Miami Marlinsinfielder Luis Arraez is determined to make history.
The Venezuelan already won a batting title last year when he was with the Minnesota Twins, and has a comfy cushion in this year s race.
But his goal is not winning a second consecutive batting crown, which would be really cool by the way.
His date with history involves becoming the first man to hit .400 in a whole season since Ted Williams did it in 1941.
That year, Teddy Ballgame finished the regular campaign at .406.
Since then, the closest someone has been from the sacred mark has been Tony Gwynn in 1994, at .394.
Can Arraez deliver on the promise he has shown in the first half and make history?
We are unsure.
We do know that the odds are against him, but we also know that if someone has the perfect swing and demeanor to make a run at the .400 mark, it s him.
He is on a nice pace, even comparable to that of Williams 82 years ago.
Halfway through the season, Luis Arraez is close to Teddy Ballgame’s pace. pic.twitter.com/MF1x2ktj2b
MLB (@MLB) June 29, 2023
Through 81 team games (half of the season today, a little beyond that point in 1941) Arraez s .396 mark looks a lot like Williams .397.
What Williams did that year was amazing: year after year, we have seen hitters calamitously fall from their pace after the first half.
Tony Fernandez, for example, was in the .390s at one point near the halfway point and finished at .328 in 1999.
Williams, however, managed to increase his batting average in the latter stages of the season.
He is, after all, a top-five hitter in the history of baseball.
Arraez is obviously not in that tier, but that doesn t mean he can t pull it off.
He needs to keep up the form for three more months.
It s much easier said than done, though.