This quiz involves eight players, all but one of which were active in the past 30 years. Yet they are only players in majors history to retire with a certain career accomplishment. What is it?
Seems I’ve managed to stump the HHS panel. The quiz answer is that only these players recorded a 3000 PA career having 45% of hits go for extra bases, and with doubles comprising 45% of extra-base hits. More after the jump.
Hint: there are two parts to the answer, both involving the same number (which is also the number of batters faced by the last Cubs pitcher to record an extra-inning shutout away from Wrigley)
Having 45% of hits go for extra bases is the hard part, with only 18 such careers in majors history, and more than half of those by players with fewer than 7000 career PA. To also have doubles as 45% of extra-base hits requires a fairly even split between home runs and doubles. Too many home runs and doubles will drop below 45% of XBH, and too many doubles likely means a player won’t have 45% of his hits for extra-bases.
But, there is one player who is turning that home run-doubles balance on its ear. Chris Young qualifies for this group right how, despite having 54% more doubles than home runs. There are 720 retired players with 300 extra-base hits and 50% more doubles than home runs, and none of them has 45% extra-base hits (Scott Rolen is closest with 42%). Even just looking at careers through age 32 (Young’s age last season), nobody in the group has previously been at 45% extra-base hits (closest was Brad Wilkserson at 43.5%; Rolen was 43.1%).