Slugging Smead Jolley and the San Francisco Seals

From Joe Guzzardi at Baseball Past and Present on March 12:

I’ll travel anywhere, anytime to debate anyone that no player in organized baseball has ever had four better back-to-back-to-back-to-back offensive seasons than Smead Jolley.

The issue is beyond dispute. Playing for the Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals from 1926 to 1929, Jolley batted .346, .397, .404, and .387 with 138 homers in the four years. His .397 led the league in hitting in 1927 and his 163 RBIs led the PCL. In 1928, Jolley led in almost every offensive category to win the Triple Crown (.404, 45 homers, and 188 RBIs).

Readers inclined to dismiss Jolley’s Herculean feats as the stuff of watered down minor league pitching should remember that the PCL’s quality was always considered to be just a notch below the bigs.


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Originally published: March 12, 2011. Last Updated: March 12, 2011.