Could it be done? Could John Olerud hit .400 over an entire season?
It was a legitimate question at the midpoint of the 1993 season, when the Blue Jays first baseman had the highest batting average in the American League.
He was getting compared to Ted Williams, the last major leaguer to hit .400 over an entire season. He achieved the feat in 1941.
The humble Olerud suggested it was a little early to be comparing him to the Red Sox legend.
“He’s somebody that was successful for his whole career … I’ve just been doing this well, so far, for half of the season,” Olerud told CBC’s Midday on July 8, 1993.
“This is my first real year that I’ve really put everything together and I’ve been hitting the ball well. And so, you know, it’s nice to be compared to him, but you’d like to be compared to somebody like that at the end of your career.”
Already that season, Olerud had put together a 26-game hit streak. And at the time of the Midday interview, he was just about to head to the All-Star Game as the starting first baseman for the American League.
Olerud would finish the season with a .363 average. More than a quarter of a century later, that still stands as the best batting average by a Blue Jay over a full season.
One other bonus that season? He was again part of a Blue Jays squad that won the World Series, making him a back-to-back champion.
Published at Mon, 08 Jul 2019 16:30:00 +0000