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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

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