MVP KRIS BRYANT MAKES HISTORY – AGAIN
Kris Bryant took home the highest individual honor in the MLB on Thursday November 17 when the BBWAA named him the NL MVP in a near unanimous vote ( one second place vote ) . Lost in the shuffle was the fact that he became the first player in the history of baseball to win the following awards in FOUR CONSECUTIVE SEASONS :
- 2013 NCAA GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WINNER
- 2014 MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- 2015 NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
- 2016 NL MVP
This may takes its place alongside the records that will never be broken such as Joe Dimaggios 56 game hitting streak and Cy Young and his 511 career victories . To put THAT one in perspective , a pitcher would have to win 25 games a year for 20 consecutive years and he would still fall short by 11 victories . And we all know that only two players in MLB history could ONLY manage to get a hit in 44 consecutive games – Pete Rose and Wee Willie Keeler !
As a result , the University of San Diego , where Kris spent 3 of the best years of his life have decided to honor him by installing his retired number 23 on the top of the 80 foot high left field light tower with an arrow pointing up towards the sky to commemorate an epic home run he hit against the University of Saint Louis on a cold , damp , drizzly night in March of his junior year that I estimated , with a lot of help from Google satellite technology , to have travelled over 600 feet . Believe me , I do not take that statement lightly . Fact is that two people had the perfect perspective to watch this gargantuan blast – me at field level and my good friend Jack Murray , the USD play by play announcer who was sitting 30 feet above me on the same line of the ball flight in his official radio announcers booth . The ball exited off of Kris’ bat at AT LEAST the same velocity as the one that travelled 495′ at Wrigley Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks which was the longest home run in MLB during his rookie season last year . It disappeared into the thick marine layer that night in San Diego and was RISING at what Jack estimated to be 25+ feet above the 80 foot light tower . With these coordinates in mind , Google Earth had the ball CRESTING at 430 feet before it began its descent on to the practice football field over the left field wall . It was very easy for me to estimate where it landed because of the vast open space on the other side of the wall . The ball was NEVER found . Rumor has it that Bigfoot came out the canyon to the left of the football field and grabbed it for himself ! It surfaced on e-bay recently with a price tag of $2 million dollars . Except they can’t find the seller !
All joking aside , I have never ever seen a ball hit like this in my life .
While Kris has never hesitated to give his Old Man props for his success , I would like to hand out a few to the ONLY people that coached my son prior to the start of his professional career . Kudos to my great friend , Matt Lawrence , who is currently fighting lung cancer and underwent surgery to remove a portion of his lung on the date the MVP Award was announced . Matt coached Kris in club ball when he was 14 and played with last years MVP Bryce Harper . Derek Stafford and his coaching staff at Bonanza High School coached Kris for 4 years at Bonanza and afforded me the privilege of coaching with them as their hitting coach during Kris junior year . This was very special for me to be a part of his high school career and I am forever grateful for that . Rich Hill and Jay Johnson and their staff at USD were awesome and helped Kris develop into the ballplayer and man he is today . While others may claim to be a part of Kris development , albeit very disingenuous , these are the people who were very influential that I am proud to say are still my friends . There simply were NO OTHERS and I give you heartfelt thanks for your belief in my son .
Next article . . . . . . Billy Ripken has some awesome suggestions on how to deal with the poor strike zone judgment of umpires in the MLB . You don’t want to miss this one !