Perhaps the best offensive season in the history of an MLB CF could belong to Hack Wilson to the Chicago Cubs in 1930. For a team that played 154 games, he managed to play in 155 for the season, completing 152 of them (If you can explain to me how that is possible, I'd love to hear how it can be.) His .356, .454, .723 stash line and his 1.177 OPS are difficult for anybody to argue with its validity. He scored 146 runs that season and finished with 208 hits. He hit a then NL record 56 HRs and drove in a MLB record 191 runs. For the season, his league leading OPS+ was 177; he also led the league in BBs (105) as well as slugging percentage and OPS. Though he hit .356 for the season, it was only good for 10th in the league. (Bil Terry led the league with a .401 average and was the last NL player to do so.)
The Cubs finished the season at 90-64, two games behind the NL Champion St Louis Cardinals. Manager Joe McCarthy was let go with 4 games to go in the season and replaced by 2B Rogers Hornsby. There was no MVP voting that season, but logic dictates Wilson was the most valuable player in the league that season. The conventional baseball crowd frowns upon the RBI stat. They think it is useless. I feel that while it has little value by itself, when it is a reflection of other solid numbers, it cannot be ignored. The before mentioned numbers such as OPS and extra base hits in addition to leading the league in walks make the 191 RBIs more impressive than if the stat exisited on its own. And even if the RBI stat was so useless, the fact that the number has never been approached since is impressive by itself. Was it the greatest offensive season ever for a CF?
You can put Willie Mays 1954 season (.345, 41, 110, .411, .667, 1.078) and his 1955 season (.319, 51, 127, .400, .659, 1.059) up there with Wilson. Even though it was a different era, Ty Cobb's 1911 season (.420, 8, 127, .467, .621, 1.088) competes as well. Tris Speaker hit .380, 17, 130, .469, .610, 1.079 in 1923, Joe DiMaggio hit .346, 46, 167, .412, .673, 1.085 in 1937, Mickey Mantle hit .353, 52, 130, .464, .705, 1.169 in 1956 and Ken Griffey Jr hit .304, 56, 147, .382, .646, 1.028 in 1997. Among those seasons, only Speaker hit for a higher average, Griffey hit as many HR and nobody managed to have a higher OPS than Wilson did in 1930. Say screw RBIs all you want, but Hack Wilson's 1930 season was the greatest ever in the history of the game for a center fielder. I am ready for the rebuttal.