In June Major League Baseball teams launched their team-centric All-Star Game marketing campaigns. Last week team’s stepped up their PR as the deadline closed in Thursday night. The effort generated a single-day record 3.8 million votes. But, for all the hype and hometown pride, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is pathetic.
In 1964, the Cincinnati Reds signed 28-year old Frank Robinson to a one-year, $50,000 deal.
Robinson finished fourth in the National League Most Valuable Player voting that season, playing in 156 games, hitting .306 with 29 home runs, 96 RBI and an on-base percentage was .396 (not bad for a power-hitting, middle of the lineup guy). The Reds finished tied for second in 1964 with a 92-70 record, losing the division by a single game to the St. Louis Cardinals. In hindsight, Robinson was a steal.
Whenever I see a sports publication comparing teams (or players) from different generations I want to scream. You can’t compare Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron, the 1927 New York Yankees and the 1998 New York Yankees or today’s “what if …” scenario offered up by NESN, the Boston sports network.