Some believe that playing baseball with projectiles traveling 100 miles per hour around the ballpark is the toughest skill facing a professional athlete in any sport.
Being the best player over the course of a 162-game marathon of a season — and then possibly a postseason — is next to impossible to 99 percent of the globe.
Now that Aaron Judge has returned from his 10-game absence due to injuring his wrist, the MLBbro slugger can get back to business and help the Yankees dig themselves out of a hole that has them nine games out of first and sitting at the bottom of the tough AL East division.
It takes a special player to conquer what Judge and the Yankees have in front of them over the last 130 or so games.
Aaron Judge Wins MVP
Well, Aaron Judge became one of those players last year winning AL MVP on the strength of breaking the American League home run record with 62 Bro bombs. A record held by Roger Maris for decades.
Judge’s accomplishments transcended the baseball diamond. He became the storyline of the entire season, the face of the sport with a special ability that MLBbro.com covered in detail last month.
After missing the Triple Crown by an eyelash in the final month, Judge’s production still had the baseball world salivating, finishing with a league-high 62 dingers and 131 RBI, which is the highest total since Chris “Crush” Davis in 2013. Add in 111 walks, 28 doubles with a batting average of .311 and we have the best player in the sport.
It didn’t take the MLBbro long to reintroduce the baseball world to his special talent of giving fans souvenirs to take home in Yankees openers.
ALL RISE! 👨⚖️
Aaron Judge hits the first home run of the 2023 season! 🔥
While stats like a batting average of only .261 with six homers and 14 RBI, it looks like Judge is headed towards a season of much lesser production.
Judge Can Still Have MVP Season
Now back in the fold, Judge still has time to heat up and replicate last year’s accomplishments, or at least come close.
MLBbro.com decided to look back at some MLBbro MVPs of the past and compare their seasons following MVP campaigns.
Pick one. This MLBbro won seven MVP awards in his career which is the most in Major League Baseball history (1990, 1992,1993,2001,2002,2003,2004). He is the first player in history in either league to win three MVPs. The reigning MLB home run king with 762 owns so many hitting records that MLBbro.com did a feature on how he was blackballed out of the running for the Hall of Fame.
In 2001, Bonds broke the single season home run record with 73 home runs. But his batting average of .328, 137 RBI, and unheard of 177 walks (A ton of them intentional) made him MVP, the best player in baseball and the most feared hitter on the planet at the time. Outside of a World Series title, there wasn’t an accomplishment that this MLBbro couldn’t reach on green grass in any baseball stadium.
The following season:
The short statement would be that Bonds won the MVP again.
The long statement would be…”Man, did you know what this MLBbro did after his MVP year?”
Barry Bonds won the second of his four straight MVP awards by hitting .370 with 46 homers and 110 RBI. Why give him the MVP when he declined in the home run department?
No one seemingly gave the man a chance. Barry collected an absurd 198 walks that season. Couple that with his magic in the field (Did we forget to mention that he won eight Gold Gloves in his career?), this MLBbro icon owned this award for four straight years and it was not even close.
The ultimate debate around sports and the MVP conversations is the fact that MVP players have to be on winning teams. Even bad teams have one player that has to be the best on the team right?
Then there is Ernie Banks, considered one of the first power hitting shortstops in Major League history and easily one of the only reasons the Chicago Cubs fan base spent their money to watch a perennially awful Cubs team year after year.
In 1958, the man famously known as “Mr. Cub” lead the National League in homers with 47 and RBI. He hit .313 from the plate with a slugging percentage of .614. He ran away with the MVP award and possibly kept the lights on in Chicago at the time.
The following season:
For a MLBbro that never got to experience a postseason, Ernie Banks was the epitome of a professional that played for the love of the game. Luckily for the Chicago Cubs, they got to benefit from Banks’ joy.
The following year in 1959, ‘Mr. Cub” tallied 45 homers with 143 RBI and posted a .304 batting average. With this award, Banks became only the fifth player to win the MVP award in back to back seasons. When this MLBbro icon retired he finished with 2,583 hits, 512 home runs, 1,636 RBI and 1,305 runs scored. With 11 All-Star appearances, Banks was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Oh the history of Reggie Jackson and the Oakland A’s. That 1973 season should have been a debacle with Reggie, the other Oakland stars and even the manager playing out public spats with then owner, Charles O. Finley, this MLBbro icon won the MVP with a batting average of .293, power numbers of 32 home runs and 117 RBI and 22 stolen bases checked off the speed of this budding superstar.
Despite all of the chaos, Reggie led the A’s to a World Series title over the New York Mets in seven games. Yes, Reggie…Reggie…Reggie…won the Series MVP as well.
The following year:
Reggie Jackson was entertaining as he was talented. In his previous year in Oakland, Reggie boldly stated that if he was playing in New York, he would have his own candy bar. The man did not lie as he had one five years later when he became a Yankee.
Reggie Jackson did not repeat as MVP in 1974, but that did not mean he did not put up numbers. The future “Mr. October” hit 29 home runs and knocked in 86 RBI in the campaign. Although he didn’t win the MVP this year, the A’s did defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 to win the World Series championship.
The worst kept secret in Major League Baseball has been the Oakland A’s franchise’s intention to follow fellow longtime sports franchises (Las Vegas Raiders (NFL) and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors ) out of the city of Oakland for greener pastures.
As each day passes, the faithful Oakland A’s fan base comes to terms that their team will be moving to Las Vegas.
The fact the Oakland A’s are leaving should not be a surprise to many based on history and the current status.
Historically, the franchise has already moved three times since its inaugural season in 1901.
● For over 50 years, the team was in Philadelphia as the “other” baseball franchise thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies.
● The lack of attention in the city of Brotherly Love found the franchise moving to Kansas City from 1954 to 1968.
● In 1968, the A’s relocation to Oakland has held up until the pending move to Las Vegas.
Then there’s the current affairs that makes the franchise’s desire to leave more crystal clear.
Last season Oakland had a record-breaking pace of attendance futility.
Despite the fact that there were COVID-19 attendance restrictions at the time, the apathy of the Oakland fans was undeniably clear with the message of disinterest.
Oakland Had Lowest Attendance Since 1980
During an early season game against the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland’s home attendance was 3,748 which was the lowest attendance recorded since 1980. They finished with the worst attendance in baseball with less than 10,000 fans a game.
But the plans probably went in motion in May of 2021 when MLB commissioner Rob Manfred expressed some “concern” about the progress of the new stadium and advised the team to start considering sites outside of the city of Oakland.
This statement here shows that Manfred believes the city has not done right by the franchise…
“We have shown an unbelievable commitment to the fans in Oakland by exhausting every possible opportunity to try to get something done in Oakland,” Manfred told the Associated Press. “Unfortunately, the government doesn’t seem to have the will to get it done.”
Reggie Jackson Had Group Led By Bill Gates To Buy A’s
Well someone had the will and did not have the opportunity…MLBbro Icon and former Oakland A’s superstar, Reggie Jackson.
Yes, Reggie Jackson was willing to buy the Oakland A’s. He put together a group that included Bill Gates which shows money was no object when it came to buying this franchise.
How serious was this group? They were willing to pay $25 million more than the highest bid for the team. Reggie sent a letter to the late Ken Hofman detailing his intentions. Despite promises from Bud Selig to Reggie for help in facilitating a deal, the A’s ended up being sold to Lewis Wolff…an old college friend of Selig’s.
Reggie Discusses Old Boys Network
Mr. October discussed in detail what happened on the Howard Stern Show in a very interesting interview.
According to Jackson, he was so upset about the ordeal that he almost filed a lawsuit against Bud Selig. He went on to say that people in baseball told him that he would have to immediately resign from all MLB baseball business with the Yankees and face being blackballed. With the lack of knowledge of the legal system at the time, Reggie never filed.
Then, Reggie put together another powerhouse group that included Bill Gates, the late Paul Allen, who owned NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and NFL’s Seattle Seahawks around 2002-03.
So when the Oakland A’s leave for Vegas and the blame game conversation goes on for decades about why the baseball team left, don’t forget there was a MLBbro in Reggie Jackson who tried to revive the franchise in Oakland
But his new money and progressive goals couldn’t compete with old money, old ties and old ways.
As a player there was never a stage too big for Hall of Fame MLBbro Reginald Martinez Jackson. An outspoken superstar of the 1970s and early 80s, Jackson once referred to himself as “the straw who stirs the drink” while winning five world championships and two World Series MVP awards with the Oakland A’s and the New York Yankees respectively.
His supreme confidence, that was often mistaken for arrogance, takes a backseat to humility and anger at times when he finally shares the backstory to his legendary Hall of Fame career.
In the new Amazon Prime documentary “Reggie” Jackson is statesmanly candid and reverential as he shares memories of a lifetime in baseball that began in the shadows of Jim Crow America despite not being totally comfortable on his platform.
Reggie Jackson Is The Greatest Postseason Hitter
Jackson’s impact on the baseball field was incomparable. A supremely confident five-tool athlete with a million-dollar smile, chiseled physique and a fire reflective of his last name and a swag reflective of his first. He is the historic face of the Oakland A’s and the driving force behind several championship squads, eventually taking a bite out of the big city and becoming a legend with the New York Yankees in his rise to the game’s historic hierarchy.
Reggie Jackson Wants To Be an Owner
However, Reggie’s post career afterlife in the game hasn’t been as fulfilling as it was when he played because of his denial of access to ownership.
“The time was right to tell the story if I ever was going to,” said Jackson at the outset. “This is my story the way I see it”.
Jackson sees baseball today through a social filter which allows him to paint a picture of his career through a Black player’s struggle, that for many continue these days. While he admits to being “uncomfortable” publicly sharing his baseball journey, Jackson ponders whether he had “done” enough during the civil rights movement in America away from the ballpark.
“Baseball has been backwards for a long time,” Jackson says. “On the field I was in control.”
Pressure never phased Jackson on the field and his confidence was unshakeable. He shares the compelling anecdotes of his minor league time in Birmingham where he couldn’t find housing, so he temporarily stayed with Oakland A’s teammates Joe Rudi, Rollie Fingers, and Dave Duncan when they got to the minors.
They were part of the A’s three consecutive World Series titles from 1972 through 1974.
Part of the anger that drove him was witnessing the civil unrest in Alabama he was subjected to while in the minors. The absence of dignity for Black Americans added to the chip on his shoulders when he took the field and with contract negotiations. That edge gave him the drive to challenge the system for healthy compensation which forced Jackson to leave the Bay Area.
Jackson recalls the story of playing for renegade owner Charles Finley with the A’s who is historically noted for breaking up the dynasty by not wanting to pay players after winning championships.
He recounts how after leading the AL in home runs in 1974 that Finley cut his salary by $2,500 because he also led the league in strikeouts. He was traded to Baltimore before signing with the Yankees in 1976.
“[Finley] became problematic when he didn’t want to pay for success,” Jackson recalls.
Reggie pulled no punches on his awkward relationship with his Yankee manager BIlly Martin.
He appears sublime regarding his time in the Bronx because the two personalities were like oil and water.
“My worst time in baseball was playing for Billy Martin,” Jackson recalls. “I didn’t come to New York to be a star. I was already a star when I got there.”
The resounding sentiment from Jackson is dignity throughout the two-hour production. Jackson wanted the ultimate respect from the game and was shunned by the owners twice after he pulled together groups that were trying to buy the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The southern California investment group included Silicon Valley billionaires Paul Allen and Bill Gates. That led to his seemingly inevitable conclusion that despite being a Hall of Fame player, he is still an outsider.
“Sometimes I feel like a hood ornament,” Jackson says. “They don’t want me under the hood”.