Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mike Schmidt - 1979

Mike had a pretty good year in 1979, especially considering his subpar 1978 season. in 1979 he hit 45 home runs (good for 2nd in the league, Kingman was first with 48) and 114 rbis, good for 3rd in the league. His .541 slugging percentage was also good for 2nd in the league. Although he was third in strikeouts with 115 (Dave Kingman led the league with a whopping 131 K's), he led the league in bases-on-balls with 120.

He was in at least the top 10, and usually in the top 3 in all power hitting categories. He also appeared in his 4th straight All-Star game and won his 4th straight Gold Glove at 3rd base.

Slugging % - .564 (2nd)
OPS - .950 (3rd)
Runs - 109 (5th)
Total Bases - 305 (7th)
Extra base hits - 74 (2nd)

The Phillies, however, had a disappointing season. They had won the NL East division the past 3 seasons, winning 292 games in that stretch. But they couldn't win the Divisional Playoff series. Over the winter, the Phillies signed Pete Rose to a 4-year, $3.2 million contract. It doesn't sound like much today, but it made him the highest paid athlete in team sports at the time. Pete Rose was to be the spark that took them to the World Series.

But the team sputtered along finishing 4th with an 84-78 record. The Phillies fired Danny Ozark, who had been manager since 1973 in late August, and replaced him with Dallas Green. Dallas Green was to be the last piece of the puzzle which would take the Phillies to the World Series in 1980. That and Mike Schmidt's first NL MVP season (and perhaps the best season of his career).

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