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    Michael Cuddyer joins unlikely crew

    DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 24: Michael Cuddyer #3 of the Colorado Rockies runs to first on his two RBI single off of Brandon Workman #67 of the Boston Red Sox in the seventh inning at Coors Field on September 24, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
    Michael Cuddyer

    Michael Cuddyer became a first-time batting champion in 2013 at the age of 34, batting .331 for the Colorado Rockies. A lifetime .277 hitter in his 13 major league seasons -- he had never batted higher than .284 -- Cuddyer is among the least likely batting champions in the game, having bettered his lifetime mark by 54 points.

    The other one-time batting champions with career averages under .300 since 1960 who had differentials of 45 or better in their dream season:

    Norm Cash, Tigers

    Career avg.: .271


    Batting champion: .361 in 1961

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    Differential: +90

    Andres Galarraga, Rockies

    Career avg.: .288

    Batting champion: .370 in 1993

    Differential: +82

    Paul O’Neill, Yankees


    Career avg.: .288

    Batting champion: .359 in 1994

    Differential: +71

    Joe Torre, Cardinals

    Career avg.: .297

    Batting champion: .363 in 1971


    Differential: +66

    Josh Hamilton, Rangers

    Career avg.: .295

    Batting champion: .359 in 2010

    Differential: +64

    Keith Hernandez, Cardinals

    Career avg.: .296

    Batting champion: .344 in 1979

    Differential: +48

    Freddy Sanchez, Pirates

    Career avg.: .297

    Batting champion: .344 in 2006

    Differential: +47