September 30, 2018: Oakland’s Khris Davis ends fourth consecutive season batting .247

This article was written by David Firstman

Khris Davis (TRADING CARD DB)The lead-up to Game 162 of the 2018 season for the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics seemingly offered very little drama. Los Angeles was completing another disappointing campaign, sitting at 79-82 despite the efforts of perennial Most Valuable Player candidate Mike Trout1 and newly arrived Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, soon to be named American League Rookie of the Year.2

The A’s came into the game at 97-64, locked into the visiting-team slot for the AL wild-card game to be played at Yankee Stadium in three days. For Oakland, the goal of Game 162 was to rest some stars, give some others an at-bat or two, and make sure everyone came out of the game healthy.

For A’s designated hitter Khris Davis, however, his presence in the starting lineup raised a rather whimsical question … would he end the day as he started it, batting .247 for the season?

You see, the 30-year-old Davis had just happened to make a habit of hitting .247 for a season. He did it in 2015, with 97 hits in 392 at-bats. He did it again in 2016, going 137-for-555. In 2017 the .247 average came from 140 hits in 566 at-bats. He entered play on the final day of the 2018 regular season with 142 hits in 574 at-bats, good for an average of .247387.

Why was this so notable? Because prior to this four-year run, no player who qualified for the batting title — meaning at least 3.1 plate appearances per game played — had ever compiled the same batting average in four consecutive seasons.3 Put another way, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, no player in major-league history had the same batting average rounded to three decimal places in four consecutive seasons, with a minimum of 10 at-bats each year.4 There had been similar streaks in other statistical categories, but never in batting average.5 Davis even went so far as to have a career spring-training batting average of … yes .247, through 2018.6

If A’s manager Bob Melvin allowed Davis to play the entire game, Davis was likely to tally four more at-bats. He was two home runs short of 50, and Melvin was aware of that possibility and was probably going to give him a chance to go for it.7 With regard to the “pursuit” of hitting .247 again, given up to four at-bats, there were only three circumstances that would leave Davis at .247. If he went 0-for-1 (ending the year at .246957), 0-for-2 (.246528) or 1-for-4 (.247405), he’d have his .247. Any other combo would see the streak end.

For a team that was 24 games out of first, with no giveaway for the final game of the year, a nice crowd of 36,892 gathered in Anaheim Stadium. Perhaps they were there to watch Trout go for his 40th homer of the year. (They would be disappointed: He got one plate appearance, lining out to left field, and then was done for the day.) But how many of the fans were aware of the “.247 drama” unfolding before them?

Davis stepped to the plate for the first time that day as the fourth batter in the top of the first. Leadoff man Nick Martini had walked against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker and made it to third two outs later. To that point in his career, Davis had good success against the righty Shoemaker, going 6-for-13 with two homers, two doubles, and three walks.8 He swung at Shoemaker’s first pitch,9 an 89 MPH fastball that darted to the inside lower part of the strike zone. He lifted it to right-center field, where Trout collected it for the third out of the inning. Davis’s average still stood at .247 (.246957 to be precise).

After the teams traded two-run homers by Los Angeles’ Jefry Marte in the bottom of the first and Oakland’s Stephen Piscotty in the top of the second, Davis came to bat with two out and the bases empty in the top of the third. Shoemaker had worked hard to the prior two batters, needing six and 10 pitches to put them away. Would Davis work the count?

Shoemaker worked Davis down in the zone again, getting ahead 0-and-2 on two off-speed pitches that barely nicked the bottom of the strike zone. After a third-pitch ball away, Davis got another pitch on the outer half of the plate, this time a little bit higher in the zone, and he swung and missed at an 84 MPH splitter to end the inning.

He was 0-for-2 … his average now stood at .246528, which would still (barely) be reflected as .247 in the record books. But if all he got the rest of the day was one more fruitless at-bat, he would end the year at .246101 (if he got a hit in that one final at-bat, he would end the year at .247834, thus .248).

Melvin drained any further drama from Davis’s “pursuit” of .247, pinch-hitting Jonathan Lucroy for him when he was due up in the top of the sixth. Davis ended the year with his major-league-leading and career-high 48 homers, and 123 runs batted in (also a career high). And he had indeed ended the season, once again, at .247.

As for the game itself, the A’s took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth, before the Angels rallied for three runs, capped by Taylor Ward’s walk-off homer off “closer for the day” Chris Hatcher.10

What did Melvin think of Davis’s “accomplishment”?

“You know what? That is just tough to comprehend. Going into the last at-bat, I wasn’t really sure if it would remain there, but it feels like if he had 10 more at-bats it would remain there the way his last couple years have gone. That’s almost impossible to do. The power numbers have gone up, he’s a better hitter even though the average looks the same. But I can’t explain that. The baseball gods obviously want him to hit .247.”11

As for Davis?

“I don’t know, I’m just kind of speechless. It’s just weird.”12

As a postscript, it should be noted that Davis struggled to match the power output of 2018, as injuries hampered his swing in following years. Those maladies also torpedoed his batting average; he batted .220 and .200 the next two years. The .247 streak thus ended at four. It was fun for those who take joy in the statistical quirks of the game. It even was memorialized on a T-shirt, which sells, of course, for $24.70.13



In addition to the Sources cited in the Notes, this article relied on the and websites for pertinent material and the box scores noted below.



1 Since 2012 Trout had won two MVPs, and finished second three times and fourth once.

2 Ohtani would capture the award based on a slash line of .285/.361/.564 with 22 homers in 367 plate appearances, as well as compiling a 4-2 record in 10 starts as a pitcher.

3 Excluding batting averages of .000, which are comparatively simpler to achieve, especially for pitchers.

4 “A’s OF Khris Davis Wins HR Title, Posts .247 Average for 4th Year in Row,” ESPN (ESPN Internet Ventures, September 30, 2018),

5 Adam Dunn popped precisely 40 homers each and every season from 2005 to 2008. Don Buford tallied exactly 99 runs each year for three years straight (1969-1971). During Eric Gagne’s three-year run from 2002 to 2004 as the best closer in the National League, he amassed 82⅓ innings pitched, no more or no less, in each season.

6 “R/Baseball — You May Have Heard of Khris Davis Having a .247 BA in 4 Straight Seasons … but Did You Know That He Has a .247 BA in His Career During Spring Training?,” reddit, accessed August 24, 2021,

7 Susan Slusser, “A’s Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis near Milestones, Chapman Scores 100th Run,” SFGATE (San Francisco Chronicle, September 30, 2018),

8 “Head to Head: Khris Davis vs. Matt Shoemaker,”, accessed August 24, 2021,

9 “Athletics 4, Angels 5 (Final Score) on MLB Gameday,”, accessed August 24, 2021,,lock_state=final,game_tab=play-by-play,game=531832.

10 It would turn out to be Hatcher’s final game in the big leagues. He was left off the playoff roster and never pitched for another team in pro ball.

11 Jane Lee, “HR King Khrush Bats .247 for 4th Straight Year,” (MLB, September 30, 2018),

12 Lee, “HR King Khrush Bats .247 for 4th Straight Year.”

13 “The Khris Davis .247 Shirt,” Bonfire, accessed August 24, 2021,

Additional Stats

Los Angeles Angels 5
Oakland Athletics 4

Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Anaheim, CA


Box Score + PBP:

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2010s ·