Down with Chipper! Down with Chipper!
There are plenty of amazing things about Jeff Bagwell's 1999 campaign. The reason we're talking about it is because he posted a .591 slugging percentage that season and we've already established I like to round up or down to suit my needs. Today, it's finding a good angle for Game No. 59.
And this is a doozy. Do you know how colossally robbed Jeff Bagwell was of the MVP award in 1999?
Bagwell had 143 runs scored that season and 149 walks. Both led the league. Do you know how many seasons in MLB have seen a player put up 143 or more runs with 149 or more walks?
Four. Two by Babe Ruth, one by Ted Williams and one by Jeff Bagwell.
Yeah, that's pretty good.
Only two of those four seasons resulted in MVP wins, though, but that's only because they didn't freaking award the MVP in one of Ruth's two seasons. I'm pretty sure he wins otherwise.
P.S. - If you're keeping score...the only player since 1949 to hit those marks (leading the league in both categories, by the way), didn't come close to unseating Chipper Jones for MVP.
Bagwell also put up a 30-30 season, stealing 30 bases and hitting 42 home runs. That's three behind Chipper's 45, but in every other significant category, Bagwell had the edge. Runs scored? 143 to 116. RBIs? (Yeah, I know they don't count, but MVP voters like them) 126 to 110. OBP? .454 to .441. Bags even played in more games, starting all 162 that season, for just the fourth time in his career.
Still not good enough to take down Chipper.
You can't even say Atlanta was head and shoulders above Houston that season, since the Braves won 103 games and Houston won 97. That's six games different, but 97 wins is still impressive. It's not like the '97 season, when Houston barely got to .500 and won the division.
No, BagPipes was robbed of this one.