By Josh Kramer
Only 13 players have ever captured the MLB Triple Crown (has happened 15 times). The last player to accomplish the phenomenal feat was Carl Yastrzemski way back in 1967. That year, the Red Sox led by Yaz, were defeated by St. Louis in seven games during an epic World Series. 45 years is a long time. On Tuesday night, Josh Hamilton became the 16th player to hit four home runs in a single game. By October, could Hamilton put together the 16th Triple Crown in MLB history?
Josh Hamilton has been a prodigious figure since he was a child. Hamilton looked like a professional as he dominated the amateur ranks throughout his childhood. If you take away the off-the-field issues, who knows if Hamilton could have been the greatest of all time. It is all kind of reminiscent of Mickey Mantle in various ways. I do know one thing. Hamilton is the most talented player in baseball in the present (sorry Matt Kemp). Josh Hamilton has a freakish 6 foot 4, 240 pound frame, yet he still can run like a gazelle. Just call him the LeBron James of the MLB. The guy is a true five tool player and has to make you wonder what could have been.
Contract years usually lead to big time production. Just ask Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder, and Albert Pujols. Hamilton is currently in the last year of his current contract. And the way he is playing, he may not only capture his second MVP award and lead Texas to their first World Series title in franchise history, but he also could capture the mythical Triple Crown. Talk about redemption.
Hamilton is 18 points ahead of the rest of the AL in terms of batting average (Derek Jeter), four home runs ahead of the pack, and 10 RBIs in front of the next challenger. Want to know the best part? Despite Rangers Ballpark in Arlington not exactly being known for the long ball, Hamilton is a part of the most lethal lineup in all of baseball. Anyone who pitches around this guy will pay the price. It is by no means a one man show in Arlington. They currently lead the Major Leagues in hits, average, and runs.
So what if it has been 45 years since the last Triple Crown winner. Hamilton is a once a lifetime type of player and story (a rare combo). Do not be surprised if Hamilton is still in contention to wear the crown come October. Regardless of what happens, his life story would be a heck of a movie. We are watching history in the making.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.