Sender: Nieve Nielson,
Subject: .400 in Baseball
Who is asking: Student
Level: Secondary

I have several questions to ask about the probability of getting a .400 in baseball:

  1. What is the probability of a baseball player hitting a .400 in one game, considering that the hitter is up to bat four times?

  2. What is the probability of a baseball player hitting a .400 in a season, considering that there are 100 games in a season? With the first two questions in mind:

  3. Considering that baseball has been around for about 100 years, about how many people should hit .400 inthat time?

Hi Nieve,

This is a sore point with me. My favorite players are reliable hitters, but the big money goes to home run hitters (who generally strike out when a single is most needed). It seems as if everybody wants to hit home runs. For this or whatever other reason, experts believe that there might never be another batter to hit .400 over an entire season, so the probability will remain essentially 0 until attitudes change.


  1. It doesn't make sense to ask what is the probability of hitting .400 in one game -- that depends on who the batter is and who the opposing pitcher is, among lots of other factors. If you wish, you could go over the statistics for the past season and count how many times a batter batted over .400 in a single game and divide that by the total number of times a person batted 4 or more times in a game. I would guess that most games have a couple players with 2 or more hits.

  2. The last person to bat .400 in a season was Ted Williams in 1941. Ty Cobb batted .400 lots of times (3 or 4, as I recall) for the Detroit Tigers more than 90 years ago. An Encyclopedia of Baseball would provide the correct details. Also, there are web pages with baseball statistics.


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