Nov 20, 2009
Happy Birthday to a Cleanup Hitter
(Card comes from a trade with Play at the Plate)
Ryan Howard turned 30 yesterday, meaning he's no longer a baseball young disciple with unfulfilled potential. He's already established as a legitimate baseball superstar. Let's examine his career chronologically.
2001: Drafted by the Phillies in the 5th round in the June Draft out of Missouri State University. Immediately thought that if he wanted to be drafted by a team in a city with horrible winter, it should be a team that finished above .500 more than once in the last 15 years. Set out on quest to swing heaviest bat in minor leagues.
2002: Struck out 145 times in 135 games at Single-A Lakewood. Decided he did not like riding the bus to the games, so decided to hit 19 HRs as well...all walk-offs... to beat the traffic back home.
2003: Enjoys the FL sunshine in Clearwater to the tune of 23 HRs and a .514 SLG. Teammates show him no respect by not letting him run all the way around the bases (only 67 runs despite .374 OBP) and smearing shaving cream on his face as he sleeps. Responds with the classic hot foot to every offender.
2004: Decides PA is good for him when he hits 48 HRs split between Reading and Scranton. Meets Billy Wagner for one game in Reading and decides he doesn't like him. Begins the only known burn book featuring Jim Thome, otherwise known as the nicest guy in baseball.
2005: Has to listen to trade rumors involving Kip Wells during the offseason. Elected ROY in the NL after opportunity to play surfaces, hitting 22 HR and .924 OPS in 88 games. Celebrates by running up the art museum steps 2005 times.
2006: MVP! MVP!
2007: Phillies clinch NL East division title despite his 199 strikeouts (47 HR and 136 RBI). Experiences first champagne spray, and loves it so much, creates the option in his home jacuzzi.
2008: Practices fielding during spring training with oven mitts to soften hands. Powers the Phillies to World Series title! Enjoys the championship parade, has Chase Utley's speech set as his ringtone.
2009: Continues stellar play in the field, helping lead Phillies to NL pennant (45 HR, 141 RBI, 140 OPS+). Decides to boycott cheesecake and pastrami after World Series.
(Note: Not everything presented here was true or based on any evidence)