HOUSTON - AUGUST 30: Houston Astros hitting coach Jeff Bagwell #5 looks on from the dugout at Minute Maid Park during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 30 2010 in Houston Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
1994 was both a good year and bad year for Astros fans. After 115 games the Astros had a 66-49 record and only half a game behind the Reds for the division lead. Jeff Bagwell was on his way to one of the greatest seasons ever for not only an Astros player but a Major League player. Unfortunately, Bagwell broke his hand and the seasons ended in a strike.
The silver lining is that because the strike happened shortly after Bagwell broke his hand he didn't suffer in the MVP voting. Bagwell won the 1994 MVP easily with a 100% of the first place vote. He lead the league in runs, runs batted in, on base plus slugging, adjusted on base plus slugging, taken bases and slugging percentage. That last stat is what we're focusing on today for the 75th game of the season.
Bagwell posted a .750 slugging percentage which at the time put him seventh on the list for highest slugging percentage in history with at least 110 games played. Ahead of him on that list were guys like, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Roger Hornsby. That's quite a list.
Four years later Mark McGwire joined the list with a .752 slugging percentage. Shortly after that Barry Bonds set the record with a .863 slugging percentage in 2001. He then posted a .799 and .812 slugging percentage in 2002 and 2004 respectively.
I know both the names of McGwire and Bonds get associated with steroids and thus don't help what Bagwell did in 1994, however, I wonder what those guys were doing in the 1920's. The top of this list are from two decades, 1920's (1920-1927 to be exact) and 1994-2004.
I started looking at wOBA for these two different time periods. From 1920-1927 the league average wOBA was between .335-.354. From 1994-2004 the league average wOBA was between .326-.341. Interesting.