Willard Brown of Kansas City Monarchs The Last Player To Hit .400

Published on February 17th, 2024 5:51 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Hitting legends in the game of baseball. In 1948, Willard Brown of the Kansas City Monarchs hit .408 to join the club of hitters who had posted an average of .400 or more in a single season.

Prior to that, a number of players had broken the .400 mark in a single season. This includes the likes of Ted Williams, Jud Wilson and Buddy Burbage.

Prior to 1950, hitting .400 in a single season wasn't that big of a deal.

In fact, dozens of players accomplished the task.


Since 1948, NOBODY has managed to hit .400 in a single season.

Tony Gwynn is the closest that anybody has come to hitting .400 since 1948.

In fact, the strike that season may have robbed fans of seeing a .400 season.

Prior to the work stoppage, Gwynn was batting .394, and if there was any hitter who could have maintained that consistency over the rest of the season, it was Tony Gwynn.

George Brett also came close in 1980, as he finished the season with a .390 batting average. Brett was hitting .400 with just a dozen games left in the year, though he ended up falling a bit short.

Two other players - Ted Williams and Rod Carew - made runs at a .400 average, though both fell just short. Williams hit .388 in 1957, while Carew hit .388 in 1977.


The fact of the matter is that the pitching is much better in today's Major League Baseball.

Plus, the aggressive use of relief pitchers makes it much harder to hit .400, as opposing teams will constantly look to put their opponent's best hitters in sub-optimal situations.

Back in the early days of Major League Baseball, teams would simply leave their starting pitcher out for most or all of the game, even if they were getting shallacked, which led to some inflated averages.

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