Many baseball fans tend to obsess over home run records, but that doesn’t mean we should be overlooking the record for the most MLB hits in a season.

After all, getting a base hit isn’t exactly easy and the best contact hitters in baseball deserve some love too. That’s why we wanted to delve deeper into the list of the highest total hits in a season in over 100 years of baseball history.

Most MLB hits in a season

Oddly enough, the top-10 single-season hit totals in MLB history doesn’t include Joe DiMaggio, the owner of the longest hitting streak. However, our list of the most MLB hits in a season includes players who played nearly a century apart.

Let’s get a little bit of a history lesson, as we look back at the players who recorded the most hits in a baseball season. 

10. Ichiro Suzuki, 242 (2001)

Even though he played in Japan before coming to the big leagues, few players have ever had a rookie season like Ichiro Suzuki. It was so good that he won both Rookie of the Year and MVP honors.

       

Also, his 242 hits that season remains on the top-10 list. Naturally, his 242 hits were enough to win him the batting title and the Silver Slugger Award. Ichiro also won a Gold Glove that year and led the American League in stolen bases.

Of course, his ability to hit for contact is what stood out the most during his rookie season. He would only top that total of 242 total hits one other time in  his career, as Ichiro’s rookie season was one of the best of his career.

9. George Sisler, 246 (1922)

George Sisler didn’t quite match the total he had in 1920, but his 246 hits during the 1922 season sure went a long way. However, Sisler’s 1922 campaign may have been the more impressive season.

With those 246 hits, he batted .420, which remains the third-highest average of any player since 1900. Obviously, that was enough to give Sisler the batting title, as he held off Ty Cobb late in the season after a fierce back and forth between the two players. Sisler also took home MVP honors in 1922, doing so before a bout of sinusitis kept him out for the entire 1923 season and nearly cost him his career.

8. Ty Cobb, 248 (1911)

It’s amazing to think that Ty Cobb only appears once on the top 10 of single-season hit totals. After all, the guy won the American League batting title every season from 1907 to 1919 except for one year.

The highest single-season hit total of Cobb’s career came during the 1911 season when he amassed 248 base hits. That was the same year that Cobb put together a 40-game hitting streak and needed just about every one of those 248 hits to hold off “Shoeless” Joe Jackson for the batting title. With all of those hits, Cobb was able to finish the regular season with a .420 average, which is tied for the third-highest batting average since 1900. Also, the 1911 season was somehow the only year that Cobb took home MVP honors in his illustrious career.

T6. Rogers Hornsby, 250 (1922)

Unfortunately for George Sisler, his 246 hits during the 1922 season were surpassed by Rogers Hornsby, who had blossomed into one of the biggest stars in baseball by that point. During the latter parts of the season, Hornsby put together a 33-game hitting streak, helping him to finish with 250 hits, which was a National League record at the time, while batting .401.

Hornsby also hit 42 home runs that season, which also set a National League record at the time. That season, Hornsby took home his third of seven batting titles and also won the Triple Crown, although he didn’t win MVP honors.

T6. Chuck Klein, 250 (1930)

A few years after Hornsby reached 250 hits in a season, Chuck Klein matched that total while playing for the Phillies. It was arguably the best season of his Hall of Fame career.

Klein amassed 445 total bases that year, which is a total that has not been matched since. Equally impressive, his 107 extra-base hits that season remained a National League record until Barry Bonds matched it during his amazing 2001 season. However, even with a .386 batting average, Klein failed to win the batting title in 1930.

5. Al Simmons, 253 (1925)

Al Simmons began his career with a bang, and in just his second season in the majors, totaled 253 hits. In the process, Simmons also set the single-season record with 85 multi-hit games.

Somehow, his 253 hits and .387 batting average weren’t enough to win Simmons the battling title. He also finished second in the MVP voting that year.

Nevertheless, the 1925 season did help to establish Simmons as one of the great rising stars in the game. He would eventually win two gating titles and help the Philadelphia Athletics win back-to-back World Series titles in 1929 and 1930.

T3. Lefty O’Doul, 254 (1929)

Lefty O’Doul was traded ahead of the 1929 season and responded by collecting 254 total hits and winning the batting title with an average of .398. Fellow Hall of Famer Chuck Klein was also in the Philadelphia lineup, helping to take some of the attention off of O’Doul.

Of course, in addition to winning the batting title, O’Doul also led the league in home runs, RBIs, and runs scored. His 254 hits remain tied for the National League record for the most hits in a single season.

T3. Bill Terry, 254 (1930)

One year after O’Doul racked up 254 hits for the Phillies, Bill Terry mashed that total while playing for the Giants, helping to fuel the famous Philadelphia-New York rivalry.

His home runs and RBI numbers weren’t on the same level as O’Doul, as Terry didn’t even earn an all-star selection despite winning the batting title. However, with his 254 hits during the 1930 season, Terry finished the year with a .401 average. Outside of Ted Williams, he remains the most recent player in MLB history to hit over .400 over a full season.

2. George Sisler, 257 (1920)

Despite playing at the dawn of the live-ball era, George Sisler was still insistent on hitting for contact, which led him to set the single-season hits record that Ty Cobb had set just nine years earlier.

Sisler finished the season with a .407 average but was red-hot down the stretch, batting .442 in August and .448 in September, allowing him to rack up enough hits to break the record.

Ironically, the St. Louis Browns honored Sisler on the day that he broke Cobb’s record. Needless to say, with 257 hits, Sisler won the batting title that season, although he would wait two more years before winning MVP honors.

1. Ichiro Suzuki, 262 (2004)

The record for most MLB hits in a season belongs to Ichiro Suzuki, who amassed 262 hits during the 2004 season, winning the batting title for the second time in his career. At the time, George Sisler’s record had stood for 84 years.

For what it’s worth, Ichiro broke the record because the season was eight games longer than the one Sisler played when he set the record.

After 154 games, Ichiro had just 251 total hits. However, Sisler’s daughter was in attendance when Ichiro broke the record, greeting him on the field. Even with his long and distinguished career, Ichiro called setting the single-season hit record the greatest moment of his career.

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