This quiz concerns a career (min. 5000 PA) batting feat accomplished since 1901 by only a handful of the all-time greats … plus a few other guys who have each played their entire careers within the past 25 seasons.
So, who are these other guys hobnobbing with baseball’s elite? That’s for you to find out based on the list below, conveniently ordered by the career batting feat that only these players have achieved.
Congrats to Insert Name Here, aweb and Josh who identified the mystery players bolded above. Congratulations to Howard who identified that these players have the 10 highest career RBI per game rates of all players with 5000+ PAs, and are the only players with a rate of more than 0.8 RBI per game.
Ryan Howard joined the group just yesterday – he currently has exactly 5000 PAs. Will be interesting to see if he can stay on the list. Some players (Greenberg, Gonzalez, Belle) benefited from a short career and/or retiring at an early age before their decline phase dragged down their career rate stats. Williams may have the most impressive accomplishment with missing a large chunk of his prime years to military service and thereby compiling almost one-third of his career PAs in his age 35 season or later.
- These would still be the only players on the list if the career requirement was just 100 PA
- Mystery Man 1 (Juan Gonzalez) was a teammate of a 300 game winner (Nolan Ryan) and a 3000 hit man (Rafael Palmeiro)
- Mystery Man 2 (Ryan Howard) is still active, is a winner of multiple MLB awards (2005 RoY, 2006 MVP), and is the only one of the three Mystery Men to play on a world championship team (2008 Phillies)
- Mystery Man 3 (Albert Belle) was a teammate of four 500 HR hitters (Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas) and three 3000 hit men (Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield, Cal Ripken)
- Mystery Man 1 and Mystery Man 3 debuted in the same season (1989) but were never teammates. Neither ever played with or against Mystery Man 2.
- Mystery Man 1 and Mystery Man 2 have won the same MLB award (1996 and 1998 MVP for Gonzo). Mystery Man 3 never won an MLB award.
- NOTE: above references to MLB awards do NOT include Gold Gloves or Silver Sluggers