Monday, November 12, 2012

Hey Rookie...

                               This week, both the MVP  and Rookie of the year for both leagues will be chosen; And although Miguel Cabrera will most likely win the AL MVP, there is a slight chance that it will go to the Angel's Mike Trout, which would be only the third time in baseball history that a rookie won the MVP.  The last time it was Ichiro in 2001, although he was in his late twenties when he won it, having played for years in Japan.  The first player to ever win an MVP as a rookie was the Red Sox Fred Lynn in 1975, putting up numbers that he would best four years later.  After he left the Sox, however, he became a sort of poor man's Harold Baines; solid, if unspectacular ( although, to be fair, Lynn was a much better fielder, whereas Baines was mostly a D.H. for his career).  My brother always thought he should have been the next Willie Mays, but what are ya gonna do?

                 As for Trout, he should have a great career ahead of him if he can avoid the injuries that plagued Lyn for most of his career.  It's too bad he didn't play on the Angels 12-15 years ago;that way he could have played next to Tim Salmon.  I myself am more of an ocean fish man, but anyway...
Trout's chances are slim because of Cabrera's triple crown year, so when Cabrera does win it, coupled with Buster Posey winning the NL MVP, we'll have both MVP's that played each other in that years World series.  The last time that happened was 1980, When Mike Schmidt's Phillies beat George Brett's Royals in baseball's first all astroturf series.  It used to be a lot more commonplace for that to happen, but all these divisional series kind of muddy things up a bit.

          I'm always fascinated with rookies who were mostly one year wonders.  A few leap to mind; the Royals Bob Hamelin in 1994, the Red Sox Walt Dropo in 1950, and of course there's Joe Charboneau in 1980.  The Cleveland Indians were their mediocre selves that year, but Charboneau gave the hometown fans something to root for, even inspiring a song called "Go Joe Charboneau" ( couldn't find the name of the band, for some reason).  After his rookie season where he batted .287 with 23 homers and 87 RBI's, he was never the same.  The next season he hurt his back and then went in and out of the minors for the next few years, becoming the only ROY to ever get sent to the minors the year after winning the award.

          Charboneau, like a lot of players from that era, was an eccentric; long before Dennis Rodman would do so, he dyed his hair different colors.  He also opened beer bottles with his eye socket and drank beer with a straw up his nose.  After his career ended, he did appear in the movie "The Natural", playing one of Roy Hobb's "teammates", although that would be his only time on film.  As for now, he's a hitting instructor for a parks and recreation team in Ohio.  Oh how the mighty have fallen...could be worse though;he could be Lenny Dykstra...

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to submit Jerome Walton for your list of one year wonders. Hit .293 with 24 stolen bases and a 30 game hitting streak out of the leadoff spot to help the 1989 Cubs to the most improbable division title I've ever seen. (Any Cub title is by definition improbable but this one in particular was just insane.) He then spent the offseason on a rigorous conditioning program of nonstop eating and was down to a .219/.275/.330 slash line in two years.