Ah, the old Honorable Mention award. You never want it, but are still happy when recognized for your efforts.
My ’40/40 club’ couldn’t cover all of the rookies that debuted during the 1980’s so here are a few guys that just missed the cut. A few more bounces of the ball in their direction and they may have been in, but for now thery are on the outside looking in.
Matt Williams – A solid offensive threat with a knack for hitting home runs. Williams has 378 career homers to go with his 1,218 RBI. His low batting average of .268 does not do him justice as he was a constant threat for most of his career. Williams finished in the Top 6 for the MVP award 4 times with his best finish coming in 1994 at second place. Williams is a 5-time All-star, 4-time Silver Slugger winner, and 4-time Gold Glove winner. He won a World Series title in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kirk Gibson – ‘Gibby’ is best known for one of the greatest World Series home runs in baseball’s tremendous history. His resume includes 1,553 hits, 255 homers, 870 RBI, and 985 runs scored. Gibson won the MVP award in 1988 en route to taking his LA Dodgers team to the World Series. Gibson has won 2 championships – 1 with the 1984 Detroit Tigers and another with the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dave Stewart – The man with the most intimidating presence on the mound, Dave Stewart was a classic pitcher who could have been just as dominant in the decades that preceeded him. ‘Stew’ has 168 career wins which includes 4 straight 20-win seasons. Stewart finished in the Top 4 for the Cy Young award in those 4 seasons as well. Dave Stewart is a 3-time World Series champion. He won titles in 1981 with the Dodgers, 1990 with the Oakland A’s, and then in 1993 with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Joe Carter – Carter is another player known for 1 swing of the bat versus his entire body of work. Carter’s work was impressive and with career stats like 396 home runs, 1,445 RBI, and 2,184 hits, it’s easy to see that Carter is more than a ‘1-trick pony’. Joe Carter finished in the Top 20 for the MVP award 8 times. He is a 5-time All-star, 2-time Silver Slugger winner, and a 2-time World Series champion.