Great Single Season Performances 
and the Challenges of Time 
(Plus Some Really Dunb Trades) 
The chart below contains a list of the player who hold at least three single-season records for one club--except the Senators/Rangers (1961), Angels (1961), Mets (1962), Colt 45's/Astros (1962), Expos (1969), Padres (1969), Royals (1969), Pilots/Brewers (1969), Mariners (1977), Blue Jays (1977), Rockies (1993) and Marlins (1993) who haven't been around long enough to legitimize their inclusion in this listing. 

The records cover franchises regardless of whether the teams relocated and/or changed names. To wit: the records for the Orioles include those of their earlier incarnations as the Milwaukee Brewers (1901) and the St. Louis Browns (1902-1953). 

Before you start kicking dirt and smashing the water cooler over the omission of the upstart teams, chew on the following. The records of the players listed have either had to withstand or overcome challenges from nearly 100 years of team history. Babe Ruth's records had to withstand the challenges of Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. Frank Thomas had to overcome the best seasons of Shoeless Joe Jackson, Luke Appling and Carlton Fisk. The omitted teams haven't been around for 40 years…puhlease! 

now some really dumb trades...

On April 3, 1987 the Chicago Cubs traded veteran pitcher Dennis Eckersley to the Oakland Athletics for three prospects: David Wlder, Brian Guinn and Mark Leonette. Wilder, Guinn and Leonette never played a single game in the majors. Eckersley grudgingly went into the bullpen and became the most dominant closer the game has ever seen. 

The Red Sox once had a guy named Ruth who was their best pitcher, best hitter, and the game's biggest star. They sold him. They haven't won a World Series since. Blame Frazee, not Buckner. 

On December 15, 1900 the Cinncinati Reds traded a young prospect to the New York Giants for veteran hurler Amos Rusie. Rusie never won a single game for the Reds and he retired early in 1901 after compiling an 8.59 ERA after 3 games. As for that prospect, Christy "Big Six" Mathewson went on to win 372 games for the Giants. Mathewson also won five World Series games on his way to Cooperstown and immortality. 

 
Player Team Category Record Year
Ted Williams Red Sox average 
runs scored 
walks
.406 
150 
162
1941 
1949 
1947
Frank Thomas White Sox home runs 
doubles 
walks
41 
46 
138
1993 
1992 
1991
Joe Jackson Indians average 
triples 
hits
.408 
26 
233
1911 
1912 
1911
Hank Greenberg Tigers home runs 
runs batted in 
doubles
58 
183 
63
1938 
1937 
1934
Ty Cobb Tigers average 
runs scored 
stolen bases 
hits
.420 
147 
96 
248
1911 
1911 
1915 
1911
Rod Carew Senators/Twins average 
runs scored 
hits
.388 
128 
239
1977 
1977 
1977
Babe Ruth Yankees average 
runs scored 
walks
.393 
177 
170
1923 
1921 
1923
Rogers Hornsby Cardinals 
 

Cubs

average 
runs scored 
hits 
average 
runs scored 
hits
.424 
141 
250 
.380 
156 
229
1924 
1922 
1922 
1929 
1929 
1929
Chuck Klein Phillies runs batted in 
runs scored 
doubles
170 
158 
59
1930 
1930 
1930
Paul Waner Pirates runs batted in 
doubles 
hits
131 
62 
237
1927 
1932 
1927
Bucketfoot Al Simmons Athletics runs scored 
doubles 
hits
152 
53 
253
1930 
1926 
1925
Babe Herman Dodgers average 
runs 
hits
.393 
143 
241
1930 
1930 
1930
Bill Terry Giants average 
runs 
hits
.401 
139 
254
1930 
1930 
1930
 
 

Bucketfoot Baseball Publications, 1998