Monday, February 4, 2013
February 4- Kansas City Royals
Looking back on the history of hats in Major League Baseball, I found it kind of odd that this was the first predominantly baby blue ever worn. Now, before you argue with me on this, keep in mind that the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers and Montreal Expos only wore powder blue uniforms, not hats. Still have an argument? Well, you could argue that the Tampa Bay Rays batting practice hat could qualify; therefore, no On Field caps have been that shade of blue prior to the 2010-2011 Royals alternate hat. (Bases covered!)
Personally I’ve never really been that big of a fan of powder/baby blue as I’ve always associated it the University of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team. And UNC is certainly high on my “teams I will always hate” list, right underneath the New York Knicks, but above the Minnesota Twins. So, with only having a two-year window to commemorate, it actually made picking numbers to mark my hat with relatively easy.
#4- Alex Gordon had long been projected as the Royals ace in the hole since they drafted him with the second overall pick in the 2005 amateur draft; however, dude pal was certainly not living up to the hype. The “second coming of George Brett” struggled from his rookie year in 2007-2010; both at the plate and on the field. Gordon’s best season came in 2008 when he hit .260 with 16 home runs and 59 RBI. Not exactly killing it, but decent nonetheless. It really wasn’t until the 2011 season that Gordon finally spread his wings and flew. Oddly enough, I was able to pick up Gordon in the 12th round of my fantasy baseball draft. A pick that would prove to be most effective by season’s end. The Royals were in the midst of bringing up prospect Mike Moustakas at some point during the 2011 season that he moved Alex Gordon to left field early to give him to prepare. Not only did this fill an outfield void, it really boosted Gordon’s confidence. With the pressure off at the hot corner Gordon played like a champion. He posted career numbers at the plate: .303/23/87 and even won a Gold Glove for his service at the 7-spot. Finally, Gordon was living up to the potential that scouts had projected. Plus, he was one of my fantasy MVPs. Good on ya kid!
#35- I had been hearing a lot about Eric Hosmer since he was drafted as the third overall pick back in 2008. Like Gordon, Hosmer was projected to be the next big thing in the American League. Since Gordon was projected to be he next George Brett, I think it’s fair to say that Hosmer was the second coming of Steve Balboni. Roughly a quarter of the way into the season Yost platooned Hosmer in at first base as then first baseman Kila Ka’aihue wasn’t exactly cutting the mustard at the plate. One of the most notable games I recall came during his first trip to Yankee Stadium. On Wednesday, May 11 Hosmer got the start against AJ Burnett. The previous day Hosmer had gone 0-3; however, against Burnett, Hosmer proved he was worthy of the show. Hosmer’s family had come in from Florida for the game, and in the fourth inning, Eric cranked his first career home run. Burnett and all of Yankee Stadium knew it was gone after it went off the bat. Not a bad way to make your family proud. Hosmer continued to hit well the rest of the season, which sent Ka’aihue back down to AAA. Hosmer’s final marks: .293/19/78. Hosmer played in 23 fewer games than Gordon, and when you compare the numbers, you have to tip your cap to the kid. Not a bad 2011 for those two.