It’s pretty safe to assume that Ty Cobb was one of the best hitters to ever play Major League Baseball. If you’re not convinced, you can take a look at the statistics that he put up during his 24-season professional career:
.367 average (1st all time), 2246 runs scored (2nd all time), 4191 hits (2nd all time), 723 doubles (4th all time), 297 triples (2nd all time), 1938 RBI (6th all time), and 892 stolen bases (4th all time).
Ty Cobb and his amazing career has been discussed at length on this post in the past; we talked about his .367 career batting average and his induction into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1936, but we haven’t talked about the record that displays his ability as a hitter the most; the Georgia Peach hit over .300 each year in his baseball career from 1906 to 1928, including 21 years with the Detroit Tigers and the last two years with the Philadelphia Athletics. The only year that Cobb didn’t hit over .300 was in 1905, his rookie year with the Tigers. In 150 at-bats and 41 games played, Cobb hit .240 with one home run and 15 RBI. When he became an everyday player the next season, he never had another season where he struggled and hit under .300…that’ just absolutely amazing.
During this streak of 23 consecutive years hitting over .300, Cobb did not squeak by to keep the streak alive by any means. With a career batting average of .367, it’s pretty safe to assume that he safely hit above that mark quite easily. He never finished a year below a .316 batting average, won 12 batting titles, eclipsed the .400 mark three times, and hit over .320 in 22 different seasons (which is also a record). What is most amazing to me is that he only won one MVP award during his career, when he led the league in runs, hits, triples, doubles, RBI, stolen bases, batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS. I would say that’s a pretty good year. However, he was known not to be the nicest person on the field, which could have led to one of the reasons why he wasn’t voted to win more MVPs. Also, playing in the same era as Babe Ruth didn’t help either.
Will this record be broken? Not in a million years. Not only is it tough to hit .300 on a consistent basis, it’s even tougher to be in the Major Leagues for 23 years to even the chance to do so. There haven’t been many ballplayers in today’s era that have hung around and been an everyday player at that point in their careers. So, I think that reason alone will be the sole reason why Cobb’s consecutive .300 season streak will never be broken; compared to players back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, players today are made of tissue paper and aren’t durable enough to stay productive for that amount of time.
This type of record is definitely something that all MLB hitters should strive for; experiencing sustained success throughout an entire career and building a reputation that you’re one of the all-time best at what you did as a player, but Ty Cobb was a very special player that doesn’t come along very often, so I’m confident in saying that this record is 100% safe.