Tag: MLB All-Star

Ken Griffey Jr. Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame With Highest Voting Percentage Ever

A star slugger of the Steroids Era never tainted by accusations of drug use, Griffey was on 437 of 440 votes in his first appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. His 99.3 percentage topped the previous mark of 98.84, set when Tom Seaver appeared on 425 of 430 ballots in 1992.

“Happy and shocked,” Griffey said on MLB Network, “that I get to be in such an elite club.”

“In case you don’t know, I’m really superstitious. I’ve played in the Hall of Fame game three times and I’ve never set foot in the building. I’ve never even seen the front of it,” Griffey said. “The one time I wanted to go in there, I wanted to be a member.”

After falling 28 shy last year, Piazza received 365 votes in his fourth time on the ballot and will be inducted along with Griffey on July 24.

“Incredibly special. Wow,” Piazza said on a call with MLB Network.

“I sat here with my mouth on the floor,” he said.

A player needs 75 percent to gain election, and Jeff Bagwell missed by 15 votes and Tim Raines by 23. Trevor Hoffman, on the ballot for the first time, was 34 short.

The vote total dropped by 109 from last year because writers who have not been active for 10 years lost their votes under new rules.

There were significant increases for a pair of stars accused of steroids use. Roger Clemens rose to 45 percent and Barry Bonds to 44 percent, both up from about 37 percent last year.

Mark McGwire, who admitted using steroids, received 12 percent in his 10th and final ballot appearance.

Half of baseball’s top 10 home run hitters are not in the Hall: Bonds (762), Alex Rodriguez (654), Jim Thome (612), Sosa (609) and McGwire (583). Rodriguez, who served a yearlong drug suspension in 2014, remains active. Thome’s first appearance on the ballot will be in 2018.

Curt Schilling rose from 39 percent to 52, Edgar Martinez from 27 percent to 43 and Mike Mussina from 25 percent to 43.

Griffey was known simply as “Junior” by many as a contrast to his father, three-time All-Star outfielder Ken Griffey, who played alongside him in Seattle during 1990 and ’91. The younger Griffey became a 13-time All-Star outfielder and finished with 630 homers, which is sixth on the career list. After reaching the major leagues in 1989, he was selected for 11 consecutive All-Star Games in 1990.

Wanting to play closer to his home in Florida, he pushed for a trade to Cincinnati — his father’s old team and the area he grew up in— after the 1999 season. But slowed by injuries, he never reached 100 RBIs again after his first season with the Reds, and he moved on to the Chicago White Sox in 2008 before spending his last season-plus with the Mariners.

article by Ronald Blum, AP via blackamericaweb.com

 

Derek Jeter’s MLB All-Star Farewell is Perfect: No Rules, Just Right

lat-sp-2-derek-jeter-20140715
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter receives a standing ovation from fans and players upon being taken out of the MLB All-Star Game in the fourth inning Tuesday at Target Field in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone / Associated Press)

As Derek Sanderson Jeter graced his final All-Star game, what made the moment special was what it was not.  Not contrived. Not manufactured. Not choreographed by a video board operator with his button on the oversized clapping hands, or by event planners with a budget fit for a royal wedding.

There will be time for all of that. The New York Yankees will make sure of it.  Bless the Minnesota Twins for not intruding on the moment with a gaudy ceremony. This was an understated evening — at Target Field, if not on television — the chance for the players to say farewell to the retiring Jeter in their own way.

“That was much better,” Jeter said, “than if there was something that was scripted.”

RELATED: “Re2pect” Commercial Honoring Derek Jeter below:

The Mike Trout comparisons are not really about ability and talent. Trout has more now, at 22, than Jeter ever had. The face of the game is the one that plays hard, keeps his head down, and acts as an ambassador for his sport without a hint of controversy.  Jeter gets it. He gathered the players on the American League team before the game, to say thank you to them.  Trout gets it too. “We should be thanking him,” Trout said, “for what he brings to the game.”

When the AL took the field, Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson waited behind, so Jeter could have the whole left side of the infield to himself. When Jeter led off for the AL in the bottom of the first, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright lingered on the mound so Jeter could enjoy the cheers — not just from the fans, but from the players on the top step of each dugout.

Jeter doubled, matching his total of extra-base hits this month. Not long after, Wainwright told reporters he had given Jeter “a couple of pipe shots” — that is, grooved a couple of pitches.

Continue reading “Derek Jeter’s MLB All-Star Farewell is Perfect: No Rules, Just Right”

R.I.P. MLB Star Tony Gwynn: Six Things He Did Better Than Anyone Else In Modern Baseball

tony gwynn parade pointing - tony gwynn parade pointing

After a multi-year battle with oral cancer, MLB First-Ballot Hall Of Famer Tony Gwynn passed away recently. He is mourned by everyone in San Diego from the mayor on down and by all of Major League Baseball.  No one will debate the talent that Tony Gwynn’s amazing career displayed. But what few people know is just how thoroughly superlative his aptitude for baseball was.

Back when relief pitching was more of an aberration than the norm and drug testing was non-existing, Gwynn’s numbers would have been impressive. But you add these factors in and it starts to paint the portrait of wonder that was Gwynn’s outstanding career.

So let me grab that paint brush and show you just how beautiful his genius for baseball was.

1. Most Batting Titles – 8

tony gwynn swinging bat - tony gwynn swinging bat

Tony Gwynn had the highest batting average of every player in the Major Leagues in eight out his twenty seasons of professional baseball. He tied for second all time in the number of batting titles he’d earned. The guy ahead of him is Ty Cobb whose career ended in 1928. He’s tied with Honus Wagner whose career ended in 1917. And he’s the only one to have had near as many whose career stretched into the 2000’s.

2. Highest Overall Career Batting Average

 

Tony Gwynn retired in 2001. At that time, his career batting average was .338. There are 30 men to have finished their careers at an average of .330 or higher. Tony Gwynn is the only one whose career ended after 1963. He’s also one of the few to have faced consistent, talented relief pitching.

I think you’re starting to understand how in this Modern Era of baseball, Tony Gwynn was a monster at the plate.

3. (Almost) Finished a season batting .400

tony gwynn's career stats - tony gwynn's career stats

players strike ended the 1994 season while Tony Gwynn was batting .394 and charging towards .400. Hitting .400 over an entire season is the equivalent of hitting 65% of your 3-point in the NBA. The number is so insane there’s a reason no one has done it since Ted Williams in 1941.

4. Top 10 for highest Hall Of Fame induction rates ever

tony gwynn hall of fame - tony gwynn hall of fame

The MLB decides who goes into the Hall Of Fame by giving ballots to sportswriters and other affiliated media. When Gwynn’s name came up, he got in with 97.4% of the vote. He’s 7th overall with only Cal Ripken being the other post-90’s top-10 vote getter, ever.

5. Most All-Star Team Selections

tony gwynn drive - tony gwynn drive

At 15 All-Star selections, Tony Gwynn is tied, again, with Cal Ripken for having the most in a career that stretched into the 2000’s. Cal Ripken had 19, but that doesn’t take away from Gwynn’s accomplishment in the least. You know what did? The fact that his team sucked. As a matter of fact…

6. All twenty seasons in one city

tony gwynn statue - tony gwynn statue

Tony Gwynn was San Diego before LaDanian was even born. Impressive considering the fact that the San Diego Padres were a perennial loser. The closest they game to a championship were two National League Pennants, both earned while Gwynn was there. In fact, they struggled to finish above .500 for most of the Gwynn’s tenure there. Still yet, he stayed and flourished. If ever there was an MLB award for market loyalty, it should be named after Tony Gwynn.

article by Span via urbandaily.com