A two-time batting champ, Lefty O’Doul played in the first All Star game and retired with a .349 average. That mark is surpassed only by Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, and Shoeless Joe Jackson.
In 1929 O’Doul set a still-standing NL record by tallying 254 base hits. That season he hit .398 and won his first batting title. He finished second in MVP balloting.
Three years later he wore the crown again with a .368 average. In addition to his .349 lifetime average, O’Doul retired with a .413 on-base percentage and a .532 slugging percentage.
O’Doul’s reach extends to Japan where as goodwill ambassador he introduced baseball and is known as the father of Japanese baseball.
Shown here is a check made out on the account for his restaurant that was simply called “Lefty’s O’Doul’s”. Signed with his more formal “Frank J. O’Doul”, the check was made out on 12/21/1968.
Was he a banjo hitter?
No. In 1929 he hit .398, with 32 HRs, .465 obp, .622 SA, and an OPS of 1.087. Definitely NOT a banjo hitter!!