In this ongoing series, in which I name the all-time starting lineup of players born in Virginia, we turn to the 3rd OF spot. Joining Chesapeake’s Michael Cuddyer and Covington’s Jim Lemon is a speedster player who stole over 200 bases in his career.
The 3rd OF spot goes to……Fredericksburg’s Al Bumbry.
Bumbry was called up the Orioles at the tail end of the 1972 season and from 1973-1984, he shined in Charm City. As an Oriole he batted .283 with 252 SB and 1403 career hits. In his first full season, Bumbry batted .337 with 34 SB and an AL-leading 11 triples to take home the AL Rookie of the Year award. From then on, he took off. He would be in the Top 10 in Stolen Bases 5 times and batting twice. In 1980 he batted .318 with a career high 44 SB and 205 hits (the only 200+ hit season of his career) and was elected to the AL all-star team starting lineup. In 1983, he won a World Series with the Orioles.
He left Baltimore after the 1984 season and played one year with the San Diego Padres before retiring.
On the Orioles franchise all-time lists, his 252 SB are 4th place, 1081 singles are 6th, and 772 runs are 9th.
Al Bumbry was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
On this day, Sunday December 20, the 33rd birthday of Mets star 3B David Wright (Chesapeake), this interesting article from mlb.com, a photo retrospective of his career.
He rose from the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and put together a solid major league career, spanning 15 years, with the Twins, Rockies, and Mets. He was a batting champion and a Silver Slugger. He had numerous other individual accomplishments that very few major leaguers have ever done. He got to play for one season with childhood friend David Wright (Chesapeake).
Michael Cuddyer (Chesapeake) has announced his retirement from baseball, walking away from the last season of his 2-yr contract with the Mets.
In this ongoing series where I pick an all-time roster of Virginia-born ballplayers, we look at the 2nd OF spot.
Joining Michael Cuddyer in the starting OF of TEAM VIRGINIA-The Covington Crusher, Covington-native Jim Lemon.
Lemon played for 4 teams over the course of his career, but is probably best known for his exploits with the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins. During his run with them, (1954-1962), he played in 915 of his 1010 major league games, and hit 159 of his 164 career homers to go with 509 of his 529 career RBIs. He was in the Top 10 in the league in HRs four times and in EBH twice. He also hit a league-leading 11 triples in 1956, and was a 1960 AL All-star.
Lemon was inducted into the Virginia Sports HOF in 1988.
Jim Lemon passed away from cancer at his home in Mississippi on May 14, 2006.
Back from a hiatus, and now we continue this look at picking an all-time Team Virginia, a roster of players, past and present, who have come from our state.
This installment, we name one of the 3 starting outfielders.
The first spot will go to Chesapeake-native Michael Cuddyer.
Cuddyer, the second active MLer to make the team, has been in the major leagues now for 15 seasons. He spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Minnesota Twins, and had an impressive resume. Over the course of his career playing in the Twin Cities, he batted .242 with 141 HRs and 580 RBIs. He also had some flashes of brilliance on defense, leading all AL RFs in assists-twice-and finishing among the league leaders in other key defensive categories.
On May 22, 2009, Cuddyer hit for the cycle in a game against the Brewers. Just 3 months later, on August 23, he hit 2 HRs in the 7th inning of a game against the Royals, becoming the 53rd player ever to accomplish that feat.
Cuddyer left Minnesota after the 2011 season (his first all-star game), and signed on with the Colorado Rockies. While it could have been the climate in Denver, it takes nothing away from the great run he had over 3 seasons playing in the Mile High City. he hit .307 with 46 HRs and 173 RBIs. Arguable his best season of his career came in 2013. Cuddyer was named to his 2nd all-star game, took home the NL batting title (.331) and was named a Silver Slugger. Contributing to his batting crown was a club-record 27-game hitting streak.
On August 27, 2014, Cuddyer hit for the cycle again, the 30th player ever to do so twice and third to do it in both leagues.
Cuddyer left Colorado after 2014 and came closer to home, signing a 2-yr deal with the Mets, jumping at the chance to try and help a rising Mets team win a title and play with fellow Hampton Roads native David Wright.
His debut season was marred by injuries, and he looks to bounce back in 2016 and help bring a title to Queens.
An article from mlb.com about how Melvin Upton (Chesapeake) had his best year in a long time, a ’15 season that probably saves his career. He will be an integral part of the 2016 Padres.
An interesting article from MLB.com about what Justin Upton (Chesapeake) brings to the table for free agency.