View Full Version : Closest Batting Race

05-07-00, 12:34 PM
Snuffy Stirnweiss of our Bronx Bombers won the AL batting title by less than a thousandth of a point back in 1945.
He hit .30854 to .30845 by Tony Cuccinello of the Chicago White Sox.
Now how about this? Cuccinello, after missing the batting title by the narrowest margin in the history of baseball, was released by the Chisox and NEVER again played in the major leagues. Man, that's really hardcore.

26 in '00

"Odd fart to a mean Moron."

05-08-00, 03:08 PM
In 1912 Ty Cobb and Nap Lajoie(?) were neck and neck for the batting title up until the very last day of the season, when Cobb edged him out with a three-hit game.

Or did he? Sources show the scorer screwed up and gave Cobb three extra hits he didn't deserve; he wrote them in by mistake. (how? I believe the game was a doubleheader and he looked at the wrong game...) So Cobb "won" the batting crown that year.

Years later, when baseball researchers discovered this error, there was a big debate over how to handle it. The ruling in the end was that Cobb could keep his batting crown, but the three hits would be deducted from his total number of hits. It ended up bringing down his career average a full point.

Some people wonder if the scorer did it on purpose, that he was a Tigers fan, and had something against Lajoie. Guess it must've been a major thing if he favored Cobb of all people!

05-08-00, 03:22 PM
Actually I was just reading about that.
Lajoie was going against the St. Louis Browns in a doubleheader on the last day of the season. St. Louis manager Jack O'Connor instructed 3rd baseman Red Corriden to play deep each time that Lajoie came to bat. Lajoie reached first on EIGHT bunts. O'Connor ended up being barred from holding any MLB jobs thereafter.
Cobb aparently received double credit for a 2-3 game. For this reason, the Sporting News proclaimed Lajoie the winner many years later (1981).

26 in '00

05-09-00, 04:06 AM
That is hardcore. What was the reason Tony Cuccinello never received another chance? Was it that the better players were returning from the war?

Didn't Royal teammates George Brett and Hal McCrae(?) have a batting title decided in the last game of the season?

26 in '00

05-09-00, 11:03 AM
Thanx, PaFan!:)

I know when Bernie won the batting title (98, right?) over Mo Vaughn it was decided in the final game of the season -- Bernie went in something like half a point ahead of Vaughn and I think Vaughn went 1-for-4 and Bernie went 2-for-4, so Bernie just edged him out.

05-09-00, 06:05 PM
Hello, Mr. Plagerism here again :)

The Brett-McRae controversy was in '76.

Going back to my trusty book, on Brett's last at bat of the season, Steve Brye of the Twins allowed a lazy fly to fall safely. Brye later tried to justify his actions by claiming that since Brett was a position player he deserved the hitting title over McRae, a designated hitter.

Pretty crappy thing to do, huh?

26 in '00

05-10-00, 07:37 PM
That happened in '76?! Wow, time flies!

I've done a little research(plagerizing) myself on the subject.

Sept. 30, 1945:
George Stirnweiss of the Yankees gets 3 hits on the final day to raise his average to .309. The White Sox games are washed out, depriving the veteran Tony Cuccinello of a shot at the title. The only other .300 hitter playing full time is Johnny Dickshot. Neither Cuccinello or Dickshot ever play another game in the ML. Only Elmer Flick in 1905 and Carl Yastrzemski in 1968 ever lead the AL with a lower average than Stirnweiss, but the latter also leads the AL with 195 hits, 107 runs, 22 triples, 301 SB, 33 TB, and a .476 SA.

( Johnny may have finished third in the batting race, but I'm gonna guess he was the better fighter of the three. )

Tony Cuccinello
As a rookie third baseman with Cincinnati, Cuccinello batted .312, and then spent nearly a decade as a regular at second base. He hit .300 four more times, and led NL second basemen in assists and double plays three times each. He pinch-hit for Carl Hubbell in the inaugural 1933 All-Star Game. "I'm the most surprised guy in baseball," said Cuccinello upon his release from the White Sox in January 1946, but with WWII over and younger players returning, Chicago cut the 38-year-old. He had finished the 1945 season at .308, one point behind NL leader Snuffy Stirnweiss's .309. Cuccinello did return to the Sox in 1957 as a coach under former teammate Al Lopez. Tony's younger brother, Al, spent one season with the Giants.

26 in '00

05-10-00, 08:38 PM
Hey, thanks for the info.

Johnny Dickshot. Damn, you got that right. You KNOW that guy could fight.

26 in '00