Who Am I? | July 20, 2011 (Hall of Fame Weekend Edition)

****Remember, try this without research. Release your inner James Joyce and show us your stream of consciousness as you decipher the answer. Add to that the teachings of Myagi: patience. If you don’t get the answer right away, give your brain a chance to work if for no other reason than to stay in the discussion. You may not have THE answer, but you might prompt another reader by asking the right question.

 

By Chas

I was one of the great ones. That’s right, I have a plaque in Cooperstown.

I’m one of two Hall of Famers who was born in Baltimore. The other guy is a way bigger deal. You know, an icon…one of those guys with multiple nicknames, a larger than life figure who played most of his career in a stadium they supposedly built for him.

I was a pretty special player too. So much so I was signed right out of high school and made my major league debut at the age of 18. The next year I was a full-time starter, and the following season I finished second in MVP voting.

As it turns out, I never won an MVP,but I finished in the top 10 in the voting nine times, including three top 3 finishes. Every time I finished in the top three, I was beaten out by Yankees. Even when I finished third, the top two vote-getters were those damn pinstripers.

I did earn my share of accolades, though. What do you think about 10 Gold Gloves and 15 All-Star selections? Not too bad, huh? Of course, the ultimate honor was a first-ballot Hall of Fame induction. There aren’t that many people who can say that.

I didn’t make very many postseason appearances, however. You can probably guess why. I played my entire career for one team, and we happened to be in the same league as the Yankees. I did finally make it, though, kind of late in my career. We had a phenomenal season, led by a starting pitcher who accomplished something that hadn’t been done in over 30 years, and hasn’t been matched since.

In the World Series, our ace was twice out-pitched by their ace, a guy who had a pretty historic season himself and who would enter the Hall of Fame the year after me. But, a different pitcher for our team came back on two days rest to out-duel said Hall of Famer in a game-seven matchup that earned him the Series MVP. It was his third complete game victory in the Series, a truly historic performance.

If not for that player, I had an MVP-worthy performance (11-for-29, 6 runs, 2 HR, 8 RBI) myself. But, as usual, I was outshined.

I came pretty close to being the first player to ever collect over 3000 hits and 400 home runs solely in the American League, but Carl Yastrzemski later earned that distinction.

I wasn’t outshined on the day I got into Cooperstown, though. Well, I was inducted alongside another legendary player, but it was his 11th year on the ballot. Like I said, I was voted in my first year on the ballot. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Who Am I?

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