Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Some World Series love for second basemen

Did you know that Bobby Richardson is the only person to win the World Series MVP for a losing team?

Why would you?

I knew that, but I'm Sully and my brain is jam packed with stuff like that which won't help me get a new job.

But I figured out something else that is interesting (at least to me) regarding that World Series MVP from 1960.

He is the only second baseman to ever win the World Series MVP. If the 2010 World Series comes and a player from any other position drives home the MVP's car, then we'll have 50 years without a World Series MVP at second.

I know it isn't an earth shattering concept, but it struck me as odd.

Since 1973, we've had every single position covered.
The last catcher to win it? Pat Borders in 1992
The last first baseman? Willie Stargell in 1979.
The last shortstop? David Eckstein in 2006.
The last third baseman? Mike Lowell in 2007.
The last left fielder? Manny Ramirez in 2004.
The last center fielder? Reggie Jackson in 1973.
The last right fielder? Jermaine Dye in 2005.
The last Designated Hitter? Hideki Matsui in 2009.
The last left handed starting pitcher? Cole Hamels in 2008.
The last right handed starting pitcher? Josh Beckett in 2003.
The last reliever? Mariano Rivera in 1999.

But you have to go all the way back to 1960 for someone at second.
And come to think of it, that 1960 World Series was a damn good one for second basemen.

Richardson got the 11 hits, the .367 average, and 1.054 OPS... but Bill Mazeroski got the World Series walk off homer.

In the years since 1960, some second basemen have had World Series glory. Some were Hall of Famers... others were nobodys who shone on the big stage.

Light hitting Al Weis batted .417 with an OPS of 1.196 in the 1969 World Series. His 7th inning home run off of Dave McNally tied the clinching Game 5.

Future Hall of Famer Joe Morgan got the game winning hit of Game 7 of the 1975 World Series with 2 outs and 2 strikes in the 9th inning.

Willie Randolph homered off of future Hall of Famer Don Sutton in the Yankees Game 1 win in the 1977 World Series.

Phil Garner batted an eye popping .500 with a 1.238 OPS in the 7 game World Series of 1979. Only Willie Stargell's heroics kept him from being the second second baseman to win the World Series MVP

Perenial All Star Davey Lopes started key rallies in Games 3, 4 and 6 of the 1981 World Series to help the Dodgers come from behind and beat the Yankees.

Tiger great Lou Whitaker helped set up several rallies in the 1984 World Series including being on base for both of Alan Trammell's game 4 homers.

Frank White homered and drove in 3 runs to help the Royals escape a 3-0 hole in Game 3 of the 1985 World Series.

In a losing cause, Marty Barrett got 13 hits, batted .433 with an OPS of 1.014 for the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series. He would have been the MVP of the Series had that 10th inning gone differently for the Sox.

Steve Sax batted .300 in the Dodgers stunning victory over the A's in the 1988 World Series. His walk started the Dodgers first inning rally off of Dave Stewart in Game 4 that helped put the Dodgers in control of the series for good.

Chuck Knoblauch batted .308 in the 1991 World Series for the Twins. He helped start the decoy play in Game 7 to fool Lonnie Smith and set up the series winning run with a sacrifice bunt. Later with the Yankees he hit game tying homers in the 1998 and 1999 World Series.

In a losing cause, Mark Lemke hit .417 with an OPS of 1.170 in the 1991 World Series for the Braves. His 2 out walk off single in the 12th inning ended Game 3 and he scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th of Game 4.

Roberto Alomar scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th of Game 3 of the 1992 World Series. In 1993, he drove in 6 runs and batted .480 with an OPS of 1.159 as the Blue Jays won back to back titles.

Craig Counsell was involved with two World Series Game 7 come from behind victories. He tied Game 7 of the 1997 World Series in the 9th inning with a sacrifice fly and scored the title winning run for the Marlins in the 11th inning. In 2001, he was hit by a Mariano Rivera pitch setting up Luis Gonzalez's single that won the World Series for the Diamondbacks.

Luis Castillo drove in the first run of Game 6 of the 2003 World Series with a 2 out RBI single. It would turn out to be the World Series winner as the Marlins held on to a 2-0 victory.

Mark Bellhorn hit the game winning homer in Game 1 of the 2004 World Series. He also helped the Red Sox win Game 2 with a 2 run double off the center field wall.

Dustin Pedroia led off the 2007 World Series with a home run, setting the stage for the Red Sox sweep of the Rockies.

Chase Utley hit a 2 run homer in the first inning of Game 1 of the 2008 World Series that gave Cole Hamels all the run support he needed. In the 2009 World Series, he matched Reggie Jackson's record of 5 home runs.

Who knows? Maybe Utley or Pedroia could win the World Series MVP this year. Maybe Robinson Cano will win it for the Yankees. Maybe the Rays make it back to the series and Ben Zobrist will win it. Perhaps Dan Uggla, Ian Kinsler, Howie Kendrick, Ian Stewart or Rickie Weeks will win some hardware.

Or maybe we'll have to deal with 50 seasons without a second baseman winning the World Series MVP.

We may have to cope.

Meanwhile, enjoy the glory that is the 1960 World Series, the last glorious series for second basemen!

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