Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cobb Starts The 4,000 Hit Club

On July 18, 1927 Hall of Famer and Detroit Tigers great Ty Cobb hits his career hit 4,000.
At the time Cobb was the only player in Major League Baseball to reach 4,000 hits. Since Cobb only one player has hit more than 4,000 hits and that is former Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos great Pete Rose.

Cobb, nicknamed "The Georgia Peach," was an American Major League Baseball outfielder. He was born in The Narrows, Georgia, a small rural community of farmers that was not an official city or village at the time.

Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, the last six as the team's player-manager, and finished his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1936 Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes.

At the end of his playing career Cobb was credited with breaking 90 MLB records including ending his career with a .366 batting average, still the highest ever, 54 career steals of home, still the most of all time, 892 stolen bases, which has since been surpassed by three players including current stolen base champion Oakland Athletics great Rickey Henderson. Most runs scored with 2,245, which has since been surpassed only by Henderson. Most career hits with 4,191, which has since been surpassed only by Rose.

Cobb finished his career as a one time American League MVP in 1911, the winner of 12 batting titles, including nine in a row from 1907-1915, both of which are the most of all time. He batted over .400 three times, which is tied for an MLB record and only batted under .320 once in his career. He also led the American League with a .350 batting average at age 20, second youngest in MLB history to do so.

Cobb’s career numbers include a .366 batting average, a .433 on-base percentage, a .512 slugging percentage, 4,189 hits, 724 doubles, 295 triples, 117 home runs, 1,249 walks, 1,938 RBIs, 2,246 runs scored, 897 stolen bases in 3,034 games played.

Cobb was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, and Cooperstown Hall of Fame in 1936 with 98.23 percent of the vote. Cobb received the most votes of any player on the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, receiving 222 out of a possible 226 votes.

Since the inception of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York there have been 300 members elected with only three members with a higher percentage of the vote being inducted after Cobb including in this order of percentage; New York Mets great Tom Seaver 98.84 percent, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and California Angels great Nolan Ryan 98.79 percent and Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr. with 98.53 percent.

Only Kansas City Royals George Brett has topped 98 percent of the vote without surpassing Cobb, with 98.19 percent.

This year no one was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame even though arguable two of the best players of All-Time, Roger Clemens, seven CY Young awards, and Barry Bonds, seven MVP awards, both more than anyone else in history, were not inducted.

The Baseball Writers of America chose not to elect anyone this year, including Bonds and Clemens because of the looming discussion around Performance Enhancing Drugs and their baseball careers.
The next election into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. is in January of 2014. Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux top the list of potential first ballot candidates.