Magglio Ordonez broke his ankle yet again and is done for the postseason as a result (the good news for the Tigers is that Delmon Young will try to play through his oblique issue). There are numerous reports that Mags might decided to hang up his spikes after dealing with constant pain in the ankle for the majority of the season (it appears that he will at least confer with doctors on Monday before making a decision about his future). If he retires, he’ll leave behind one of the better careers that few people truly respect. Let’s examine.
Many don’t know it, but Ordonez owns a career batting average of .309. From 1997-2011, the span of his career, only 13 other men who had at least 3,000 plate appearances in that time had a better batting average. If we up that total to 5,000 plate appearances he’s moves up to 10th on the list.
Never a huge power bat, Ordonez nonetheless still hit at least 29 homers in 5-straight years (1999-2003), reached the 20 homer plateau eight times, and averaged 26 long balls per 162 games played for his career.
A rather prolific run producer, Ordonez has seven seasons of at least 150 games played and each of those seven years he knocked in at least 99 runs. His total of 1,236 RBI from 1997-2011 was the 16th best total in the game.
Put all that together and for his career Ordonez produced a pace of .309-26-108 with 94 runs scored per 162 games. That’s pretty darn good is it not? Furthermore, do you know how many players hit .300 with 275 homers, 1,200 RBI and 1,000 runs from 1997-2011? The answer is six men:
Some more Mags facts.
He was named to six All-Star teams.
He won three Silver Slugger awards.
He’s in the top-120 in the history of baseball in batting average (.309 is 116th), SLG (.502 is 91st) an OPS (.871 is 113th).
I’m not saying anything crazy like he should one day be elected to the Hall of Fame one day, but I do think that he is one of those players who history might end up being more kind to with a little bit of distance and perspective. If he had played in another era, perhaps the 1970′s and 80′s, his numbers would have looked much more impressive. Instead, he played during the juiced ball, and juiced player era, which renders his 26 homers per 162 game pace as a less than impressive mark. However, if you need any reminder as to why he was such a good overall hitter just look back up and re-read group list of six men that he belongs to – that should help to bring you around to the realization that he was one hell of a hitter during his career.
Oh, and for those of you wondering, the high school reunion on the weekend went very well. Got to catch up with a few of the old gang, pulled back on a few Long Island’s, and was able to relieve some of my past glory (I felt like Al Bundy from Married with Children). I also caught up with my best gal friend from high school, and that was a blast. I know what you’re all thinking – your single Ray, go for it. She’s happily married so that’s a no go. Anyway, you know I already have the neighbor’s wife around if I want to go to hell for being the guy that breaks up marriages.
By Ray Flowers