You think we don’t have home runs today. Think about baseball fans of 1988. The entire National League saw just two players hit 30 long balls. No team averaged one HR/game that season.
This was on the heels of a record-setting 1987 when 19 teams averaged one homer per night.
Twenty-eight players hit thirty bombs in ’87 including:
- 40 year-old Darrell Evans
- 21 year-old Ruben Sierra
- Larry Sheets….a man who hit more career HR’s in the minors than the big leagues
Now that the Detroit Tigers have locked up future hall-of-famer Miguel Cabrera through age forty we are hearing a lot of backlash against the contract. The criticism is fair and relevant but I want to peek at the upside.
In the past six decades I found a dozen productive power hitters at age 40 or older. One occurred just last year in Seattle. Raul Ibanez hit 29 home runs at age 41. This just happened!
Will Miguel Cabrera be a better hitter at age 40 than Raul Ibanez? If so, then this deal doesn’t look that bad.
The worst of this lot was Ibanez and he went for 20 doubles, 29 HR’s and 123 OPS+ at age 41. I think the Tigers would be pleased if Miggy had an Ibanez-like year in 2023.