Everyone knows how the trade went; Edinson Volquez packed his bags for Cincinnati and is dominating the
National League Majors. Josh Hamilton went to Texas, where he currently leads the American League in Homeruns (19), RBI (74), and is 6th in batting average (.315). Both were always highly touted prospects, Hamilton overcoming his own problems and quickly bursting onto the scene in 2008 as a top major league talent with a bat in his hands.
Everyone knows the hitting triple-crown is something we don't see too often. Ted Williams did it twice along with Rogers Hornsby, Ty Cobb did it with 9 homeruns while leading the league in steals too, and other great names like Mantle, Foxx, Yastrzemski, Robinson, Lajoie, Gehrig, Duffy, Klein, and Medwick did it, and of course Tip O'Neill. Is it at all possible that we see Hamilton's name on that list by the end of this season?
I absolutely think it's possible, especially with him hitting in Arlington in half his games. With his talent, his age, and the lineup around him, there is a good possibility that he ends up on top of the league in homers, runs batted in, and batting average. There is, however, one interesting obstacle that he may have to overcome that could make a very interesting case.
Josh Hamilton watches his AL leading 19th homerun.
Not many people know the story of the 1910 Chalmers Award (MVP of the time) given to the batting leader in the league, along with a car. The race came down to Ty Cobb and Nap Lajoie. The controversy goes that Cobb had a high enough average to win the award and took the final few games off, where as the St. Louis Browns, who hated Cobb (along with the rest of the league), conspired to get Lajoie the batting title, and allowed him to go 8-for-8 in a season-ending doubleheader, 6 of which were bunt singles not for sacrifices. In the end, to be fair, both players were awarded a car, even though as it later turned out, both batting averages were tainted that year (Cobb had a base hit counted twice).
As I look at the standings, there is an obstacle that Hamilton would have to overcome, and his name is Milton Bradley. Yes, Bradley is leading the AL in batting average at .330, and is having a fantastic season. Let's just get to a hypothetical situation that I can forsee.
Come September 28th, the Rangers are at Angel Stadium in the final game of the season. They are out of playoff contention, no deals have been made to move Bradley, and both are in the lineup, and hypothetically Bradley has an average of .327, Hamilton has an average of .326, and is leading the league in homers and RBI.
Could, or would it be at all possible that to witness history and help a teammate attain an achievement that hasn't been reached since 1967, that Milton Bradley lets himself lose the batting title to Josh Hamilton, and we see a conspiracy on the level of the 1910 Chalmers Award?