Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams -- the Splendid Splinter -- was born on this date 100 years ago (Aug. 30, 1918). Below are our nine favorite stats about No. 9:
1. Using Williams' averages from his 17 non-military seasons, we can estimate his final career numbers had he not missed any time while in the service during World War II and the Korean War. The figures in parentheses indicate where they'd rank on the all-time list.
2,332 RBIs (1st)
2,588 walks (1st)
6,020 times on base (1st)
6,202 total bases (2nd)
1,418 extra-base hits (3rd)
656 home runs (6th)
3,381 hits (9th)
2. Williams owns the record for career on-base percentage at .482. No active player has posted an OBP that high in any season. Joey Votto, the active leader in OBP (.428), could reach base successfully in each of his next 650 plate appearances and still not reach Williams' mark.
3. Joe DiMaggio batted .408 during his 56-game hitting streak in 1941. Williams batted .406 that season (in 143 games). It remains the most recent season in which a player hit .400.
4. The Triple Crown in batting has been achieved six times in the past 80 years. Four of those six seasons resulted in that player winning MVP (Miguel Cabrera in 2012, Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, Frank Robinson in 1966, Mickey Mantle in 1956). Williams did not win MVP in either of his Triple Crown seasons (1942, 1947) and is the only player in AL history to do it more than once. He finished one hit shy of winning the Triple Crown for a third time in 1949 (percentage points behind George Kell for the batting title).
5. Williams hit the most home runs (521) of any player to homer in the final plate appearance of his career. He did so on Sept. 28, 1960, in front of 10,454 fans at Fenway Park. The Red Sox entered the day 64-86, seventh of eight teams in the AL standings and 29 games behind the first-place Yankees.
6. Williams finished in the top 10 of MVP voting 12 times, most of any player in American League history. Williams won the award twice (1946, 1949), the first of which came in his first season back after missing three years due to his military service. He is one of three players, along with Stan Musial and Willie Mays, to win MVP honors the year after returning from the service -- but he's the only one to do so after missing at least two full seasons.
7. Williams recorded five seasons with 100 more walks than strikeouts; all other players in the live ball era (since 1920) have combined for four such seasons. For his career, he walked 1,308 more times than he struck out, the largest gap of its kind.
8. In 1946, Lou Boudreau (Indians player/manager) famously employed a defensive shift on Williams, which he saw for the remainder of his career. Williams estimated that it cost him around 15 points from his .344 career batting average. A .359 average would place him in a tie for second on the all-time list with Rogers Hornsby.
9. Williams drove in 145 runs as a 20-year-old in 1939, a rookie record that stands to this day. He was eight years younger than the average big leaguer that season. In 1957, he batted .388 as a 38-year-old (which remains a record for a player that age or older), finishing five hits shy of .400. He was nine years older than the average big leaguer that season.