Tag Archives: slugger

Happy Birthday Jeff Bagwell!!!

Happy Birthday Jeff Bagwell!!!

Jeff Bagwell turns 46 years old today.

The heart and soul of the Houston Astros franchise for 15 seasons, Jeff Bagwell was beloved by the very faithful Astros’ fans.

Bagwell would probably be labeled as a slugger, but truth be told, he was a fantastic hitter as well. With a lifetime batting average of .297, Bagwell reached .300 or better in six of his 15 seasons. And in those 15 years, he collected 2,314 hits that included 488 doubles, 1,517 runs scored, and 1,529 runs scored too. Mixed into all of those hits, Bagwell connected for 449 home runs. Partly due to his physique and partly due to his seven seasons of hitting at least 34 round-trippers, Bagwell was considered an offensive threat regardless of whether the team needed a single or a three-run homer to win the game.

Bagwell’s resume includes winning the Rookie Of The Year and Most Valuable Player awards. He was a 4-time All-Star and also won 2 Silver Slugger awards and a Gold Glove.

Thank you for all of the entertainment that you provided.

Cooperstown may be calling you soon…

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bagwell!!!

1975 Topps Set Card 44/660 – #532 – Gorman Thomas, Brewers

1975 Topps Set Card 44/660 – #532 – Gorman Thomas, Brewers

Progress: 44/660

Player Name:  Gorman Thomas

Card Number:  532

Team:  Milwaukee Brewers

Position:  Outfield

Image Style: Posed Batting

Years In The Major Leagues:  13 years, 1973-76, 1978-86

Notes From His 1975 Season:   Thomas appeared in 121 game for the Brewers in 1975.  But, he hit just .179 as he collected 43 hits in 240 at-bats.  Of his 43 hits, 10 were home runs and 12 were doubles.

Notes From Career:  Thomas flashed a lot of power at the plate during his prime, but plate discipline was lacking.  He connected for 268 career home runs, including five seasons of at least 30 or more home runs and six seasons of at least 20 or more doubles.  But, he also retired with a batting average of just .225 and an on-base percentage of .324.  Thomas was an All-Star in 1981 and has (2) Top 8 finishes for MVP on his resume.

532

Hall Of Fame Debate: Assessing Jeff Bagwell’s Vote Tally From His Fourth Ballot

Hall Of Fame Debate: Assessing Jeff Bagwell’s Vote Tally From His Fourth Ballot

When Jeff Bagwell’s name hit the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot, it was the fourth time he had been up for election.

And while I thought that ‘Bags’ would secure enough votes to eclipse the 75% needed for election, I was very curious to see how his vote count would change with so many big-time names on the ballot.

The result?  As I thought, a dip in vote percentage.

Here is a look at how Bagwell’s vote count has looked since his first ballot:

Votes Vote %
2011 242 41.7
2012 321 56.0
2013 339 59.6
2014 310 54.3

As you can see, a slight dip in votes came when bigger names were added to the ballot.

So, what happens in 2015 and the future?

I think that we will see another big bump for Bagwell, but it might not come for a few more years.  I would think that after Piazza and Griffey and Pudge Rodriguez and maybe even Chipper Jones gets in is when we will finally see Bagwell tagged as ‘the best offensive player on the ballot’.  And when that happens, I think is when Bagwell will get the votes that he deserves.

Do I think he is a Hall of Famer?  Yes, without a doubt – he has the numbers.  But, he is also going to be up against players that were constant MVP threats, and better all-around players.  Bagwell will get into the Hall of Fame, but more than likely not until a few more ‘elite’ guys do first.

What do you think?  What will it take for Jeff Bagwell’s vote tally to climb and earn him a trip to Cooperstown?

Let me hear it.

Jeff Bagwell

Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Juan Gonzalez!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Juan Gonzalez!!!

During the boom of the long-ball, there are few sluggers that put up the kind of numbers that Juan Gonzalez did.

During the 1990’s Gonzalez personified what you wanted out of the guy that batted clean-up for your team – home runs and run production.  From 1996-98, it could be said that Gonzalez was the most dynamic power hitter in the game.

His game was somewhat limited to the offensive side of the sport, but when it comes to offense, Juan Gonzalez put up numbers that many Hall Of Famers  would envy.

Gonzalez spent 17 seasons in the major leagues, playing 13 for the Texas Rangers.  And once he earned a full-time spot, in his third season with the team, he soared.  From 1991-2001, Gonzalez hit home runs at a rampant pace.  He connected for 40 or more dingers in five of those seasons, and had another 2 seasons of 35 and 39. 

The power led to a lot of runs being scored by the Texas offense and ‘Juan-Gone’ was responsible for a lot of runs crossing the plate in Texas’ favor.  He drove in 100 or more runs in eight different seasons, including one season of 157 RBI in 1998. 

While a solid slugger, Gonzalez did not fall into the ‘one-dimensional player’ group.  He is a lifetime .295 hitter and had seven seasons of at least 150 hits and five seasons in which he hit .300 or better.

Juan Gonzalez

Juan Gonzalez is a 3-time All-Star and a winner of 5 Silver Slugger Awards.  He captured the American League MVP Award in the 1996 and 1998 baseball seasons and also placed in 4th and 5th place in two other very successful campaigns. 

With all of the individual success that Juan Gonzalez had during his impressive MLB career, he only made the playoffs in four of his 17 seasons.  And in each of those four post-season match-ups, he and his teams were eliminated in the first round.

So, is Juan Gonzalez Hall of Fame worthy?

Should he be enshrined at Cooperstown among the greatest players to have ever played the game?

Like many of the sluggers that starred in the same era, Juan Gonzalez’s name has been linked to PED or steroids at some point over the last few years.  There are no reports , however, that have resulted in a positive test report for him.   Unfortunately, whether guilty or not, because the number of home runs that Gonzalez hit is similar to what others that have been positively linked to steroids have been able to amass, he is kind of guilty by association.

But, does he get your vote??

For me, it is a no-brainer!  Juan Gonzalez put up monster numbers during his prime seasons – many of which were greater than what the greatest sluggers in the game achieved.  And while a great source of power and run production, he did not excel at other areas of the game that would have established him as a ‘well-rounded’ player.  But, you cannot argue that for the role he had on offense, he was superb, even elite.

So, for me – YES, he deserves to be inducted.  And to be honest, I am shocked that he is off of the ballot already; after being on it for just one year and earning just 23 of 573 votes cast.  Maybe the writers know something that I don’t.  Maybe I missed an article somewhere.  Maybe being teammates with Canseco, Palmeiro, and A-Rod is enough to be ‘guilty by association.  Maybe, the writers have it all wrong…

Gavel

Am I crazy??

Sound off.  Please!

Happy Birthday Jeff Bagwell!!!

Happy Birthday Jeff Bagwell!!!

Jeff Bagwell turns 45 years old today.

The heart and soul of the Houston Astros franchise for 15 seasons, Jeff Bagwell was beloved by the very faithful Astros’ fans.

Bagwell would probably be labeled as a slugger, but truth be told, he was a fantastic hitter as well. With a lifetime batting average of .297, Bagwell reached .300 or better in six of his 15 seasons. And in those 15 years, he collected 2,314 hits that included 488 doubles, 1,517 runs scored, and 1,529 runs scored too. Mixed into all of those hits, Bagwell connected for 449 home runs. Partly due to his physique and partly due to his seven seasons of hitting at least 34 round-trippers, Bagwell was considered an offensive threat regardless of whether the team needed a single or a three-run homer to win the game.

Bagwell’s resume includes winning the Rookie Of The Year and Most Valuable Player awards. He was a 4-time All-Star and also won 2 Silver Slugger awards and a Gold Glove.

Thank you for all of the entertainment that you provided.

Cooperstown may be calling you soon…

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bagwell!!!

Jose Bautista 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Moonshots’

Frank Robinson 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Moonshots’

I am slowly ramping up my set building of the 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Moonshots’ subset.

I have just a few cards to go now that I have tackled the card of Jose Bautista.

Here is the card:

MOONSHOTS BAUTISTA

Bautista is a great addition to this set, and I really like the image used of him with this card – you can actually see him watching the ball he just crushed as it appears to be leaving the playing field.

Bautista led the American League in home runs during the 2010 and 2011 baseball seasons connecting for 54 and 43 home runs respectively.  He had an injury-filled season in 2012 and still amassed 27 homers, so I am really looking forward to seeing what he does this season.

Hall Of Fame Debate: Judging The Career Of Albert Belle

Hall Of Fame Debate: Judging The Career Of Albert Belle

You may recall that when I debuted ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ a few months ago that my first post in the series was titled ‘Gimme Five’.

Essentially, what I asked for was for the readers of this blog to give me the names of five players that were eligible for Hall of Fame induction that had yet to be enshrined but were worthy.  Well, I took all of the names received and made a giant list to use as inspiration for the series.

The list is lengthy, and while this series has  been running for a few months now, I have yet to really make a dent in it.  So, hopefully you are liking the series and enjoying spending some time with ’30-YOC’ on Thursday nights.

This week, we are going to discuss the career of Albert Belle.  His major league career may have lasted just 12 seasons, but the numbers are impossible to ignore.

Belle finished his career with a .295 batting average.  He collected 1,726 hits in 12 seasons, including 389 doubles, triples, and 381 home runs.  He scored 974 runs during his playing days, and was responsible for 1,239 RBI.

Belle was a 5-time All-Star and 5-time Silver Slugger Award winner.  He finished in the Top 8 for the MVP award five times, including a runner-up finish in 1995.

Belle made it to the postseason twice in his career, 1995 and 1996.  In ’95, he played in the World Series but his Indians team lost to the Braves in six games.

Albert Belle

Belle’s run production was unreal.  Not only was he able to consistently deliver the long-ball, but he also drove in runs at an accelerated pace.

In 12 seasons, Belle hit between 30-39 home runs five times, 40-49 homers twice, and hit 50 home runs (league leader) in 1995.  Belle drove in 100 or more runs in nine straight seasons, from 1992-2000, including a career high of 148 RBI in 1996.  Belle led the American League in RBI at the end of the 1993, 1995, and 1996 seasons.  In total, Belle had eight 30/100 seasons.

And now for some Hall of Fame comparisons….

Dave Winfield’s single-season high in home runs was 37 – Albert Belle tied or topped that five times.

Jim Rice had three 30/100 seasons – Albert Belle did it eight times.

Mike Schmidt retired with a .267 batting average, with just one season of .300 or better – Belle left the game with a .295 batting average and four seasons of .300 or better.

Cal Ripken Jr collected 100 or more RBI in 4 of his 21 major league seasons.  Belle did that in nine of his twelve big league campaigns.

Andre Dawson amassed 4,787 total bases in 21 big league seasons – good for a 227.9 per season average.  Belle collected 3,330 in 12 seasons, good for an average of 277.5.

Now, I am not saying that Albert Belle is better than any of these players; I am simply trying to compare what he did to some other notable Hall of Fame outfielders from a similar era.  He left the game after the 2000 baseball season when he was just 33-years old.

Belle’s numbers stack up well, and there is no telling what his career numbers would have looked like had he played closer to the age of 40 than 30.

Is he Hall of Fame worthy?  I don’t believe so.  And I would not give him my vote.  But, what he accomplished on the baseball diamond cannot be ignored.  In a compact span of years, Belle accomplished feats similar to those of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and Albert Pujols – just the company alone has to make you think a bit about his place in baseball history, doesn’t it?

What do you think?  Would you cast a vote for Albert Belle?

Gavel