Updated: May 29, 2020
Debating the Greatest of All Time is hot in the streets right now with The Last Dance on every Sunday, but it begs the question- was I the greatest 11-year old baseball player of all time? I'll hang up and listen:
I don't want to get into the logistics of who was keeping the book and how generous they were with giving out hits when they were clearly errors because it was my father about half of the time, but that doesn't matter. For one summer, I was the best 11-year old hitter in the I-80 Silver Division.
Don't come at me with the lack of extra-base hits either, when you were a 5'2 140lb first basemen, you focused on line drives right back up the middle and murdering the gaps. While the numbers may appear I didn't murder the gaps, I did but my stumpy ass legs restricted my ability to stretch those singles into doubles and triples. A .564 batting average is unparalleled, and if you really want to argue that batting average is a worthless stat, leave this blog right now. .564 is 125 points higher than the single season batting average record owned by Hugh Duffy when he hit .439 in 1894. I'd argue that my season was more impressive than his considering his competition was delivering milk or working in a mill on their off days while my competition had their parents investing thousands of dollars into them a year because they were convinced their son was the next Danny Almonte while in reality they were closer to Monee Davis.
But if you really want to argue about important stats, let's take a peak at the Slugging and OBP
Alexa show the stats
Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth are the only two individuals to have a Iger OPS than me in a single season, and I have no argument against that. The greatest baseball player of all time and Babe Ruth, I understand that I can't compare. But based on these numbers with only having 6 extra-base hits that summer, my Average with RISP must have been off the charts. Elite level production, my team that summer won like 10 games and if I had to guess what my WAR was, it would've been about a 7 despite being a defensive liability at first base. Frank Thomas wasn't perfect either, ladies and gentlemen.
The most impressive part about these stats though? Walking more than I struck out at 11-years old. That takes next level restraint paired with an eye like Nick Madrigal. Granted most kids threw more balls than strikes at that age and only threw a fastball and changeup with the occasional knuckleball, it wasn't that difficult to sit in the batters box and guess what was coming, I'm still convinced my eye could have been good enough for the bigs that year. Not saying that I could've gotten a hit off of a professional pitcher, maybe Odrisamer Despaigne, but I could've stood in the batter's box and crouched down like every right fielder growing up and taken a walk at the big league level.
Hate my take or not, you can't deny the dominance I displayed as an 11-year old. I did all of this with a separated shoulder and a thrown out back, so who knows what could ave happened if I wasn't perpetually injured? .600 average? A few home runs? Less strikes outs? I guess we'll never know, but I do know that this season was the first time my parents truly believed that their son wasn't a fat loser.