CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article An Agent's Take: Navig... (01/30)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Skewed Left: Bobby Abr... (01/23)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Truth... (02/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Po... (01/30)

January 30, 2014

Skewed Left

Saying Goodbye to Lance Berkman

by Zachary Levine


My favorite baseball player informed the world of his retirement yesterday, if I’m allowed to say that sort of thing and keep my BBWAA card. Lance Berkman had all the qualities of a favorite player before I started covering the game, when I was allowed to have a real favorite. He was a personality. He played on really good and interesting teams. He was a saber-appreciated player given his skill set. He hit left-handed. (OK, he nominally switch-hit, but really, he hit left-handed.)

But I didn’t really have favorites when I was just a fan, and so my favorite players were the ones who were fun to talk with as a reporter, and Berkman was absolutely that. I didn’t have the pleasure of covering him for long—I started covering the Astros something resembling full-time in 2010, the year it all started going bad and he was traded to the Yankees. But he was without a doubt the most interesting and outspoken ballplayer—on topics from drugs to the state of his or any other franchise to Bud Selig—I’ve ever dealt with. He had the best grasp of the business of baseball and his role as a player in that business. And the fact that he was pleasant never hurt and won’t hurt when Hall of Fame ballots are due in five years.

The testimonials are all over Twitter from writers, broadcasters, and fans. Mine will be mostly a little different—a testimonial to Lance Berkman’s career through trivia, anecdotes, and musings. An appreciation:

1. He should have been the last link to the Astrodome.
Berkman served a unique role in Astros history. He was the only true link between the primes of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, whose teams went to six postseasons in nine years from 1997-2005, to the laughingstock of the 2010s.Nobody else in franchise history came close to surviving both this hideousness and this hideousness with continuous service.

He should have been the last link to another piece of Astros history, but because of recent events, he will not be the last active player to have played his home games at the Astrodome, which shut its doors after Berkman’s debut season of 1999.

That honor will belong to a forgotten Houston Astro, Bobby Abreu, who was on the team in 1996 and 1997 before the Devil Rays took him in the expansion draft and traded him to the Phillies.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Lance Berkman

18 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article An Agent's Take: Navig... (01/30)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Skewed Left: Bobby Abr... (01/23)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Truth... (02/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Po... (01/30)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Minor League Update: AFL Recap for Games of ...
Hot Stove Scouting Report: Max Scherzer
Hot Stove Scouting Report: Nelson Cruz
Premium Article Pitching Backward: Sing, Sing, Sing, for the...
Premium Article Painting the Black: That Time We All Hated t...
Playoff Prospectus: The Giants Win The World...
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bum Deal

MORE FROM JANUARY 30, 2014
The Lineup Card: Nine Moves that Teams Still...
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Positional Preview: High...
Premium Article An Agent's Take: Navigating Free Agency
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Orioles Adding Arms?
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 S...
Fantasy Article Get to Know: Second Base Prospects
Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Jurickson Profar vs. Antho...

MORE BY ZACHARY LEVINE
2014-02-13 - Point/Counterpoint
2014-02-13 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Fun with 2014 PECOTA Comparable...
2014-02-06 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Truth About One-Day Contrac...
2014-01-30 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Saying Goodbye to Lance Berkman
2014-01-23 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Bobby Abreu, the Phillies, and ...
2014-01-16 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Historical Precedent for an...
2014-01-07 - Premium Article Skewed Left: What the 1936 Hall of Fame Ball...
More...

MORE SKEWED LEFT
2014-02-27 - Premium Article Skewed Left: What it Means to Move Off Catch...
2014-02-13 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Fun with 2014 PECOTA Comparable...
2014-02-06 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Truth About One-Day Contrac...
2014-01-30 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Saying Goodbye to Lance Berkman
2014-01-23 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Bobby Abreu, the Phillies, and ...
2014-01-16 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Historical Precedent for an...
2014-01-07 - Premium Article Skewed Left: What the 1936 Hall of Fame Ball...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2014-02-03 - Premium Article Overthinking It: Searching for Switch-Hitter...