The Pacific Coast League is a (traditionally) Midwest and westward AAA level minor league. The league has been around since the 1920s and, at its peak, was talent-rich enough that many considered the best PCL teams and players to be on par with sub-average major league teams and above average MLB players. Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and many other hall of famers played in the PCL.
The league has been historically regarded as a hitter’s paradise, for reasons that are not entirely clear, although the data more than validates such claims. The league was the first to introduce the designated hitter and it featured endless seasons, sometimes stretching past 200 games, due to the milder (or, at least dryer) climates. As a result of the longer schedules, the stats sheets overflow with 200 hit and 100 RBI seasons. It was not uncommon for a player to collect nearly 300 hits, in fact. Or to have 60 doubles and 200 hits and not bat over .300. It was not simply the absolute stats that were staggering in the PCL, the percentage stats were as well. In 1935, Joe DiMaggio batted .398 and slugged over .670 during a 172 game season wherein he also collected 270 hits and 456 total bases.
As major league games became increasingly televised, all minor leagues experienced sharp attendance and business declines in the 1950s. The PCL was no exception. Peppered throughout the leagues ebbs and flows of the “modern” baseball era are still the occasional slash lines. Consider, for instance, what a tall, blonde, geeky, Midwestern kid named Ron Kittle (who would soon go on to both hit mammoth home runs and strike out at then unheard of rates for the Chicago White Sox) did in 1982: .345 (BA), .442 (OBP), .752 (SLG). That year, he hit 50 home runs and drove in 144 runs in less than 130 games for the Edmonton Trappers.
Today, Ron Kittle is a motivational speaker who makes benches out of baseball bats.