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The Elias Analyst

May 04, 1992
May 04, 1992

Table of Contents
May 4, 1992

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The Elias Analyst

Burners and Burnouts

This is an article from the May 4, 1992 issue Original Layout

Rod Carew, Pete Rose and Tony Gwynn all hit .400 in April at one time or another in their careers. Then again, so did such nonimmortals as Buddy Bradford, Brant Alyea and Bobby Darwin. In all, 38 players have batted .400 or better in April since baseball went to divisional play in 1969. (To qualify, a player must have had at least 3.1 plate appearances for each of his team's games during the month.)

Of course, none of these players kept up that pace. The last player to hit .400 for a season was Ted Williams, who batted .406 in 1941. Only 18 of our 38 first-month sensations fulfilled an even more modest expectation—batting .300. And only three went on to win the batting title: Carew in 1969, Rico Carty in '70 and Gwynn in '84. Here are the best and worst season-ending averages of our April flashes:

View this article in the original magazine

CHARTJOHN GRIMWADEILLUSTRATION

APRIL AVG.

FINAL AVG.

THE BEST FINISHERS

1970

Rico Carty, Braves

.423

.366

1984

Tony Gwynn, Padres

.434

.351

1971

Ralph Garr, Braves

.411

.343

1969

Cleon Jones, Mets

.410

.340

1983

Rod Carew, Angels

.449

.339

THE WORST FINISHERS

1986

Reggie Jackson, Angels

.407

.241

1977

Ron Cey, Dodgers

.425

.241

1969

Buddy Bradford,White Sox

.400

.256

1976

Willie Stargell, Pirates

.417

.257

1988

Mike Scioscia, Dodgers

.404

.257