Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wally Gerber, 1926 St. Louis Browns

Wally Gerber's success in Major League baseball is a mystery to me. In 1923, Gerber came fourth in AL MVP voting after having racked up 1 home run, 62 ribbies, and a .281/.342/.339 slash line. For some reason, that put him just behind Babe Ruth, Eddie Collins, and Harry Heilmann in voting, and ahead of Cleveland's Joe Sewell (109 RBI, .935 OPS) and teammate Ken Williams (29 HR, 1.062 OPS), who finished 15th. Three years after his first flirtation with the MVP, Gerber came 23rd in MVP voting in what many sensible people would call a truly awful season. It may be that I'm missing something in retrospect, but usually I don't think of a shortstop from a 62-92 team, who has 8 double, 37 runs scored, and 0 stolen bases as MVP material. The icing on the cake was that Gerber became the only player in history to collect 110+ hits (111) and fewer than 120 total bases (119). How hard is that? Well, it required Gerber to get all of 8 extra-base hits in 473 plate appearances. In what may be history's least amazing twist of fate, perennial MVP candidate Gerber was out of baseball by 1930.

110+ hits, 120- total bases

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