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Hochman: Joe Medwick’s household shares emotions on Paul Goldschmidt’s Triple Crown quest for Cardinals | Benjamin Hochman


With September warming up within the bullpen, the surreal will quickly flirt with actuality. Paul Goldschmidt might accomplish one thing that hasn’t been accomplished because the Nice Despair.

Over the generations, most well-known baseball marks has been matched — Roger Maris’ and Hank Aaron’s, Lou Gehrig’s and Lou Brock’s — however not one Nationwide League participant has gained the Triple Crown since 1937.

That season, the Cardinals’ Joe Medwick gained the famend crown, main the league in batting common (.374), dwelling runs (31) and RBIs (154).

Eighty-five seasons since, nobody pulled it off, not Stan Musial or Willie Mays or Aaron. Not Larry Walker or Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols.

However getting into Sunday’s recreation, the Cardinals’ Goldschmidt was first within the NL in batting common (.338), second in dwelling runs (33, two behind Kyle Schwarber’s 35) and tied for first in RBIs (105).

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This can be a huge deal. And baseball followers have been following this story seemingly from Cuba to Cuba, the tiny Missouri city the place Joe Medwick III lives.

Does he need Goldschmidt to be the primary NL Triple Crown winner since his grandpa?

“Sure,” Medwick III, 60, mentioned by telephone Sunday. “I believe with the season that he is had, and from what I perceive, he is an exquisite individual, very right down to earth, so if he ought to occur to win the title, he could be very gracious. If it occurs, I don’t assume we might have a greater man to do it. Possibly I’ll meet him sometime and shake his hand.”

He mentioned “we” as a result of he’s a Playing cards fan. From his Crawford County city — the place the inhabitants is close to Pujols’ profession hit whole — he typically follows the crew on KMOX radio as a result of his satellite tv for pc service doesn’t get the video games on TV. In a method, it’s becoming — simply as followers of Joe Medwick adopted his 1937 Triple Crown chase on radio, Joe Medwick III does the identical for Goldschmidt’s.

Down in Tampa, Florida, Lisa Medwick-Levy caught the Playing cards in individual this summer time in opposition to the Rays. Her husband, nevertheless, is a Pink Sox fan. His hero was Carl Yastrzemski, who gained the American League Triple Crown in 1967 (a feat matched solely as soon as since — in 2012 by Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera).

Lisa has pretty, sun-soaked recollections of her grandfather. She would play catch with the nice Cardinal within the entrance yard. He would generally convey her Bazooka bubble gum. At spring coaching, she’d sit beside him within the field seats, whereas little youngsters nervously approached the Corridor of Famer for an autograph. Her grandfather handed away in 1975 — he had been at Lisa’s dwelling for dinner the evening earlier than.

“I believe he’s type of the forgotten hero, to be trustworthy with you,” Medwick-Levy, 58, mentioned by telephone. “To have a file that is lasted that lengthy? You hear about Stan Musial — Uncle Stan to us — and also you hear about these different gamers, nevertheless it’s type of like he’s the forgotten one. So I like to listen to that some individuals keep in mind him — it all the time makes my coronary heart heat.”

On one hand, although Medwick gained the Triple Crown and is in Cooperstown, he simply doesn’t appear to get all the popularity he deserves. Then again, each time an NL participant has dallied with the concept of a Triple Crown, Medwick obtained particular recognition.

Such is the case this season. And of all of the groups, the man who might lastly win the NL Triple Crown is definitely on the Cardinals.

“I believe that information are made to be damaged,” Medwick-Levy mentioned. “And I believe if he performs that onerous and will get these numbers, then I believe he deserves it. I imply, how are you going to not be joyful for the man?”

It’s attention-grabbing that she used the phrase “file.” As a result of that’s the factor about Medwick’s Triple Crown mark. It’s not like somebody is eclipsing him, comparable to when the Cardinals’ Mark McGwire hit 70 dwelling runs to interrupt Maris’ file of 61. If Goldschmidt wins it, he’s merely incomes the identical achievement Medwick did — and could be the primary to do it since Medwick did.

However after all, if Goldschmidt will get it, it is going to really feel like Medwick’s “run” is over. 

However the truth that Medwick’s feat has not been matched for many years (and many years and many years) solely magnifies how exceptional it actually was. In that very same 1937 season, the 12 months he gained the MVP, Medwick additionally led the league in runs (111), hits (237) and doubles (56).

And he’s without end a champion — he had a .954 OPS within the 1934 World Sequence, which the Playing cards gained in seven video games.

Solely 14 Cardinals ever collected extra WAR (wins above alternative) than Joseph Michael Medwick. Except Curt Flood (10th, with a 42.three WAR), all gamers forward of Medwick have had their quantity retired — or seemingly will.

“You understand, the older I’ve gotten, the extra essential it is turn into to me,” mentioned Medwick III, who has three daughters and no son to hold on the title. “Within the close to future, Albert Pujols’ quantity can be retired and placed on the wall. Yadier Molina’s quantity can be retired and placed on the wall. And I believe Adam Wainwright’s quantity can be retired and placed on the wall. And pretty much as good as these ballplayers are, none of them will maintain a baseball file so long as Grandpa has. And his quantity will not be retired and on the wall. And I believe I there’s a bit of bitterness in my coronary heart in the direction of the Cardinal group …

“My emotions are my emotions, however Grandpa’s numbers are his numbers.”

It’s a difficult argument — of the Cardinals shut behind Medwick in WAR, be it Harry Brecheen, Jim Edmonds, Ray Lankford or Keith Hernandez, the one participant along with his quantity retired is Pink Schoendienst, who was a supervisor and coach for many years after retirement. Medwick, sadly, appears to be the cutoff.

However as Goldschmidt continues to hit, every thwack can be a reminder of how nice he’s — and the way nice Medwick was.



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