I love baseball. Always have. Hank Aaron was my favorite player of all time – still is. But even Hammerin’ Hank did not do what Albert Pujols just did.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Albert Pujols is a serious stud. I love the way he plays the game. He has what contemporary culture would call “mad skills”. My complaint is that he’s too good. So good, he has helped to ruin the best baseball trivia question of all time. I mean of all time.
Of course, he wasn’t the first to ruin the greatest trivia question. Frank Thomas and Barry Bonds ruined it before him. I’m talking about an obscure fact I learned in the early 80’s just after Dale Murphy won his back-t0-back MVP awards in 1982 and 83. Prior to Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds and, now, Albert Pujols, the greatest baseball trivia question of all time was this: “In the history of baseball, nine players have won back-t0-back MVP awards. Ironically, there is a player at each of the nine positions. Name them.”
Here they are (were):
Pitcher – Hal Newhouser (1944-45)
Catcher – Yogi Berra (1954-55)
First Base – Jimmie Foxx (1932-33)
Second Base – Joe Morgan (1975-76)
Shortstop – Ernie Banks (1958-59)
Third Base – Mike Schmidt (1980-81)
Outfield – Mickey Mantle (1956-57), Roger Maris (1960-61), Dale Murphy (1982-83)
Of course you can add Thomas to 1st base, Bonds to the outfield and now Pujols. Oh well. As Yogi said, “”I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.'”