This following is a list of the players who have won the most batting titles in major league baseball history. Every player who won at least six batting crowns is listed.
Interestingly, the players listed below won a combined 55 batting titles, but only three of the players are in the top ten in lifetime batting averages.
Major League Baseball Players Who Won the Most Batting Titles
1. Ty Cobb – 11 or 12 batting titles
Ty Cobb won 11 or 12 batting titles in his career, depending upon who is counting. For certain, Ty Cobb won 11 batting titles in his career.
In 1910, Cobb was leading second baseman Nap Lajoie, .383 to .376, for the batting title on the last day of the season. The Chalmers Automobile Company was offering the prize of a brand new car to whomever won the batting title in 1910. Cobb wanted the car, so he sat out the last day, when both his team and Lajoie’s were playing doubleheaders.
Cobb was not well liked, and the manager of the opposing team Nap Lajoie’s team was playing reportedly told his third baseman to play deep, allowing Lajoie to get numerous bunt singles during both games of his team’s doubleheader. At the end of the day, Lajoie had gone eight for nine, which pushed his average just ahead of Cobb’s.
That resulted in a huge controversy, and American League President Ban Johnson intervened and declared Ty Cobb the winner of the 1910 batting title, even though Nap Lajoie did actually finish with a higher average. The Chalmers Automobile Company gave both Cobb and Lajoie brand new cars.
Aside from the disputed batting title of 1910, Ty Cobb won batting titles in the years of 1907-1909, 1911-1915, and 1917-1919. For his entire career, Ty Cobb hit .3664, which is the highest batting average in major league baseball history.
T-2. Tony Gwynn – 8 battling titles
Tony Gwynn won the second most batting titles in major league baseball history with eight. Gwynn won his titles in 1984, 1987-1989, and 1994-1997. Tony Gwynn’s career batting average of .3382 is tied for the 18th best in baseball history.
T-2. Honus Wagner – 8 batting titles
Honus Wagner is tied with Tony Gwynn for the second most batting titles of all-time with eight. Wagner won his titles in 1900, 1903, 1904, 1906-1909, and 1911. Honus Wagner’s career batting average of .3276 is the 35th best in baseball history.
T-4. Rod Carew – 7 batting titles
Rod Carew won the fourth most batting crowns with seven. Carew won his batting titles in 1969, 1972-1975, 1977, and 1978. Rod Carew’s career batting average of .3278 ranks 34th all-time, just ahead of Honus Wagner.
T-4. Stan Musial – 7 batting titles
Stan “The Man” Musial also won seven batting titles in his career. Musial won batting crowns in 1943, 1946, 1948, 1950-1952, and 1957. Stan Musial’s career batting average of .3308 is 30th best all-time.
T-4. Rogers Hornsby – 7 batting titles
Rogers Hornsby is tied with Stan Musial and Rod Carew for the fourth most batting titles in major league baseball history with seven. Hornsby won his first six titles consecutively from 1920 to 1925, and then he won his last batting crown in 1928. Rogers Hornsby’s career batting average of .3585 ranks second all-time behind only Ty Cobb.
7. Ted Williams – 6 batting titles
Ted Williams won six batting titles in his career. If he had not missed the better part of five seasons due to military service, Ted Williams would probably have won more batting crowns. Williams won his batting titles in 1941, 1942, 1947, 1948, 1957, and 1958.
That is six batting titles spaced out over 18 seasons. Ted Williams missed all of three seasons from 1943-1945 due to WW II. He also missed most of the 1952 and 1953 seasons due to the Korean War. Williams did bat a total of 101 times over 1952 and 1953, and he hit .406 over those 101 at-bats.
For his career, Ted Williams batted .3444, which is tied for the seventh highest batting average in baseball history. When Teddy Ballgame went into the military after the 1942 season, his career batting average was .356. After he got out of the military, he hit .349 from 1946-1949.