Tony Gwynn is the only player in the list of Top 20 Career Batting Average Leaders to be born after 1959. The next youngest player in that list is Ted Williams, who was born in 1918 and retired in 1960 – the year that Gwynn was born. Gwynn is tied for 18th with a career batting average of .338. Williams is tied for 7th on the list with a career average of .344.
The fact that Tony Gwynn is the only player in the list of Top 20 Career Batting Average Leaders to have played within the past 58 years speaks volumes to how much the game has changed in the post-World War II era. There are only 6 players in the top 50 of career batting average leaders to have played in the years since World War II: Williams, Gwynn, Stan Musial (#30), Wade Boggs (#33), Rod Carew (#34), and Joe Dimaggio (#41). It is also interesting to note that in this list of 6 all batted left-handed except for Joltin’ Joe.
Reddit user Metatron207 has done a much more thorough job of running the numbers to demonstrate the significance of Tony Gwynn’s batting prowess in the post World War II era:
“Here are some Top 20 Batting Average facts:
- Of the Top 20, three were born in the 20th century: Gwynn, Ted Williams, and Lou Gehrig.
- Eight debuted in the 19th century.
- Two, Dave Orr and Pete Browning, retired in the 19th century.
- One player on the list, Dan Brouthers, was born in 1858–102 years before Gwynn.
- Aside from Gwynn himself, every man on the Top 20 list had retired before Gwynn was born except for Ted Williams, who retired later the same year.
- 13 of the Top 20 were dead before Gwynn was born, and two more (Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby, incidentally the Top 2) died within three years.
- Only Ted Williams and Bill Terry lived long enough to see Gwynn play in MLB, and only Williams survived long enough to watch Gwynn’s entire career–Williams died the following year.
- The mean birth year of the 20 players, including Gwynn, is 1887. The mean debut year is 1908, the mean retirement year is 1925, and the mean year of death for the Top 20 is 1952, eight years before Gwynn’s birth.
- The medians are strikingly similar (1887/1907/1928/1952). So the average player in the Top 20 was born 73 years before Gwynn was born, debuted 53 years before Gwynn was born, retired 32 years before Gwynn was born, and died 8 years before he was born.”
Tony Gwynn also is #1 among all Hall of Fame inductees since 1960 with the lowest K rate (table).
Here is a list of the Tony Gwynn cards that I currently have in inventory. Send an email message to BigBubbo@yahoo.com about any cards you wish to purchase or talk trade. I personally collect Bob Gibson, Roberto Clemente, Tom Seaver, St. Louis Cardinals – especially from the 60’s, 1969 and 1986 New York Mets, and 1985 Kansas City Royals.
- Other Baseball Hall of Fame players cards in my collection.
- Career Strikeout Rates and Hall of Fame Membership
- Batting Title Winners