Barney McCosky

McCosky hit .300 in six of his first seven seasons and was an integral part of the Tigers’ drive to the 1940 AL pennant. The league’s finest leadoff hitter in his first two seasons, he hit .311 with 120 runs (fourth in the AL), 14 triples (second), and 20 steals (fourth, and caught only four times) in his 1939 rookie season and led AL outfielders in putouts. In his career season in 1940, he reached career highs with a .340 batting average (sixth in the AL), 123 runs (third), 19 triples (first), 200 hits (tied for first), and 39 doubles. In the World Series, he hit .304 and scored five runs as Detroit lost to the Reds in seven games. He declined to .324 and .293 in the next two seasons, and then lost three years in the military (1943-45). When he returned in 1946, he hit just .198 for the Tigers, who traded him to the Athletics that May for George Kell. He rebounded, hitting .354 the rest of the way, and had two more .300 seasons (95 runs in 1948). But he lost all of 1949 to a back injury and was never the same afterwards.