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Mark Gaughan's Power Take: Following MLB hit leaders is a joy of summer

News columnist Jerry Sullivan and I share a common baseball passion – scouring the major league box scores every morning. The first thing I look for is the race for the batting title. It started for me way back when Roberto Clemente was a hit machine. It continued with Pete Rose and then the assault on .400 by Rod Carew and George Brett. Those were great days to be a baseball fan. Whoever is flirting with .350 is who I’m following. Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Ichiro, Larry Walker, Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera. This year Ryan Zimmerman, age 32, is hitting .374 after batting .218 last year. What? Every day I open the paper hoping he doesn't come back to earth. Mike Trout and Buster Posey are must-check guys. Only eight men have hit .370 or better in the last 56 years. Only six men have hit .360 or better in the last 17 years. Given the dominance of pitchers, nobody is going to hit .400 again. And baseball is all about power these days. But watching the quest for .350-or-better still is one of the joys of summer.

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