Deane: How about sensible requirements for the batting crown?

From SABR member Bill Deane at WordPress on September 26, 2018:

Although the batting crown has lost some of its luster as more-advanced metrics have come along, it remains a prestigious honor. The winners get a silver bat from Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the Louisville Slugger. You can’t win a Triple Crown without the batting title. And, while we know that on-base and slugging percentages are more important than batting average, BA is the main component of each.

Yet, after a century-and-a-half, baseball statisticians and rules-makers still haven’t come up with a sensible way to determine who qualifies for the title.

In the first half-century of pro baseball, there was no rule to determine who was eligible for the batting crown but, according to the Baseball Encyclopedia, “it was the practice that a man had to play in at least 60% of the scheduled number of games to qualify.” In 1920, the standard was set at a minimum of 100 games played (though an exception was made in 1938). In 1945, the minimum was set at 400 at bats, and in 1957, at the current standard of 3.1 plate appearances per scheduled game.

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Originally published: September 27, 2018. Last Updated: September 27, 2018.