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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jimmy History

Though J-Roll has recently become the fashionable pick for NL MVP among sportswriters and ESPN analysts, and they have duly noted his historical 20-20-20-20 season, but they've failed to recognize just how historical it is. Yes, there have been only four 4:20 seasons, but one of these things is not quite like the others. Let's line them up side-by-side.

1. Frank Sculte (1911) .300/.384/.534 105 R, 30 2B, 21 3B, 21 HR, 23 SB, 107 RBI
2. Willie Mays (1957) .333/.407/.626 112 R, 26 2B, 20 3B, 35 HR, 38 SB, 97 RBI
3. Curtis Granderson (2007) .302/.361/.552/ 122 R, 38 2B, 23 3B, 23 HR, 26 SB, 74 RBI
4. Jimmy Rollins (2007) .296/.344/.531 139 R, 38 2B, 20 3B, 30 HR, 41 SB, 94 RBI

While I grant that J-Roll is last in this quartet in all of the percentage stats, his counting stats are significantly better than the rest. Rollins didn't just go 20-20-20-20, he went 30-20-30-40. There aren't just very few seasons like it. There are none.

This, of course, doesn't even factor in the fact that Rollins' final two stolen bases and his last triple were critical plays in the season's final game which clinched the Phillies division title over the Mets. Rollins famously predicted, almost six months ago, that Philadelphia was "the team to beat."

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