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All-Time Players with the Best Batting Averages

Baseball player batting

In this article we feature baseball players who are all-time leaders in batting averages. A batting average is a baseball statistic (although the term is also applied to softball and cricket) that assesses the performance of baseball batters or hitters.

So what is a hit? It’s when a batter strikes a ball (that has been pitched) and reaches the first aid safely without the benefit of an error by a defensive play which is referred to as fielder’s choice.

Contrary to what you initially think, it’s not that at all difficult to calculate a baseball player’s batting average. This is the formula for finding out a player’s batting average:

Hits / At Bats = Batting Average

The batting average depicts the percentage of bats which results in hits for the player.

For instance, if a player achieves 155 hits in one season and 554 at bats, his batting average would look like this:

155/554 = .280

The batting average is written not in a percentage style like 28.0% but in decimal style with three places after the decimal, just like the one in the formula shown above, .280. When the batting average is .000, it obviously means that the player has done no hits. When the batting average is 1.000 it means that he scores a hit each time he comes to bat. The batting average can be decided for the player, the whole team or any number of teams or players over any number of at-bats. This kind of statistic is frequently used to assess the skill level of the batter or hitter.

It should also be observed that not every time a batter completes a time at bat is counted as an at bat. Appearances at the plate that do not count as an at bat include hit-by-pitches, walks, sacrifice files (or sacrifice bunts), etc.

Here’s another example: another player has 40 hits in 118 at-bats in the month of June, so his batting average will be:

40/118 = .310
(.310 for the month of June)

All-time batting averages leaders:

1. Ty Cobb – .366 (1905-28)

Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Athletics (now Oakland Athletics)

2. Roger Horsnby – .358 (1915-37)

St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants (now San Francisco Giants), Boston Braves (now Atlanta Braves), Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Browns (now Baltimore Orioles)

3. Shoeless Joe Jackson – .356 (1908-1920)

Philadelphia Athletics (now Oakland Athletics), Cleveland Naps/Indians, Chicago White Sox

4. Lefty O’Doul – . 349 (1919-1923, 1928-1934)

New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, New York Giants (now San Francisco Giants), Philadelphia Phillies, Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers (now Los Angeles Dodgers)

5. Ed Delahanty – .346 (1888-1903)

Philadelphia Quakers (now Philadelphia Phillies), Cleveland Infants, Washington Senators (now Minnesota Twins)

6. Tris Speaker – .345 (1907-1928)

Boston Americans/Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators (now Minnesota Twins), Philadelphia Athletics (now Oakland Athletics)

7. Ted Williams – .344 (1939-1942, 1946-1960)

Boston Red Sox

– Billy Hamilton (tied with Ted Williams) – .344 (1888-1901)
Kansas City Cowboys, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Beaneaters (now Atlanta Braves)

8. Dan Brouthers – .342 (1879-1896, 1904)

Troy Trojans, Buffalo Bisons, Detroit Wolverines, Boston Beaneaters (now Atlanta Braves), Boston Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers (now Los Angeles Dodgers), Baltimore Orioles, Louisville Colonels, New York Giants (now San Francisco Giants)

– Babe Ruth (tied with Dan Brouthers) – .342 (1914-1935)
Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Boston Braves

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