Why are there no more .400 hitters in MLB?
was the last .400 hitter in MLB because he was the last player who actually believed he could hit .400. Ted hit .406 in 1941.
After nearly 30 years of asking MLB General Managers, Player Development directors, and coaches how they feel about the .400 batting average, I have not found anyone who honestly believes the .400 batting average to be a realistic goal.
This same feeling or belief about the .400 batting average is now all pervasive in MLB, including the Owners, General Managers, Player Development Directors, Hitting Instructors, Head Coaches, and Players.
Nobody in MLB honestly believes the .400 batting average is realistically possible, so nobody seriously expects to accomplish such a “ridiculous” goal. This is the main reason why nobody has hit .400 for the past 68 years.
While many gym teachers have received their “sports psychology” degrees from the “education” departments of various colleges, not the “psychology” departments, apparently none of them is teaching the most powerful mental law, The Law of Attraction.
Most sports psychologists teach their students to practice staying in the “NOW”, thereby avoiding the mental distractions of dwelling on the past or planning for the future during actual competition. Also, they all teach students to mentally and physically rehearse perfect performances to strengthen their neuro-physical blueprints of perfection.
While all of this is absolutely essential, it is not always enough. In order to maximize your subconscious and superconscious mental power, you need to understand and utilize The Law Of Attraction in a far more beneficial way. Ted Williams benefited from the most powerful form of sports psychology, unwittingly.
How? From the time Ted Williams was a young boy he repeated the same affirmation over and over, again and again, perhaps hundreds of thousands, even millions of times. Ted would always say out loud or simply think to himself, “All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street, people will point at me and say, “There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived.”” After saying it and thinking it so much, Ted actually grew to BELIEVE he actually was the greatest hitter who ever lived.
Now, in order to be considered the greatest hitter who ever lived, Ted knew he would have to hit .400 because his idols Rogers Hornsby and Ty Cobb both did it on several occasions. In fact, from 1921 through 1925, during that entire 5 year stretch, Rogers Hornsby hit .402. WOW!
Some make the mistake of believing that hitting .400 back in the 1920’s, 30’s, or 40’s was easier than it is now. Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember, back in those days the pitchers mound was 15 inches tall, not 10 inches tall as it has been since 1969.
Back in those days, the strike zone was actually called from the hitter’s knees to the letters on the chest, not from the knees to the belly button as it is called today. The taller mound and the much larger strike zone back then really helped the pitchers and hurt the hitters.
Pitchers of old also used the brush back and knock down pitch much more than the pitchers of today. The players back then played the game more like their very life depended on winning. There were no long term contracts. Being a professional baseball player during those troubled times was a cherished opportunity they would fight to protect. They approached baseball more like a war than a game.
The owners made these two significant changes after the 1968 season when Carl Yastremski led the AL with a .301 batting average. The pitching was dominating like never before and the low scoring games hurt the TV ratings.
Pitchers like Walter Johnson, evencould throw it close to 100 M.P.H. There have always been men in MLB who could throw it in the upper 90’s. Modern technology, the ever increasing size of humans, nutritional breakthroughs, etc. have little to do with either throwing arm strength or running speed. Either you are born with it or you are not!
Back in the old days, the sport of baseball was far more popular than it is today among a larger percentage of the population. Sure, the attendance numbers may be bigger today, but when was the last time you saw kids playing baseball just for the fun of it, outside of some organized game or practice? NEVER!
No, the truth is, it has never been easier for someone to hit .400. With the short mounds and small strike zones, pitchers are forced to throw much flatter, easier to hit pitches. If you will notice the most successful pitchers today throw the fewest strikes. They are taking advantage of the undisciplined hitter’s “home run-pull mentality” which both Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby considered to be a mental disease.
Today’s MLB hitters are bigger, stronger, and just as athletic as ever. Unfortunately, most are really not too wise. They don’t even know what Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams thought about. They foolishly believe that the hitting philosophies of Ted Williams and Rogers Hornsby would not work today.
In their prime, hitters like Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams would have absolutely dominated in the watered down version of baseball we see today.
Hornsby may have hit .500 against today’s pitching which has been so emasculated by the rules. In fact, over a 2 month stretch from June 28th, 1924 to August 29th, 1924, Hornsby hit .489 , the greatest 2 months ever!
The bottom line is our subconscious mind manufactures experience for us
equal to our honest expectations. Until someone actually believes he can hit .400, we will not see any .400 hitters. Jesus probably best summed up the mental state required to hit .400 when he said in Matthew 9:29, “According to you faith, be it unto you.”
There was an old commercial on TV encouraging people to go to college. The tagline of this commercial was, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
Perhaps a MLB owner, GM, player development director, coach, or player will get the message and start using more mental power.