Major League 30/30 Seasons
By Patrick Mondout
Some fans believe the ultimate baseball player should be able to win a
Gold Glove at his position, hit for average, have the speed to steal
bases, and be able to hit home runs. The sexiest club for a player to
belong to for such fans is the 30/30 club. Members must have stolen
at least 30 bases and hit 30 home runs in the same season.
In the first half of the 20th Century, only one player (Ken
Williams in 1922) managed at least 30 homers and 30 steals. Four
players in 1987 alone accomplished the feat, showing the recent emphasis
on players who could both hit the long ball and steal a base.
The year 1987 year was a special one in the history of power/speed
Johnson and Darryl
Strawberry became the first teammates to achieve 30/30 and 'Juiced'
Canseco managed to become the first 40/40 man (he has since been
joined by Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriquez).
The most home runs by a member of the 30/30 club during such a season
was 49 by Larry Walker, who also had 33 steals in 1997. The most steals is
52 by Barry
Bonds, who also had 33 home runs in 1990. Barry and his father Bobby
Bonds were the first father/son pair to accomplish the 30/30 feat and
each did it a record 5 times.
As a fan of all the power/speed guys of the Awesome80s, I always
wondered what the always injured Eric
Davis (who played in just 129 games in 1987 - the lowest ever for a
30/30 guy) did over a 162 game stretch circa 1986/1987. Now that I've got
the splits and dailies, I finally have my answer and it is just as I
suspected. The best 162 game stretch that I can find by Eric Davis was
from June 13, 1986 to July 5, 1987. During that unprecedented stretch,
Davis had 47 home runs and 98 stolen bases! He also won the the first of
three straight Gold Gloves.
Imagine if he could have put together such a season before injuries took
their toll. The first 50/100 man? Amazing!
To come full circle from the opening paragraph, players who have joined
the 30/30 club and won both a batting title and a Gold Glove are: Willie
Rodriguez and Larry
Walker. Ellis Burks won a Gold Glove and finished 2nd to Tony Gwynn in
batting with a .344 average in 1996. Barry
Larkin won a Gold Glove and batted .342 in 1989, which would have
bested Gwynn but for the fact that he did not have enough plate
Here are all Major League 30/30 seasons through 2005: