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Best 1B Seasons since 1979

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If you had to guess the first baseman who had the best single season of the last 30 years you might guess Frank Thomas, Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Albert Pujols, Jason Giambi, or maybe even Don Mattingly in his prime. And you'd be wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...at least according to Win Shares. This player's numbers don't look huge at first glance but they came in a season when in the N.L. the average team only scored 3.94 runs a game, one of only four seasons since '79 that teams average under 4 runs a game in the N.L.

 

Top 20 First Baseman Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)

 

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1. Will Clark, 1989 - San Francisco Giants 43.8 Win Shares

 

Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP 
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+
1989 25 SFG NL 159  588  104  196  38  9  23  111   8  3  74 103  .333  .407  .546  175  321   0   8  14   5   6

 

2. Mark McGwire, 1998 - St. Louis Cardinals 40.9

3. Jeff Bagwell, 1996 - Houston Astros 40.7

4. Albert Pujols, 2004 - St. Louis Cardinals 39.7

5. Frank Thomas, 1997 - Chicago White Sox 39.1

6. Albert Pujols, 2006 - St. Louis Cardinals 38.6

7. Albert Pujols, 2005 - St. Louis Cardinals 38.3

8. Jason Giambi, 2000 - Oakland A's 38.2

9. Jason Giambi, 2001 - Oakland A's 37.8

10. Derrek Lee, 2005 - Chicago Cubs 37.2

11. Jeff Bagwell, 1999 - Houston Astros 36.9

12. John Olerud, 1993 - Toronto Blue Jays 36.7

13. Will Clark, 1988 - San Francisco Giants 36.7

14. Carlos Delgado, 2000 - Toronto Blue Jays 36.4

15. Will Clark, 1991 - San Francisco Giants 34.3

16. Jason Giambi, 2002 - New York Yankees 34

17. Jim Thome, 2002 - Cleveland Indians 33.9

18. Lance Berkman, 2006 - Houston Astros 33.7

19. John Olerud, 1998 - New York Mets 33.5

20. Todd Helton, 2003 - Colorado Rockies 33.5

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But Jim Rice was feared by pitchers, was Clark? Statistics can't tell you that!

 

Now Clark was feared by the media as he had a personality like Jeff Kent which probably explains why he received almost no support for the HOF.

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Clark was intentionally walked twice as often as Jim Rice, but you already knew that.

 

Clark gets little support because he was a first baseman who hit 284 home runs. In a better era his statistics look better, but as it is he's not deserving anyway.

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