The man with the highest lifetime batting average in the post-expansion era is the 76th inductee into the Baseball Hall of Immortals.
Tony Gwynn was as pure a hitter as baseball has seen since Ted Williams. In the 20 seasons he played for the San Diego Padres, he batted over .300 in 19 of them. Hi rookie season stands as his only sub-.300 year (he hit .289 that season). Those 19 consecutive seasons is the longest streak in baseball history.
Gwynn led the National League in batting 8 times, second only to Ty Cobb’s 12 titles. He surpassed .350 seven times in his career, becoming the only player to player to bat .350 or better in five consecutive seasons since WWII.
One of my favorite stats about Gwynn was that over the course of his career he had 541 plate appearances against Hall of Fame pitchers, batting .331 against them. 107 of those ABs were against Greg Maddux who he owned with a .425 average against the multuiple Cy Young award winner.
When Gwynn retired following the 2001 season, he had accumulated 3,141 hits (21st all-time), a lifetime batting average of .338 (19th all-time), as well as more than 1,300 runs and 1,100 RBIs.
A pleasure to watch, Tony Gwynn is most certainly an Immortal.
For some background on what this is, check out the introduction post here.