Seattle’s Epic Hitless Wonders

From SABR member David Eskenazi and Steve Rudman at Sportspress Northwest on June 14:

[George] Brett continues to receive much of the credit for coining “The Mendoza Line,” named in dishonor of Mario Mendoza, the shortstop for the 1979-80 Seattle Mariners, who is not only synonymous with feeble batting, but feebleness across a spectrum of pursuits.

The “Mendoza Line,” the figurative boundary in the batting averages between those hitters above and below. 200, didn’t actually start with Brett, as Mendoza himself explained in a 2010 interview from his home in Sonora, Mexico.

“My teammates Tom Paciorek (1978-81) and Bruce Bochte (1978-82) used it to make fun of me,” said Mendoza. “Then they were giving George Brett a hard time because he had gotten off to a slow start that year (1980). They told him, ‘Hey, man, you’re going to sink down below the Mendoza Line if you’re not careful.’”


Ironic about Mario Mendoza becoming the poster boy for inept batting is that scores of woodless wonders have performed worse than he did. Mendoza was not the worst hitter of his era, nor is he the worst to wear Seattle flannels.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 14, 2011. Last Updated: June 14, 2011.