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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baseball wrapup

I really enjoyed the Tigers-Twins game Tuesday that reflected a prolonged regular season. My sympathy goes out to the Detroit fans among my group of friends. I've also seen long stretches of several post-season games and many of those have been fairly exciting too.

As a Royals fan, however, this was a difficult and somewhat depressing year. The team was very bad and the post-season is populated by long-time rivals -- including the cross-state Cardinals ('85 World Series foe), Phillies ('80 World Series opponents), Yankees (ALCS opponent in '76-'77-'78-'80), and former AL West competitors Twins and Angels. People from Kansas grow up predisposed to dislike teams from NY and LA (Dodgers), meaning that my post-season choices are basically the Rockies (the AA farm team is now in Tulsa, near where I completed high school; at that time, Tulsa was a Ranger farm team) or Red Sox (who were briefly my home team in 2005, but are already down 0-2 in their first round divisional series). Ugh.

What can be salvaged from this baseball season? On September 26, the KC Star had this nugget about my team's young power-hitting first baseman:
Billy Butler became just the seventh major-leaguer to hit 50 doubles in a season before turning 24....

PlayerSeason, teamAgeHRRBIAvg.OBPSLG2B
Hank Greenberg1934 Tigers2326139.339.404.60063
Alex Rodriguez1996 Mariners2036123.358.414.63154
Enos Slaughter1939 Cardinals231286.320.371.48252
Albert Pujols2003 Cardinals2343124.359.439.66751
Stan Musial1944 Cardinals231294.347.440.54951
Miguel Cabrera2006 Marlins2326114.339.430.56850
Billy Butler2009 Royals232193.301.362.49251

Grady Sizemore also hit 50 doubles in 2006, but he turned 24 midseason (August 2) that year. Also, I edited Butler's totals to reflect his final seasonal numbers.

Greenberg, Slaughter and Musial are in the Hall of Fame, A-Rod and Pujols seem destined for Cooperstown, and Cabrera is off to a very good start.

Basketball practice starts next week.

Hat tip: I'm fairly certain that Brian Wood's post, which brought Butler's historic accomplishment to my attention, can only be viewed by SABR-L members.

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