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Posts Tagged ‘Stan Musial’

Jason Giambi used three titanic blasts into the right field stands at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark to turn back the clock for at least one game. In addition to the three homers, which doubled his season’s hit total, Giambi also knocked in seven runs, becoming one of a select few to accomplish each feat over the age of 40.

Giambi watches second of three HRs leave the ballpark (Photo: AP)

By joining the list of 40-somethings who have homered three times in one game, Giambi entered rarified territory shared only by Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson, Stan Musial and Babe Ruth. At one time, Giambi also seemed destined for Cooperstown, but the combination of a late career breakdown and the stain of performance enhancing drugs has all but ensured that he won’t be joining those others in the Plaque Gallery.

Like the Bambino, the “Giambino” had never before belted three homers in a game. Also like the Babe, Giambi’s accomplishment came amid what seems to be the waning days of his career. When Reggie belted his third trio of long balls, he was still a regular with one year left in the tank, but he too was on steady path toward retirement. Musial, however, was still going strong when he went deep three times against the Mets on July 8, 1962.

Three HR Games at 40

Player Age Date Tm Opp PA R H HR RBI
Stan Musial 41.229 7/8/1962 STL NYM 5 3 3 3 4
Jason Giambi 40.131 5/19/2011 COL PHI 5 3 3 3 7
Reggie Jackson 40.123 9/18/1986 CAL KCR 6 4 3 3 7
Babe Ruth 40.108 5/25/1935 BSN PIT 4 3 4 3 6

Source: Baseball-reerence.com

Seven RBI Games at 40

Player Age Date Tm Opp PA R H HR RBI
Stan Musial 40.214 6/23/1961 STL SFG 5 2 2 2 7
Jason Giambi 40.131 5/19/2011 COL PHI 5 3 3 3 7
Reggie Jackson 40.123 9/18/1986 CAL KCR 6 4 3 3 7

Source: Baseball-reerence.com

When Musial victimized the hapless Mets, he was not only months from turning 42, but also in the midst of yet another MVP-caliber season. Entering the game, Stan the Man was hitting .325/.395/.476, leaving some to wonder if he’d ever slow down. “I don’t want to give that boy any ideas,” Mets’ manager Casey Stengel observed, “but the way he’s hitting he can hang around in this business two or three more years easily”.

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After agreeing to table contract extension talks with Albert Pujols until after the 2011 season, St. Louis Cardinals’ owner Bill DeWitt Jr. lamented, “We’re not the Yankees”.

Like Musial, will Pujols end his career as a life-long Cardinal?

Although that statement is literally true (unless the Steinbrenners secretly sold the team over the winter), the Cardinals have historically been thought of as the “Yankees of the National League”. Other than the Bronx Bombers, no team has been able to match the Cardinals’ success, which includes 10 World Series championships and 21 National League pennants. Based on that resume, the red birds have built both a rabid local and regional following that has helped make the team one of the most popular in all of baseball.

Considering his team’s success and popularity, is DeWitt right to sell his storied franchise short by crying relative poverty? According to Forbes’ most recent MLB franchise calculations, the Cardinals rank eighth in both overall value ($488 million) and revenue ($195 million), but check in toward the bottom in terms of operating profit ($12.5 million). Based on those figures, it certainly does seem as if St. Louis is not in a position to make Pujols the highest paid player in the sport by giving him a 10-year deal worth approximately $300 million. However, they should be.

2009 MLB Franchise Valuations

Source: Forbes.com

A closer look at the Forbes’ study reveals that the Cardinals have had relatively stagnant revenue over the last few years, with the only significant bump occurring after the team opened up its new ballpark in 2006. Most recently, the team enjoyed no revenue growth between 2007 and 2009 (the entire sport grew 7.5% during this period), according to Forbes. Instead of leading the sport’s expansion, as you would expect a brand like the Cardinals to do, the organization’s revenue growth has fallen more toward the middle of the pack.

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