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One for the Ages

Posted on 10 October 2007 by Trevor Kapp

The 2007 baseball season will forever be remembered as the year that saw one team become the first franchise in professional sports to lose 10,000 games, arguably the greatest pitcher in history come out of retirement to reinvigorate the most famous franchise in sports and perhaps the most controversial figure in sports history break the most famous record.

It was the year in which the New York Mets blew what seemed like an insurmountable seven game lead with 17 games left to play. That cataclysmic collapse left all of New York wondering if perhaps this was the price they had to pay for being given Bill Buckner’s error in game six of the 1986 World Series.

The Philadelphia Phillies proved that injury, age and the toughest town to play in throughout the entire country mean nothing when a team is determined. Before the year began, Phillies veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins proclaimed the Phillies “were the team to beat” in the National League East. While questioned by fans, analysts and reporters, Rollins did everything to back up his claim. He put together an MVP caliber season in which he became just the fourth player ever to record twenty doubles, twenty triples, twenty home runs and twenty stolen bases in one season.

It was the year in which Craig Biggio joined the likes of Ty Cobb, Roberto Clemente and Tony Gwynn by notching his 3000th hit. The overshadowed Biggio will retire in the coming weeks, but his career was truly one for the ages. He broke in as a catcher, before switching to second base and eventually to the outfield, finally finishing his career back at second. While the World Series ring managed to elude him, Biggio will forever be remembered as a gutsy, hardnosed player who played the game the right way. No one has been hit by more pitches than Biggio. More significantly, Biggio played an entire career with one team, something Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. cannot claim.

It was the year in which Sammy Sosa silenced the critics by belting his 600th home run against the team he became famous with, the Chicago Cubs. While corked bats and steroid allegations will always surround “Slammin’ Sammy,” Sosa showed that reporters, fans and most importantly general managers were wrong in saying that he had nothing left. Although this controversy may prevent him from making it to Cooperstown, Sosa’s hard work and determination should be admired.

More important than any hit or any strikeout, 2007 was the year in which the supposed underdogs rose up. It was the year in which Commissioner Bud Selig came off as if he actually knew something about the national pastime. The Philadelphia Phillies are in the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Amidst a manager kicking dirt and punches being thrown in the dugout and on the field, the Chicago Cubs prevailed to take the National League Central. The Arizona Diamondbacks, led by names unfamiliar to most including Cy Young candidate Brandon Webb and hard swinging outfielder Chris Young, won the National League West, something manager Bob Melvin himself would have deemed unlikely at the beginning of the season. The Colorado Rockies showed that the thinness of the air means nothing. Matt Holliday put together an MVP caliber season and Troy Tulowitzki emerged as one of the bright young stars of today’s game. If the playoffs are anything like the regular season, we are in for quite the treat.
Last Updated ( Friday, 02 November 2007 )

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