In 1931 with the Boston Red Sox, Earl Webb hit 67 doubles – a record that still stands more than 80 years later. Webb was a career .306 hitter, but he also played in an era when .300 was the norm for big league outfielders, and he was never seen as a star in his time – having bounced around among five major league teams and being released outright twice.
Still, there’s no denying that at least for one season Webb put up historic numbers. In ’31 the left-handed hitter took advantage of the friendly dimensions in Fenway Park, slamming doubles off the tall wall in left field and careening balls down the short right field line. That season he hit .340 with 39 doubles in 78 games at Fenway, but he still accumulated 28 two-baggers in road games. Webb hit 16 doubles in May, 18 in July, and 13 in September. His bat cooled as the season wore on: he hit .369 through the end of July, but just .271 in the final two months of the campaign. Though four players in the 1930s also reached the 60 mark in doubles, no batter has done so since 1936. Webb’s name seems forever etched in the baseball record books.
After he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in 1932 for Dale Alexander and Roy Johnson, Webb quickly faded. He was out of the majors after 1933 when he hit .288 as a part-time outfielder for the Tigers and ChiSox.