Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Best player in Baseball in 1988?


Mario, over at Wax Heaven, posed the question and gave an answer...
Who I ask, was a bigger star in baseball in 1988 than Jose Canseco? No one.

I'll counter with...
Orel Hershiser

According to baseball-reference.com, in 1988 Jose Canseco:
* was an All-Star
* was the American League MVP (all 28 first place votes)
* led the AL in Slugging Percentage (.569) - also led ML
* led the AL in Home Runs (42) - also led ML
* led the AL in RBIs (124) - also led ML
* had the best OPS+ (170) - also led ML
* led the AL in extra base hits (76)
* had the best AL Power/Speed Number (41.0) - also led ML
* led the AL in At Bats per Home Run (14.5)

Very impressive.  Now let's look at Orel Hershiser, same source, same year:
* was an All-Star
* National Leauge Babe Ruth Award winner
* NL Cy Young Award winner (all 24 first place votes)
* Major League Player of the Year
* NL Championship Series MVP
* NL The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year
* ML World Series MVP
* Golden Glove winner
* led the NL in Sacrifice Hits (19)
* led the NL in Wins (23)
* led the NL in Innings Pitched (267)
* led the NL in Complete Games (15) - tied ML (with Jackson - Cin.)
* led the NL in Shut Outs (8) - tied ML (with Clemens - Bos.)
* led the NL in Batters Faced (1,068)

He also had that 59 inning scoreless streak thing happening.  And he was Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Year."

Mario admits that Mr. Canseco is his favorite player.  I admit that Mr. Hershiser is my favorite player.

It is kind of hard to directly compare a batter to a pitcher.  Both were very good at what they did.

Oh yeah, who has the World Series ring for 1988? 

1989 Topps cards #401 (Canseco) and #394 (Hershiser)


  1. Oral - THE pitcher in 1988.
    Jose - Outstanding year. But not THE hitter of 1988.

    World Series ring is just proof.

  2. Update: Canseco went 0 for 8 against Hershiser in the World Series that year.