By Marty Watts
For Enchantment Sports
Can Albuquerque’s Alex Bregman make baseball history?
Will he be named the American League Most Valuable Player?
This weekend will determine the former. And maybe the latter, as well.
The Albuquerque Academy graduate is already on a very, very short list of today’s most elite players. But he soon could join a list of some of the greatest players in baseball history as well.
However, will he be given a fair chance?
Going into this weekend, the Houston Astros superstar has filled all of the stats except one to reach a magical plateau.
Bregman has reached all categories except batting average. He is hitting .297 heading into tonight’s game.
Tonight (Sept. 27), the Astros continue their final series of the regular season at the LA Angels. On Friday, the Angels won the opener 4-3 in 12 innings.
The teams play again on Saturday and finish the regular season on Sunday.
But as fate — and maybe misfortune — has it, Bregman is also is also battling for another individual honor’ American League Most Valuable Player.
The award should come down to Bregman and the Angels’ Mike Trout — who is out injured and out for the season. Trout was sitting in the Angels’ dugout in street clothes on Friday, while the team pitched around Bregman all night.
The hapless Angels obviously want Trout, not the Burque Bomber — as Mark Ticky Smith calls Bregman — to be named MVP. While the Astros have the best record in baseball at 104-55, the Angles are a pitiful 72-87.
Alex went 0 for 4 on Friday with two walks, and was barely thrown a good pitch all night.
So back to the list of legends with 40 homers, 100 RBI, 100 runs, 100 walks and a .300 average in a single season.
Here are the 11:
Ralph Kiner; Babe Ruth; Barry Bonds; Jim Thome; Lou Gehrig; Hank Greenberg; Frank Thomas; Mark McGwire; Jeff Bagwell; Sammy Sosa; Mickey Mantle.
Trout, by the way, has never accomplished the feat. Matter of fact, it’s so rare that Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Ted Williams never did either.
Bregman is trying to become the 12th.
Another interesting twist to Bregman’s quest is that the final game falls on Rosh Hoshanna, the Jewish New Year. Bregman is Jewish.
If he doesn’t play on Sunday, that leaves him just two games left to reach the magical .300 mark.
In 1965, Sandy Koufax didn’t pitch in the first game of the World Series, which fell on Yom Kippur. There have been many occasions when Jewish players sat out the High Holy Days of Rosh Hoshanna and Yom Kippur.
So for the best team in baseball and the best player in baseball, it could be quite an interesting weekend despite the Astros having clinched the playoffs weeks ago.
Marty Watts is sales and marketing director for ProView Networks . He also is a director for Sports Properties, an Entertainment Company. Marty is a co-host of a Saturday morning call-in show with Fred Hultberg on 101.7 FM each Saturday.