Tuesday, April 8, 2008

#331 Brian Downing

Why this card is awesome: Because Downing was signed as an undrafted free agent. By all accounts, Downing was a guy with little natural ability who ended up excelling in MLB through very hard work and sheer determination. Nice!

Cool stat: From 1982 to 1988 (7 seasons) there were 3 guys who hit at least 19 homers every year but never drove in 100 runs. If you're a baseball fan from that period, you might come up with Freddy Lynn or Tom Brunansky, but you'd probably never get Brian Downing, who also did it.

Downing is a pretty underrated player in my opinion. His 1987 was great. A .400 OBP with 110 runs scored. And his career OPS+ is 122.


MMayes said...

I remember when he went from being a platoon catcher with Ed Herrmann in Chicago to a good hitter and looked like he gained about 30 pounds of solid muscle. He talked about his training regimen and that he was one of the first to really work the weights, gaining the nickname "The Incredible Hulk". Of course, if that had happened in the 90's instead of the 70's, what would have been said?

Jim said...

He led off for the Angels alot, which is probably why his RBI totals are low