Sunday, April 3, 2016

Opening Day...Night!

MLB Opening Day/Night is happening in Kansas City this evening. To mark the occasion we are publishing the second posting in our series on the 1976 All-Star Game. Who better to Rep the Royals than Hall of Famer George Brett

1982 Topps/Kmart 20th Anniversary #34 George Brett

Brett made his first All-Star team in 1976, the first of xx times he would receive the honor. During the ’76 contest he went 0-2 with a walk. The BB came off NL Starter Randy Jones, one of the outs was a Fly Out v fellow HoF Tom Seaver.

aWARds – 1976 MVP
There is an argument that George Brett should have won the MVP award in 1976. He finished 2nd in the voting to Yankees Catcher Thurman Munson. Brett Clearly won the WAR +7.5 to Munson’s +5.3, Both were on division winners, although the Yankees won 7 more games than the Royals (while playing three fewer games). For folks that are only interested in oWAR Brett wins that battle as well – His +7.1 number led the AL while Munson clocked in at +5.3. Munson’s most compelling argument is that he was the captain of the first Yankees squad to make the post season since the Mantle Years.

As far as traditional stats are concerned…
Brett led the AL in Batting Average, Hits and Total Bases during the 1976 season while Munson's big offensive grey number was finishing 2nd on the circuit in RBI to the Orioles Lee May. Munson was as always among the top 5 catchers in several defensive categories.

It should be noted that Yankees Third Baseman Graig Nettles all AL batters in WAR with a nice +8.0 number (finished 16th in the MVP voting) but the overall League leader was Rookie Phenom Mark Fidrych (+9.6) who ended up 11th in the MVP and 2nd in the Cy Young balloting behind Jim Palmer (+6.6) - The Bird did take home the Rookie of the Year Award.

1980 AL MVP George Brett
1982 Topps/Kmart 20th Anniversary #34 George Brett (b-side)

Brett eventually did get an MVP award in 1980. In addition to leading the league with a .390 BA, tops since Ted Williams .406 in 1941 he also put up superlatives in the SABRmetric stats +9.4 WAR and +8.5 oWAR numbers led all AL players. 

The Kmart Retro card is a reprint of the Brett's 1980 Topps #450 card.

Sources and Links
1976 All-Star Team
George Brett HoF index
aWARds Index
Baseball Card Database

No comments:

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions