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The last time ever I led the league ...
2006-03-05 08:42
by Bob Timmermann

I recently received my 2006 copy of the Complete Baseball Record & Fact Book by the Sporting News. I get a free copy because I volunteered to track the Dodger team records set last year. And that was an easy job with the 2005 Dodgers.

There are charts of yearly leaders in major batting and pitching categories. I thought it was interesting to look at which categories have gone the longest without a reprsentative from a team or franchise being the leader.

Batting average

  • AL - The A's haven't had a batting champ since Ferris Fain led for Philadelphia in 1952 at .327. Tampa Bay has never won
  • NL - The Phillies last won in 1958 when Richie Ashburn batted .350. Houston, New York, Milwaukee (either league), Florida, and Arizona have never won.

Slugging average

  • AL - Tony Oliva with Minnesota in 1971 at .546. No winners from Tampa Bay or Toronto
  • NL - George Foster with Cinncinati in 1977 at .631. No winners from Florida, Arizona, or Montreal/Washington. Robin Yount won for Milwaukee, but in the AL in 1982.

On-base percentage

  • AL - Norm Cash with Detroit in 1960 at .487. The Angels, Rangers/Senators, Tampa Bay have not led.
  • NL - Gary Matthews with Chicago in 1984 at .410. Arizona, Milwaukee, and Houston have not won.

Runs scored

  • AL - Rod Carew with Minnesota in 1977 with 104
  • NL - George Foster with Cincinnati in 1977 with 124. Paul Molitor led the AL for Milwaukee in 1991. Arizona and Florida have not won.
  • AL - Norm Cash with Detroit in 1961 with 193. Again no D-Rays.
  • NL - Pete Rose with Cincinnati in 1976 with 215. (Molitor won for Milwaukee in the AL in 1991)


  • AL - Don Buford of Chicago in 1965 with 129. Hey no D-Rays again!
  • NL - Pete Rose of Cincinnati in 1973 with 181. No Arizona or Milwaukee.


  • AL - Al Kaline of Detroit in 1961 with 41. Fish-themed teams need not apply.
  • NL - Orlando Cepeda of San Francisco in 1958 with 38. Nobody for Arizona, Florida, or San Diego.


  • AL - Hoot Evers of Detroit in 1950 with 11. And Carl Crawford led in 2005! The last time a Yankee led was in 1957 when three of them tied for first: Gil McDougald, Hank Bauer, and Harry Simpson.
  • NL - Gene Richards of San Diego in 1981 with 12. Paul Molitor led the AL for Milwaukee in 1991.

Home runs

  • AL - Harmon Killebrew of Minnesota in 1969 with 49. No leaders for Tampa Bay or Kansas City.
  • NL - Willie Stargell of Pittsburgh in 1973 with 44. No leaders for Arizona, Houston, Florida or Washington/Montreal. Gorman Thomas of Milwaukee led the AL in 1982.

Total bases

  • AL - Joe Rudi of Oakland in 1974 with 287. No Tampa Bay leader again.
  • NL - Duke Snider of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954 with 343. No leaders for Arizona, Florida or New York.

Runs batted in

  • AL - Hal McRae of Kansas City in 1982 with 133. No leaders for the Angels or D-Rays.
  • NL - Tommy Davis of Los Angeles in 1962 with 153. No leaders for Arizona or Florida. Cecil Cooper led the AL for Milwaukee in 1983.


  • AL - Harmon Killebrew of Minnesota in 1971 with 114. No Mariners, Blue Jays, or D-Rays.
  • NL - Dan Driessen of Cincinnati and Joe Morgan of Houston both were the last reps of their respective teams to lead the league and they tied in 1983 with 90. No players from Arizona, Colorado, or Montreal/Washington.


  • AL - Dick Kokos with the Browns in 1949 with 91. Devil Rays hitters have avoided this category.
  • NL - Bobby Bonds with San Francisco in 1970 with 1987. No Arizona or San Diego players.

Stolen bases

  • AL - George Case of Washington (now Minnesota) in 1943 with 61. No Rangers Or Blue Jays.
  • NL - Stan Hack of Chicago in 1939 with 17. No Padre has led the league.

Pitching leaders will have to wait until the next time I'm doing laundry.

2006-03-05 12:00:35
1.   Ken Arneson
Joe Rudi lead the league in total bases? Wow, I never would have guessed. I remember him hitting the deciding home run in the 1974 World Series, but I guess he was good all year.
2006-03-05 12:36:48
2.   Bob Timmermann
Ken Henderson was second that year to Rudi.
2006-03-05 12:56:08
3.   grandcosmo
In 1974 Dick Allen led the AL in home runs with 32 despite "retiring" on September 8 that year. He finished with 260 total bases so he most likely would have led the league that year.
2006-03-05 13:03:18
4.   Bob Timmermann
Since Jeff Burroughs was the AL MVP in 1974, it wasn't a strong year for the AL.
2006-03-05 13:17:43
5.   grandcosmo
It was a really blah year offensively in the AL. Only three players sluuged over .500, Carew won the batting title by 48 points, Yaz led the league in runs with 93, and only two players had 100+ RBI.
2006-03-05 13:19:02
6.   Bob Timmermann
And 1974 was capped off by one of the duller World Series ever. You would think four one-run games would be exciting, but somehow they weren't.
2006-03-05 13:39:49
7.   grandcosmo
Even the AL division winners were blah - 91 and 90 wins.
2006-03-05 14:24:27
8.   Ken Arneson
I found the 1974 World Series plenty exciting.
2006-03-05 14:50:53
9.   grandcosmo
In 1974 the losing team had the tying run on the bases in each of the first three games. I remember Marshall picking off Herb Washington in the 9th inning of Game 2. That was basically the beginning of the end for Herb.
2006-03-05 17:26:14
10.   das411
Delmon Young is gonna kick the $#!& out of your comments up there Bob, that kid is a beast!

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