A couple of baseball adages, when thought of together, can create a puzzling scenario. If the ladies just love the long ball, and everybody loves a winner, then where does that leave guys who help their teams win but don’t hit homers? The answer is that they get glossed over- both by the fans and in the history books. However, they deserve more.
There are many ways a batter can contribute to his team’s offense. Obviously, hitting home runs takes care of everything at once and is thus the most efficient. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other useful functions. The following 5 guys put together the best seasons without a single home run, as ranked by batting WAR (just the component of WAR from hitting, which doesn’t include fielding, baserunning, or positional scarcity). These guys got on base a ton, got plenty of extra-base hits, and stole bases at an effective rate. I used 1910 as a cutoff, because prior to that the league “replacement level” was so bad that many average hitters were far “above replacement level.” Without further ado, I give you the list: Continue reading