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    Sunday Baseball Notes

    Winners, losers emerge at MLB’s quarter point

    This season marks the 40th anniversary of the designated hitter, and the rule that infuriated baseball purists is not only here to stay, but could spread soon to the National League. Longtime Mariners standout Edgar Martinez, widely acknowledged as the game's best-ever DH, kicked off the era of superstars at the position in 1995 and David Ortiz has challenged his hold at the top since taking over as Red Sox DH in 2003.

    A look at the best seasons by a DH (who played at least half his games at the position):

    COMPILED BY RICHARD McSWEENEY

    Numbers in black are highest by a DH in each category

    All-Star selection

    Top 10 since 1995

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Edgar Martinez 1995, Mariners
    Batting average .356
    Home runs 29
    Runs batted in 113
    On-base percentage .479
    Slugging percentage .628
    OPS 1.107
    Wins Above Replacement 7.0

    G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

    Travis Hafner 2006, Indians
    Batting average .308
    Home runs 42
    Runs batted in 117
    On-base percentage .439
    Slugging percentage .659
    OPS 1.097
    Wins Above Replacement 5.9

    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    David Ortiz 2006, Red Sox
    Batting average .287
    Home runs 54
    Runs batted in 137
    On-base percentage .413
    Slugging percentage .636
    OPS 1.049
    Wins Above Replacement 5.7

    Chris Covatta/Getty Images

    Rafael Palmeiro 1999, Rangers
    Batting average .324
    Home runs 47
    Runs batted in 148
    On-base percentage .420
    Slugging percentage .630
    OPS 1.050
    Wins Above Replacement 5.2

    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    David Ortiz 2007, Red Sox
    Batting average .332
    Home runs 35
    Runs batted in 117
    On-base percentage .445
    Slugging percentage .621
    OPS 1.066
    Wins Above Replacement 6.4

    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    David Ortiz 2005, Red Sox
    Batting average .300
    Home runs 47
    Runs batted in 148
    On-base percentage .397
    Slugging percentage .604
    OPS 1.001
    Wins Above Replacement 5.3

    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Edgar Martinez 2000, Mariners
    Batting average .324
    Home runs 37
    Runs batted in 145
    On-base percentage .423
    Slugging percentage .579
    OPS 1.002
    Wins Above Replacement 5.6

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Edgar Martinez 1996, Mariners
    Batting average .327
    Home runs 26
    Runs batted in 103
    On-base percentage .464
    Slugging percentage .595
    OPS 1.059
    Wins Above Replacement 6.4

    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Jim Thome 2006, White Sox
    Batting average .288
    Home runs 42
    Runs batted in 109
    On-base percentage .416
    Slugging percentage .598
    OPS 1.014
    Wins Above Replacement 4.9

    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    John Jaha 1999, Athletics
    Batting average .276
    Home runs 35
    Runs batted in 111
    On-base percentage .414
    Slugging percentage .556
    OPS .970
    Wins Above Replacement 4.6

    Top 5 before 1995

    Focus on Sport/Getty Images

    Hal McRae 1982, Royals
    Batting average .308
    Home runs 27
    Runs batted in 133
    On-base percentage .369
    Slugging percentage .542
    OPS .910
    Wins Above Replacement 4.2

    Rich Pilling/Getty Images

    Andre Thornton 1982, Indians
    Batting average .273
    Home runs 32
    Runs batted in 116
    On-base percentage .386
    Slugging percentage .484
    OPS .870
    Wins Above Replacement 2.8

    Diamond Images/Getty Images

    Frank Robinson 1973, Angels
    Batting average .266
    Home runs 30
    Runs batted in 97
    On-base percentage .372
    Slugging percentage .489
    OPS .861
    Wins Above Replacement 4.7

    Globe file

    Dave Kingman 1984, Athletics
    Batting average .268
    Home runs 35
    Runs batted in 118
    On-base percentage .321
    Slugging percentage .505
    OPS .826
    Wins Above Replacement 2.4

    Focus on Sport/Getty Images

    Rusty Staub 1978, Tigers
    Batting average .273
    Home runs 24
    Runs batted in 121
    On-base percentage .347
    Slugging percentage .435
    OPS .782
    Wins Above Replacement 1.5

    Luke Knox/Globe staff