Baseball BeatJuly 11, 2003
The Quad, Part II
By Rich Lederer

Last week, I introduced "The Quad." To recap, The Quad is awarded to a player who leads the league in on base percentage, slugging average, times on base, and total bases.

The Quad measures the two most important components of run production--the ability to get on base and the ability to drive base runners home. The former is covered via on base percentage (OBP) and times on base (TOB). The latter is covered via slugging average (SLG) and total bases (TB). None of these stats are team dependent. Therefore, The Quad is a pure statistical measure of an individual's offensive performance.

In the introductory article on The Quad, I listed the 17 different players in modern baseball history who have earned The Quad Award by leading their respective league in all four Quad categories. This exclusive fraternity has earned The Quad Award over the course of 31 different seasons with six of the players achieving this honor on more than one occasion--led by Babe Ruth and Ted Williams with five each.

I have consolidated the American and National League Quad Award honorees, along with their relevant statistics, into one table as follows:

1901	Lajoie	PHA	.463	.643	269	350
1906	Stone	SLB	.417	.501	267	291
1908	Wagner	PIT	.415	.542	260	308
1909	Cobb	DET	.431	.517	270	296
1910	Magee	PHI	.445	.507	278	263
1915	Cravath	PHI	.393	.510	241	266
1917	Cobb	DET	.444	.570	290	335
1919	Ruth	BOS	.456	.657	246	284
1920	Hornsby	STL	.431	.559	281	329
1921	Hornsby	STL	.458	.639	302	378
1921	Ruth	NY	.512	.846	353	457
1922	Hornsby	STL	.459	.722	316	450
1923	Ruth	NY	.545	.764	379	399
1924	Hornsby	STL	.507	.696	318	373
1924	Ruth	NY	.513	.739	346	391
1926	Ruth	NY	.516	.737	331	365
1933	Klein	PHI	.422	.602	280	365
1934	Gehrig	NY	.465	.706	321	409
1938	Foxx	BOS	.462	.704	316	398
1942	Williams	BOS	.499	.648	335	338
1943	Musial	STL	.425	.562	294	347
1946	Williams	BOS	.497	.667	334	343
1947	Williams	BOS	.499	.634	345	335
1948	Musial	STL	.450	.702	312	429
1949	Williams	BOS	.490	.650	358	368
1951	Williams	BOS	.464	.556	313	295
1966	Robinson	BAL	.410	.637	279	367
1967	Yaz	BOS	.418	.622	284	360
1970	Yaz	BOS	.452	.592	315	335
1981	Schmidt	PHI	.435	.644	189	228
2000	Helton	COL	.463	.698	323	405
* Bold indicates player earned The Major League Quad Award by leading the American and National Leagues in all four components of The Quad.

Three-Legged Version

As a follow-up to The Quad, I thought it would be interesting to determine how many players have led their respective league in three of the four categories. Three is an important cutoff because it ensures superiority in at least one rate stat and one counting stat plus at least one on-base stat and one slugging stat. In other words, by virtue of their leadership status in three of the four legs, all of these players created runs by getting on base and driving home base runners.

There have been 31 different players covering 46 separate seasons, including 14 and 19, respectively, in the American League and 17 and 27, respectively, in the National League who have led in three of the four legs:

American League

1904	Lajoie	CLE	x	x	x		2nd	Barrett	DET
1911	Cobb	DET		x	x	x	2nd	Jackson	CLE
1915	Cobb	DET	x	x		x	2nd	Fournier	CHW
1916	Speaker	CLE	x	x	x		2nd	Jackson	CHW
1920	Ruth	NYY	x	x	x		2nd	Sisler	SLB
1928	Ruth	NYY		x	x	x	2nd	Gehrig	NYY
1931	Ruth	NYY	x	x	x		2nd	Gehrig	NYY
1932	Foxx	PHA		x	x	x	2nd	Ruth	NYY
1933	Foxx	PHA		x	x	x	2nd	Cochrane	PHA
1936	Gehrig	NYY	x	x	x		2nd	Trosky	CLE
1941	Williams	BOS	x	x	x		3rd	DiMaggio	NYY
1945	Stirnw'ss	NYY		x	x	x	6th	Lake	BOS
1948	Williams	BOS	x	x	x		3rd	DiMaggio	NYY
1953	Rosen	CLE		x	x	x	2nd	Woodling	NYY
1956	Mantle	NYY		x	x	x	2nd	Williams	BOS
1972	Allen	CHW	x	x	x		2nd	Murcer	NYY
1978	Rice	BOS		x	x	x	12th	Carew	MIN
1994	Thomas	CHW	x	x	x		3rd	Belle	CLE
2001	Giambi	OAK	x	x	x		3rd	ARod	TEX

National League

1901	Burkett	STL	x	x		x	4th	Sheckard	BRO
1904	Wagner	PIT	x		x	x	2nd	Thomas	PHI
1907	Wagner	PIT	x		x	x	3rd	Shannon	NYG
1909	Wagner	PIT	x		x	x	2nd	Clarke	PIT
1913	Cravath	PHI		x	x	x	2nd	Huggins	STL
1925	Hornsby	STL	x		x	x	2nd	Cuyler	PIT
1932	Klein	PHI		x	x	x	4th	Ott	NYG
1935	Vaughn	PIT	x	x	x		7th	Medwick	STL
1939	Mize	STL		x	x	x	2nd	Ott	NYG
1940	Mize	STL		x	x	x	3rd	Fletcher	PIT
1944	Musial	STL	x		x	x	2nd	Nicholson	CHC
1945	Holmes	BSN		x	x	x	3rd	Cavaretta	CHC
1946	Musial	STL		x	x	x	2nd	Stanky	BRO
1947	Kiner	PIT		x	x	x	3rd	Walker	PHI
1949	Musial	STL	x	x		x	2nd	Kiner	PIT
1952	Musial	STL		x	x	x	2nd	Robinson	BRO
1959	Aaron	MIL		x	x	x	2nd	Cunn'ghm	STL
1962	Robinson	CIN	x	x	x		2nd	Mays	SF
1963	Aaron	MIL		x	x	x	2nd	Mathews	MIL
1965	Mays	SF	x		x	x	8th	Rose	CIN
1992	Bonds	PIT	x	x	x		5th	Sheffield	SD
1993	Bonds	SF	x		x	x	2nd	Dykstra	PHI
1994	Bagwell	HOU		x	x	x	2nd	Gwynn	SD
1997	Walker	COL	x		x	x	4th	Biggio	HOU
1998	McGwire	STL	x	x	x		2nd	Sosa	CHC
2001	Bonds	SF	x	x	x		3rd	Sosa	CHC
2002	Bonds	SF	x	x	x		7th	Guerrero	MON

Barry Bonds and Stan Musial have performed this "trifecta" four times each. Other multiple winners are Honus Wagner and Babe Ruth (3x each); Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Johnny Mize, Ted Williams, and Hank Aaron (2x each). The only non-1B/OF to accomplish this feat are Nap Lajoie, Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby, Arky Vaughn, Snuffy Stirnweiss, and Al Rosen.

More Legs Than You Can Count

There are 11 batters who have captured all four legs of The Quad and three legs one or more times.

Nap Lajoie.

The Quad: 1901.
Three of the Four Legs: 1904.

Honus Wagner.

The Quad: 1908.
Three Legs: 1904, 1907, 1909.

Ty Cobb.

The Quad: 1909, 1917.
Three Legs: 1911, 1915.

Gavvy Cravath.

The Quad: 1915.
Three Legs: 1913.

Babe Ruth.

The Quad: 1919, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1926.
Three Legs: 1920, 1928, 1931.

Rogers Hornsby.

The Quad: 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924.
Three Legs: 1925.

Chuck Klein.

The Quad: 1933.
Three Legs: 1932.

Jimmie Foxx.

The Quad: 1938.
Three Legs: 1932, 1933.

Lou Gehrig.

The Quad: 1934.
Three Legs: 1936.

Ted Williams.

The Quad: 1942, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1951.
Three Legs: 1941.

Stan Musial.

The Quad: 1943, 1948.
Three Legs: 1944, 1946, 1949, 1952.

On 28 separate occasions, a player who captured three legs of The Quad has finished in second place in the fourth category. Another way of looking at that is to say that more often than not, a player leading the league in three Quad categories also finished second in the fourth.

Interestingly, 42 of the 46 players who have led in three legs of The Quad also led their league in OPS and OPS+. The only exceptions were Jesse Burkett in 1901 when he finished second to Ed Delahanty in OPS, Chuck Klein in 1932 when he ended up second behind Mel Ott in OPS+, Stan Musial in 1949 when he wound up second to Ralph Kiner in both, and Larry Walker in 1997 when he came in second behind Mike Piazza in OPS+. Moreover, it is noteworthy that all 46 batters finished no worse than second in OPS and OPS+ the year they captured three of the four legs of The Quad.

1945: A Baseball Oddity

The least heralded players to secure the three-legged Quad were Snuffy Stirnweiss and Tommy Holmes, both in 1945 when many of the game's stars, including Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, and Stan Musial, were serving in World War II. Nonetheless, Stirnweiss and Holmes were the best offensive players in their respective leagues that year. Stirnweiss played second base for the Yankees and led the A.L. in runs, hits, triples, extra base hits, stolen bases, batting average, slugging average, OPS, runs created, and total bases. Snuffy had two great seasons during the War in 1944 and 1945 but was no better than an average player the rest of his career. He was retired but only 39 years old at the time of his death when a train he was on plunged off an open drawbridge into a river in New Jersey.

Holmes played right field for the Boston Braves and led the N.L. in hits, doubles, home runs, extra base hits, slugging average, OPS, runs created, total bases, and total average. Tommy had a 37-game hitting streak in 1945, a then modern-day record that stood for 33 years before Pete Rose broke it on his way to a 44-game streak. Remarkably, Holmes struck out only nine times in 636 at bats that year. Holmes retired with the fourth best SO/AB ratio of all time, having fanned fewer times in his career in 4,992 AB than 29 mlb players in 2002 alone!

I will conclude my series on The Quad over the weekend with follow-up articles on the all-time top ten single-season, most times leading the league, and career leaders plus rankings based on active players and current year results through the All-Star break.

Photo credit: A&R Collectibles.