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Old 09-07-2019, 12:36 AM   #13
3fbrown
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3000 Hits

12 guys have reached 3000 hits. The active leader is Willie Randolph with 2435, so nobody new will join this club for a bit. Here are brief bios for those 12 men.

Ty Cobb: 3528
Hereís the crazy thing about Ty Cobb: he wasnít that great. I know, he has more hits than anyone in league history. He is also 2nd in doubles, 1st in triples, and 4th in runs. But itís all playing time. His career batting average was .303! How does someone barely hit .300 and still get over 3500 hits? Start at age 18, play until age 40, and never get hurt. He was merely a very good player, but he was a very good player forever. He won two MVP awards, both in the deadball era, so his stats look worse than they really were. In 1906 he won his first MVP, hitting only .306. He won again in 1913, and he hit a very good .344, but the next year he hit .252. This is not your great-grandmotherís Ty Cobb.

But Cobb does illustrate something that has happened a number of times in RL history. An all-time great can lose talents or otherwise underachieve and still be a HOF caliber player. Why? Two reasons.
If you are Ty Cobb, you can lose some talent and still be very good.
And, if you start at age 18, you have a lot of extra plate appearances to accumulate stats, compared to someone that starts at, say, age 23.
This same phenomenon happened to greats like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Frank Robinson. None hit like their real life counterparts. But they all hit pretty well, played excellent defense, and played a very long time.

I forgot to mention it, but Cobb played his entire career in Washington.

Harry Heilmann: 3436
Rogers Hornsby: 3430
Joe Jackson: 3275
All longtime teammates in Philadelphia, you know their story.

Jack Smith: 3199
Who? In real life he played OF for the Cardinals in the late teens and twenties. RL Jack Smith played CF in Pittsburgh from 1916-1936, hitting lots of singles and triples (227, second all-time), and later in his career walking quite a bit, making him a powerful offensive weapon. His OBP got as high as .467, and when added to his good CF defense, Jack Smith was a really good player.

Max Carey: 3131
Basically the same as Jack Smith, but with more 2B and SB, but fewer walks. Oh, and he hit .335 for his career. Only two men ever hit .400 in a season, and Carey is one of them. This will be a future topic of discussion.

Mel Ott: 3117
Remember what I said about Ty Cobb? Mel Ott started at age 17 in Detroit, and played until he was 40. He played in 3255 games and batted 13,041 times, both league records. Ott played more than any other player in league history. Unlike Cobb he kept his talents. Thanks to playing SO MUCH he is at or near the top of many offensive categories, such as HR (460, 10th), RBI (1992, 3rd), runs (1956, 2nd), walks (2231, 2nd), doubles (613, 8th), and of course hits.

There are three men that played in 3000 games in Replay League. Two are Cobb and Ott. The third is Jimmie Foxx, who tends to be ahead of Ott in all those counting stats. He fell 11 hits short of 3000 hits though, so you have to wait to hear about his exploits.

Tris Speaker: 3097
Another Superfriend.

Eddie Collins: 3082
A lifetime Boston Brave, he was a slightly worse version of the real Eddie Collins. Lots of hits, lots of walks, lots of steals, good defense at 2B.

Hal Trosky: 3079
The real Hal Trosky was a heck of a hitter, but got migraines that cut his career short. This Hal Trosky played until he was 42 for the Red Sox and Cubs. He hit 373 HR, over 600 doubles, and walked more than 1000 times.

Billy Goodman: 3052
Another four-decade player (1948-1970), he hit singles and walked forever. He mostly played 2B, poorly. Not a great player, but a good player for a long time, like a lot of these stat compilers.

Andre Dawson: 3047
In real life, Andre Dawson was an excellent player, a borderline HOFer. Though I am of the age that I only remember his time with the Cubs and later, his true glory days were with the Expos. He hit for a good average with power, ran well, played great CF defense - he was a model 5-tool player. Later on he lost the legs, and he never had much patience.

Replay League Andre Dawson was like the real Andre Dawson if he never had leg problems. He hit for a good average with power (but few walks), ran well, played good CF defense, which eventually changed to good RF defense. He also had incredibly good health. Dawson didnít go on the DL until his 16th season! He was so durable that his nickname eventually became the Iron Hawk.

Because of the good health and talent, Dawson accumulated 85 WAR in his 18 year career. He led the league in hits twice, runs twice, doubles three times, RBI five times, slugging percentage twice, one batting title, and one WAR title. He won one MVP plus the ROY award. In addition to the 3000 hits, he scored 1556 runs, drove in 1818 runs (4th all-time), his 619 doubles is 6th all-time, he was worth +100 runs as a defender in CF and RF. He only walked 520 times, pretty low for such a long career, and had only 152 SB. He had 10 100-RBI seasons and five consecutive 200-hit seasons. He played for Boston his entire career, one of many great Red Sox outfield stars.
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