Lou Gehrig had the best season. Gehrig and Babe Ruth led their team to winning the World Series. Gehrig also won the MVP that year.

2. Barry Bonds: 2001 San Francisco Giants

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    Statistics: .328 Batting Average, 73 HR, 137 RBI, 122 Runs, .515 OBP, .863 SLG, 411 Total Bases, WAR of 12.5, 177 Walks, and an OPS-plus of 259.

     

    Barry Bonds set numerous records in 2001.

    For starters, he broke the all-time single season homerun record, which still stands today. He also has the highest slugging percentage of all-time and the most walks. Unsurprisingly, he won the MVP award. 

1. Babe Ruth: 1921 New York Yankees

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    Statistics: .378 Batting Average, 59 Home Runs, 171 RBI, 177 Runs, .846 SLG, .512 OBP, 1.359 OPS, 457 Total Bases, 44 Doubles, 16 Triples, 17 Stolen Bases (!!!) , 145 BB, 13.7 WAR, OPS-plus of 238.

     

    Take a look at those numbers. Ruth set new MLB records for home runs (which he ended up breaking), runs scored, extra-base hits, slugging percentage and total bases. Ruth also led the New York Yankees to winning their first of 40 American League pennants.

    This is the greatest hitting season of all time.

Honorable Mentions

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    It would be unfair to just list the top five and leave out all the other amazing seasons, so here are a few more spectacular seasons by all-time greats:

    Mickey Mantle, 1956

    Joe DiMaggio, 1937

    Chuck Klein, 1930

    Rogers Hornsby, 1922

    Jimmie Fox, 1932

    Sammy Sosa, 2001

    Mark McGwire, 1998

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