Quiz – Heady Company (solved)

Two rookie phenoms in 2012 had seasons for the ages, joining the very select group of players below.

Since 1901, what single season statistical feat has been accomplished only by these players?

Hint: several players on the list did this more than once.

Congratulations to Josh! He correctly identified these players as the record holders for seasonal WAR at each age, with a minimum of 2 WAR. That minimum covers the ages 19 through 42. The record seasons are after the jump, as well the best WAR seasons outside of this age range.

Rk Player WAR/pos OPS+ Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Robin Yount 1.3 79 1974 18 MIL 107 364 344 48 86 14 5 3 26 12 46 .250 .276 .346 .622 *6
1 Bryce Harper 5.0 119 2012 19 WSN 139 597 533 98 144 26 9 22 59 56 120 .270 .340 .477 .817 *89/7
1 Mike Trout 10.7 171 2012 20 LAA 139 639 559 129 182 27 8 30 83 67 139 .326 .399 .564 .963 *87/9
1 Rogers Hornsby 9.7 169 1917 21 STL 145 589 523 86 171 24 17 8 66 45 34 .327 .385 .484 .868 *6
1 Ted Williams 10.1 235 1941 22 BOS 143 606 456 135 185 33 3 37 120 147 27 .406 .553 .735 1.287 *7/9
1 Willie Mays 10.3 175 1954 23 NYG 151 641 565 119 195 33 13 41 110 66 57 .345 .411 .667 1.078 *8
1 Lou Gehrig 11.5 220 1927 24 NYY 155 717 584 149 218 52 18 47 175 109 84 .373 .474 .765 1.240 *3
1 Babe Ruth 11.6 255 1920 25 NYY 142 616 458 158 172 36 9 54 137 150 80 .376 .532 .847 1.379 *978/31
1 Babe Ruth 12.6 238 1921 26 NYY 152 693 540 177 204 44 16 59 171 145 81 .378 .512 .846 1.359 *78/13
1 Carl Yastrzemski 12.0 193 1967 27 BOS 161 680 579 112 189 31 4 44 121 91 69 .326 .418 .622 1.040 *7/8
1 Babe Ruth 13.7 239 1923 28 NYY 152 697 522 151 205 45 13 41 131 170 93 .393 .545 .764 1.309 97/83
1 Babe Ruth 11.4 220 1924 29 NYY 153 681 529 143 200 39 7 46 121 142 81 .378 .513 .739 1.252 *97/8
1 Cal Ripken 11.3 162 1991 30 BAL 162 717 650 99 210 46 5 34 114 53 46 .323 .374 .566 .940 *6
1 Babe Ruth 11.1 225 1926 31 NYY 152 652 495 139 184 30 5 47 146 144 76 .372 .516 .737 1.253 *79/3
1 Babe Ruth 12.1 225 1927 32 NYY 151 691 540 158 192 29 8 60 164 137 89 .356 .486 .772 1.258 *97
1 Willie Mays 10.7 172 1964 33 SFG 157 665 578 121 171 21 9 47 111 82 72 .296 .383 .607 .990 *8/635
1 Honus Wagner 11.3 205 1908 34 PIT 151 641 568 100 201 39 19 10 109 54 22 .354 .415 .542 .957 *6
1 Babe Ruth 10.0 211 1930 35 NYY 145 676 518 150 186 28 9 49 153 136 61 .359 .493 .732 1.225 *97/1
1 Barry Bonds 11.6 259 2001 36 SFG 153 664 476 129 156 32 2 73 137 177 93 .328 .515 .863 1.379 *7/D
1 Barry Bonds 11.6 268 2002 37 SFG 143 612 403 117 149 31 2 46 110 198 47 .370 .582 .799 1.381 *7/D
1 Ted Williams 9.5 233 1957 38 BOS 132 547 420 96 163 28 1 38 87 119 43 .388 .526 .731 1.257 *7
1 Barry Bonds 10.4 263 2004 39 SFG 147 617 373 129 135 27 3 45 101 232 41 .362 .609 .812 1.422 *7/D
1 Willie Mays 6.0 158 1971 40 SFG 136 537 417 82 113 24 5 18 61 112 123 .271 .425 .482 .907 *83
1 Honus Wagner 5.2 126 1915 41 PIT 156 625 566 68 155 32 17 6 78 39 64 .274 .325 .422 .747 *643
1 Luke Appling 4.9 125 1949 42 CHW 142 619 492 82 148 21 5 5 58 121 24 .301 .439 .394 .833 *6
1 Carlton Fisk 1.7 97 1991 43 CHW 134 501 460 42 111 25 0 18 74 32 86 .241 .299 .413 .712 *2D3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/19/2013.

 

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24 Comments on "Quiz – Heady Company (solved)"

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Dr. Doom
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The idea that one of baseball’s “great-old-but-not-young” players in Appling and Bryce Harper share something in common is kind of awesome…

John Autin
Editor
Thinking out loud … If the theme is age and youth, then how exactly does Gehrig fit? His first and last years as a regular were ages 22 and 35, which is far from unusual. Appling was good at 40+. Hornsby was good at 20. Bonds was good at 21, and at 40+. Wagner was good at 40+. Harper was good at 19. Williams was good at 20 and at 40+. Ruth was a good pitcher at 20. Yaz was decent at 21 and at 40+. Ripken was good at 21 and … well, he played at 40. Trout was… Read more »
Josh
Guest

Do each player hold the record for most WAR at each particular age?

RJ
Guest

If I may ask, whose records did Harper and Trout beat?

Doug
Guest

Harper beat Mel Ott (3.7 in 1928).

Trout beat A-Rod (9.2 in 1996).

RJ
Guest

Cheers Doug. So looking at your table, before Trout’s blockbuster season the record WAR at each age increased year-on-year from 18 to 26. Now Trout owns the highest WAR for any age up to 23. Wow.

GrandyMan
Guest

Also in 2012, Manny Machado had the 9th best season for a 19-year old at 1.5 WAR. Trout himself is one of only 27 players to have a WAR of at least 0.5 at age 19 (he had 0.6 last year).

BryanM
Guest

great quiz, doug! I scratched my head for a long time over it and didn’t come close, Even put my St Louis Cardinal’s cap on to help thinking — didn’t work, but I learned of Musial’s death while wearing it, which put a sweet edge on the nostalgia. Carleton Fisk at 33 – nice to see and old catcher on the list.

DaveKingman
Guest

So this Ruth guy was pretty good, I take it?

Hartvig
Guest

In retrospect it’s something that I feel like I SHOULD have spotted- you’ve got guys well known for being great “old” players like Old Aches & Pains & Pudge & Honus & of course Barry’s second half of his career “surge” as well as two current youngsters- but I have got to admit that I stared at that list for 10 minutes without coming anywhere close.

In retrospect I think it was Yount that threw me.

Well done Josh & Doug

mosc
Guest

I think there’s a decent chance the list might add another name with 43 year old Rivera in 2013 giving it another go. Would be fitting to get at least one pitcher on the list wouldn’t it?

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