View Poll Results: Which 20th Century change in MLB rules has the most impact on a batting title?

Voters
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  • Banning of the spit ball

    4 28.57%
  • Sacrifice Fly rule

    0 0%
  • Qualification based on Plate Appearances rather than At-Bats

    7 50.00%
  • Changes in defining the official strike zone

    3 21.43%
  • Other (please explain)

    0 0%
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Thread: Rule changes impact on batting title

  1. #1
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    Rule changes impact on batting title

    Most of the REALLY BIG changes in the MLB rulebook happened before 1900. But of the rule changes after 1900, which do you think has the greatest impact (real or potential) on the selection of annual league batting champion?

    Which rule changes have the biggest effect on who wins the batting title?

    Some of my nominations:
    1. Outlawing of the spitball.
    2. The Sac Fly rule (not counting flyout as AB if runner scores after the catch)
    3. Using total "plate appearances" rather than "at-bats" to qualify for batting title
    4. Changes in the official strike zone
    5. Other

    Any thoughts or comments on this?
    Luke

  2. #2
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    I think the PA instead of AB has, without thinking too much. We've seen a lot of people qualify for the title without anywhere near 500AB. Bonds hasn't had 500AB in a season since '98, I believe. When Ted Williams hit .406 in '41, he had fewer than 500 AB. A player can have only 350AB and 150BB and almost certainly qualify, while another player can have 450AB and not. Player A goes 120/350 or .343 with 150BB, while another goes 155/450 or .344 with 30BB and loses out to player A, even though player B had a higher BA and more Hits. I'm unable to go through and do the research now, but I'm certain that from previous research, there have been numerous times where such an occurance happened. Does anyone know when a player with a higher BA and more Hits lost out on the BA.

    BTW
    I also think that rasing the minimum from 100G fits in here, as well.
    Johnson and now Goligoski gone.
    I hope that's all.

  3. #3
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    I agree that changing the minimum from 2.6 AB per scheduled game (400 AB in 154 schedule) to 3.1 PA per game (477 in 154 games or 502 in 162 games) may have the most impact. With the current rule, Ted Williams would have won the AL batting title in 1954; without it, Barry Bonds would not have a NL batting crown.
    Luke

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisox
    Does anyone know when a player with a higher BA and more Hits lost out on the BA.
    Ted Williams in 1954 had a higher BA (.345) than Bobby Avila (.341), but (partially due to his many walks) Ted fell short of the 400 AB then required to qualify. Avila therefore won that Batting Crown.

    Prior to 1940 the minimum standard for a percentage championship (BA or SA) seems to have been loosely enforced. Ty Cobb and other stars won titles in seasons when they fell short of the (informal?) minimum standard.

    I don't think anyone who led in both (HITS and BATTING AVERAGE) ever failed to win the Batting Title.
    Last edited by Appling; 09-24-2005 at 07:37 PM.
    Luke

  5. #5
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    what appling said in #3.
    "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appling
    Ted Williams in 1954 had a higher BA (.345) than Bobby Avila (.341), but (partially due to his many walks) Ted fell short of the 400 AB then required to qualify. Avila therefore won that Batting Crown.

    Prior to 1940 the minimum standard for a percentage championship (BA or SA) seems to have been loosely enforced. Ty Cobb and other stars won titles in seasons when they fell short of the (informal?) minimum standard.

    I don't think anyone who led in both (HITS and BATTING AVERAGE) ever failed to win the Batting Title.
    I didn't say LED in HITS. I meant like my example. A player has MORE hits with the better BA, but not enough PA to qualify compared to a player with fewer hits, a lower BA, but walked enough to qualify.

    My example from my previous post
    Player A: 120/350, .343, 150BB qualifies
    Player B: 155/450, .344, 30BB DNQ

    I was wondering when Player A ever won over Player B.
    Johnson and now Goligoski gone.
    I hope that's all.

  7. #7

    Lombardi

    How was it that Ernie Lombardi was able to win a batting title in 1942 with 309 ABs and only 37 walks? What were the rules then?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseballbikeski
    How was it that Ernie Lombardi was able to win a batting title in 1942 with 309 ABs and only 37 walks? What were the rules then?
    I think the rule then was "the League President makes the rules". That year the NL President decided that 309 AB was good for a catcher -- enough to qualify for the batting title. I think the official rule then was "100 games" without anything specific about at-bats or plate appearance -- but the league president could overrule even that modest standard.

    The quaifying rule became much more rigid by the time Ted Williams came along.
    Luke

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Appling
    Ted Williams in 1954 had a higher BA (.345) than Bobby Avila (.341), but (partially due to his many walks) Ted fell short of the 400 AB then required to qualify. Avila therefore won that Batting Crown.

    Prior to 1940 the minimum standard for a percentage championship (BA or SA) seems to have been loosely enforced. Ty Cobb and other stars won titles in seasons when they fell short of the (informal?) minimum standard.

    I don't think anyone who led in both (HITS and BATTING AVERAGE) ever failed to win the Batting Title.
    That's because if you lead by enough that you could take outs the rest of the way and still be ahead, you win. This almost happened to Andres Galaraga in '93.

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