Hall of Famer Hugh Duffy holds the record for the best single season batting average in the history of Major League Baseball. He hit .440 in 1894.
The second best single-season batting average of all time is Tip O’Neill’s .435 average in 1887.
Third best is Ross Barnes’ .429 batting average in 1876.
Both O’Neill and Barnes are not in the Hall of Fame.
Duffy’s .440 batting average marked the only year in his career when his average was .400 or more. He was a .326 career hitter in 17 major league seasons and his second highest average ever was .363 in 1893.
Duffy recorded 539 at-bats in 1894.
The year Ted Williams batted .406 he logged 456 at-bats.
Two current players (Ichiro Suzuki in 2004 and Jimmy Rollins in 2007) have logged more than 700 at-bats in a season. Many players nowadays record more than 600 at-bats per season.