justin gets a little love -- 3 hardball stories
with my gophs locked into something called the insight bowl and wrestling season just starting, i'll pause to offer three quick baseball notes.
#1. the minnesota historical society is hosting baseball as america, a roadshow featuring some great hall o' fame exhibits, from november 24 to march 4. my kids won't be interested, but i've just gotta make the trip to st. paul. i'm sort of a stickler for logic, so the sight of shoeless joe jackson's actual game-worn shoes might cause my head to explode.
#2. my ability to predict sporting events is legendary -- but not in a good way. nevertheless, i'm gloating today about getting one right. last year, twins fans were grumbling because justin ernest george morneau was flailing away at .239, finishing the season with 22 homers and 79 rbi. based primarily on the dome-rattling sound of the ball leaving his bat and his statistical similarityto another mystery slugger (former twin david ortiz) from age 22-24 , i predicted that prosperity was just around the corner:
I'm going on record as predicting a long string of at least 30 home runs and 100 rbi years for young mr. morneau. So, sit tight twins fans and show justin some love. Within the next 3-4 years, there's a non-zero probability he'll be putting up monster numbers.
a year later, mr. morneau is american league mvp, beating out an obscure small-market shortstop from a team woefully neglected by the national media. i read today that mr. morneau and his roomie, batting and sideburn champ joe mauer, ate jimmy johns' subs throughout the season just to keep the magic going. that's why i love baseball.
#3. mr. morneau's rapid development by age 25 and the baseball in america exhibit got me thinking (uh-oh), so here's another quiz. can anyone identify these two hall of famers? hint: they played together on two different teams.
Age W-L ERA
19 2-1 3.91
20 18-8 2.44
21 23-12 1.75
22 24-13 2.01
23 13-7 2.22
24 9-5 2.97
25 1-0 4.50
Age W-L ERA
19 2-1 5.13
20 11-4 2.79
21 3-6 6.36
22 0-2 3.04
23 5-5 3.31
25 16-8 2.71
the first person to name both players without googling will receive some sort of hardball-related treasure from my youth. i still owe mr. radio free newport a few tigers/reds cards from a previous contest. if you're listening, RFN, just pass along a mailing address in the comments and i'll send 'em your way.