It's time for the epic conclusion to my summer-long series to tell you all my top 50 Hall of Fame hitters in baseball history! And it's also time for the real scrutiny to come my way, so let's get to it!
#10: Rogers Hornsby
The first real National League power hitter is actually on this list for a different reason: his .358 career batting average ranks second all time. In fact, he is only one of three hitters ever with a lifetime batting average above .350. He even batted .424 in 1924, which is the highest single-season batting average of the World Series era!
#9: Jimmie Foxx
"Double-X" sure knew how to hit when power was so primitive in baseball. He represented the AL in the All Star Game in the first nine years of the Midsummer Classic, won three MVPs, and was the second ever member of the 500 home run club. His 534 homers rank 19th on the all-time list and his .325 lifetime batting average and 1,922 career RBIs aren't bad, either.
#8: Lou Gehrig
His career was cut short, but amazing. He averaged 29 homers and a staggering 117 RBIs a season to go along with a .340 lifetime batting average. Gehrig won the AL MVP twice and topped 100 RBIs in 13 consecutive seasons (1926-1938). Oh yeah, and he played in 2,130 consecutive games or whatever.
#7: Honus Wagner
The Flying Dutchman terrified National League pitching at the beginning of the 20th century, batting .328 lifetime to go along with 3,420 career hits. The eight-time batting champ and four-time OBP champ is part of the first ever Hall of Fame class in 1936.
#6: Stan Musial
24 gosh darn All Star Games and the fourth-most hits in baseball history will definitely put you at #6 on this list. Stan the Man batted .331 lifetime and also drove in 1,951 runs during his career, the eighth-highest RBI total in baseball history.
#5: Willie Mays
Just like Musial, Mays was a 24-time All Star. Just like Musial, Mays is one of the most feared hitters in National League history. And just like Musial, Mays is up there with the best of them on the all-time hits list, as his 3,283 career base knocks rank 12th on the all-time list. But unlike Musial, Mays had some power. His 660 career home runs put him in the top ten of the category and his .302 lifetime batting average is pretty impressive as well.
#4: Ted Williams
Let the hate comments roll in! First, let's talk about why Teddy Ballgame was so great and then we can talk about why he isn't "the greatest hitter that ever lived." 19 All Star Games. 1,839 career RBIs. 521 career home runs. A .344 lifetime batting average. The best OBP of all time at .482. 2,021 career walks. The last man to hit over .400 in a season. All of that is great, don't get me wrong, but do you really mean to tell me that the "greatest hitter that ever lived" isn't even in the top ten for career hits or home runs? The Splendid Splinter is definitely great, but he doesn't deserve the number one spot in this countdown.
#3: Ty Cobb
The Georgia Peach may have played in a different era, but his stats are undeniably off the charts. His .366 batting average ranks as the best batting average ever and his 4,189 hits rank number two on the all-time list. From 1907-1919, he won 12 of 13 batting titles, batting over .400 twice. Surprisingly, he also has a high RBI total, as his 1,944 RBIs are ninth all-time.
#2: Hank Aaron
The 25-time All Star is quite simply the best hitter of the second half of the 20th century and for three simple reasons:
- Third all time in hits with 3,771.
- Second all time in home runs with 755.
- First all time in RBIs with 2,297.
That's all I need to say about Hammerin' Hank.
#1: Babe Ruth
Honestly, who else? A .342 batting average. 2,214 career RBIs. 714 career dingers. The highest slugging percentage in MLB history at .690. Won the AL home run title 12 times in a 14-year span. Per season with the Yankees, he averaged 44 home runs and 132 RBIs. But most of all, he ushered in the Live Ball era, changing the game forever. His transcendence is the real reason for why he's number one and I will never change my opinion regarding this decision. He's just plain revolutionary.
The list is finally finished! Thank you to everyone for reading this series throughout the summer, but what did you think of it in its entirety? First of all, do you agree with my picks and second of all, would you like to see another series like this in the future? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and, as always, check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."