More first-half heroics herein, and the 1910-19 decade begins with a BOOM! in the person of Ty Cobb, who shows us what happens when a real hitter collides with an offensive upswing. We'd best get right to the numbers so that you all will experience a true "contact high":
We're thinking that Cobb's first half in 1911 has the most statistical records set ever (runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, stolen bases, BA, SLG and OPS). Of course, you'll remember from our earlier series that Harry Heilmann hit .457 in the second half (in 1927), but BA was the only record he set that year. Cobb is clearly "unto himself," though he's surrounded by some formidable names here in the 1910-11 time slice: Lajoie, Tris Speaker and "Ain't So" Joe Jackson.
Offensive levels cooled off in 1913, but that didn't stop Joe Jackson--who pounded out a first half that, when adjusted for the run scoring differences, actually ranks a bit higher than Cobb's eye-popping 1911 numbers. Ty's second half in 1912 ranked 38th all-time, and he actually had a higher BA that year (.409) than he did in '13, but it's the same thing--the ball was still livelier in '12, which is why all of the top first-half hitters from that year rank lower despite some impressive-looking stats.
(Note that Tris Speaker sets new first-half records for doubles and triples in consecutive years--and note that "Jack Meyers" is actually Giants' catcher Chief Meyers, whose "heritage nickname" is now out of fashion...whatever you decide to call him, he was en route to his best year at the dish in 1912.)