What does .394 mean to Padres fans?

Posted in 2023 in

The significance of the number .394 really begins with the significance of .400. That’s the batting average that is considered the standard of hitting excellence in baseball. It represents getting a hit in 40% of your at bats over the course of a full season and it hasn’t happened since 1941.

More than 80 years ago, Ted Williams (San Diego born and raised) notched a .406 batting average, which is the record highest, and 29 players have recorded a batting average of at least .400 in a single Major League Baseball season. The last time it happened was 1948: Willard Brown of the Kansas City Monarchs and Artie Wilson of the Birmingham Black Barons. That was a long time ago. Will it ever happen again? We’ll see. But the person who came closest was San Diego Padres Tony Gwynn.

Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn is a San Diego Padres legend and MLB Hall of Fame outfielder. He spent his entire career with the San Diego Padres. He is widely regarded as one of the best and most beloved players in Padres history, known as Mr. Padre. His number 19 is retired by the team.

Why .394

.394 is the incredible batting average achieved by Gwynn in the 1994 strike-shortened baseball season. Had the season been played in full, Gwynn may have broken the .400 mark and perhaps the all-time record. a career high and the highest recorded batting average since 1941.

1994 Season Stats

In that season, Tony had 165 hits in 419 AB; 64 RBI and 48 walks. Perhaps the most impressive number (ok second most impressive to .394) is 19 strikeouts. That is one strikeout per WEEK. The man also launched 12 dingers that season.

When the strike brought the 1994 season to a halt, 45 games remained on the schedule. Gwynn needed 71 hits out of 170 at bats to surpass .400. Read more about that season.

Would Gwynn have reached .400? We’ll never know. But he was hitting a 19-for-40 pace (.475) in August before the strike.

Closest To Reach .400 Since 1941

Ted Williams hit .388 in 1957. Rod Carew hit .388 in 1977. George Brett hit .390 in 1980. And Tony Gwynn hit .394 in 1994.

Hall of Famer

On July 29, 2007, Gwynn was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving Tony Gwynn Foundation.

.394 is also a beer

…and a bar at Petco Park. New in 2023: AleSmith Session .394 in City Connect colors

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