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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

George Foster speaks for the hitters at Fargo Post 2’s HOF banquet

A lot of bullshiit can happen in the middle of nowhere…

Being a former power hitter, Foster weighed in on the performance-enhancing drug issue.

“It’s just like counterfeiting,” Foster said of PED use in baseball. “It’s going to be there forever. … It is all about the integrity of the game. They feel that they have the best drug testing in the sport of baseball, but I think track and field and cycling might have better testing.”

In the last 10 years six players have hit 50 or more home runs in a single season. Only one – Jose Bautista – has hit 50 or more homers in a single season the last five years.

So is the time of the 50-plus home run slugger over?

“I feel like 50 home runs is attainable,” Foster said. “There is that watchdog now in drug testing. Players don’t know when they will be tested. Mike Trout and Prince Fielder are guys that could go out and hit 50 legitimately. Sixty or more I don’t think so. The PEDs really enhanced opportunities to hit home runs and it is unreal how it really gave them that extra boost.”

As a result of the PED-fueled numbers that were put up in the late 1980s and 1990s, Foster feels the hallowed home run records are sullied.

Fargo’s Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs in 1961 and Hank Aaron’s all-time career home run record have all been surpassed by players linked to PED use.

“Roger’s record is legitimate and Hank Aaron’s record legitimate,” Foster said. “Those are the guys who should have the records and there should be asterisk next to the names of the guys that surpassed them.”

Repoz Posted: February 05, 2013 at 05:50 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4363085)
So 60 home runs is unattainable unless you're on PEDs, but Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs is legitimate. Got it.
   2. Topher Posted: February 05, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4363191)
So 60 home runs is unattainable unless you're on PEDs, but Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs is legitimate. Got it.


Today's players don't try as hard and don't love the game the way previous generations did. No way guys that lazy can hit 60. Makes sense to me.
   3. GregD Posted: February 05, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4363207)
Late-career resurgence. Career-threateningly bad at 33 and 34 with major bounce back at 35 and 36...wonder what could explain that?
   4. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 05, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4363255)
As a kid, my first glove was a George Foster MVP model.

In retrospect, a Foster glove is ridiculous.
   5. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 05, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4363257)
Late-career resurgence. Career-threateningly bad at 33 and 34 with major bounce back at 35 and 36...wonder what could explain that?


I know this is meant as snark, but having watched those years in his case it was matter of making adjustments to the loss of bat speed, followed by the loss of even more bat speed and it was sayonara
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4363262)
As a kid, my first glove was a George Foster MVP model.

In retrospect, a Foster glove is ridiculous.


My first bat was a Dwight Gooden bat.

My first glove was a Joel Youngblood glove.

WTF?
   7. Topher Posted: February 05, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4363271)
My first glove was a Joel Youngblood glove.


I still have mine. Any chance you got yours at Nill Brothers?
   8. The District Attorney Posted: February 05, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4363277)
I remember that people were almost fainting in shock when Foster hit 50 homers in a season. I guess it'd be annoying to essentially lose that distinction.
   9. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4363285)
My first glove was a Joel Youngblood glove.

Was the glove bald?
   10. Gonfalon B. Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4363292)
I remember that people were almost fainting in shock when Foster hit 50 homers in a season. I guess it'd be annoying to essentially lose that distinction.

I'm fainting in shock that someone was soliciting George Foster's opinion. I wonder what Don Money thinks?

Although it must be getting to the point where Hank Aaron is tasing anyone who approaches him with a notepad.
   11. esseff Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4363296)
My first glove was a Joel Youngblood glove.

WTF?


I cringe when I think about the season the Giants made Youngblood their regular third baseman. Talk about a Hobson's choice . . .
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4363300)

I still have mine. Any chance you got yours at Nill Brothers?


I think it was a local sporting goods store. I know I shopped at Nill Brothers in high school though.
   13. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4363302)
I'm fainting in shock that someone was soliciting George Foster's opinion. I wonder what Don Money thinks?
But what does this have to do with Frank Tanana?
   14. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4363324)
In retrospect, a Foster glove is ridiculous.


It's like buying a Mark Belanger bat.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: February 05, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4363327)
Does Foster live in Minneapolis or something?

I'll admit my first notion was to wonder at the life of the former baseball star. Fargo American Legion Post #2 in January? Oh, I know, let's get George Foster! Foster, puttering around the house ... "and I get dinner too? I'm in!"

But here's some of the past speakers at this event:

Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven, Rollie Fingers, Gaylord Perry, Robin Roberts, Fergus Jenkins, Paul Molitor have all been past speakers along with Post 2 Hall of Famer and former MLB pitcher Rick Helling and former Minnesota Twins 20-game winner Jim “Mud Cat” Grant.

(Foster noted he was the first hitter to speak) The guys with Minnesota connections are obvious and probably "near" Fargo a lot of the time. But obviously this isn't as podunk an event as I thought ... or Foster isn't the only ballplayer willing to schlep to Fargo for a few bob and rubber chicken dinner.
   16. BDC Posted: February 05, 2013 at 05:03 PM (#4363343)
Although I bet they were nonplussed when Fergus Jenkins of the Bagpipers Hall of Fame stood up and started twirling his sporran.
   17. andrewberg Posted: February 05, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4363354)

I'll admit my first notion was to wonder at the life of the former baseball star. Fargo American Legion Post #2 in January?


I grew up playing little league in fields adjacent to Post 2's Jack Williams stadium. We sometimes had delays because their HRs would trickle into our infield. When I got a little older, some of my friends played Legion baseball. One of my best friends still has some of the pitching records, I believe.
   18. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 05, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4363356)
( bet they were nonplussed when Fergus Jenkins of the Bagpipers Hall of Fame stood up and started twirling his sporran.


Nor can I blame them.
   19. depletion Posted: February 05, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4363361)
I cringe when I think about the season the Giants made Youngblood their regular third baseman.

That only lasted two years, and one of them he hit well OPS+138. My first and only glove, which I still use, is a 1966 Fred Whitfield.
   20. Moeball Posted: February 05, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4363385)
I remember that people were almost fainting in shock when Foster hit 50 homers in a season. I guess it'd be annoying to essentially lose that distinction.


The shocking thing was that George played his home games in Riverfront Stadium, a pretty decent hitters park, yet in '77 he hit 31 of his 52 dingers on the road. Go figure. Balls must have been juiced.
   21. greenback likes millwall, they don't care Posted: February 05, 2013 at 07:08 PM (#4363457)
Foster swung a black bat at a time when that was kinda distinctive. A number of folks thought this was a means to disguising a corked bat.
   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 05, 2013 at 08:14 PM (#4363481)

I cringe when I think about the season the Giants made Youngblood their regular third baseman. Talk about a Hobson's choice . . .


Given that Hobson's choice, I would have put Hobson at third every day, despite the errors. At least Butch could hit at the beginning.
   23. Tubbs Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:04 AM (#4363590)
Prior to his trade to NY, Foster appeared to be on pace for a HOF career. In his last season in Cincy he had a 150 OPS+ and had hit 248 career HRs with a career 139 OPS+. He was looked to be on pace for 400+ HRs but his career fizzled in NY.
   24. Poulanc Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:23 AM (#4363602)
andrewberg - Fargo kid? Moorhead myself!
   25. Walt Davis Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:17 AM (#4363617)
Prior to his trade to NY, Foster appeared to be on pace for a HOF career.

Kinda. Problem is he was already 33 when he got to NY. Through age 25, he had barely over 1000 PA, and not particularly good ones, and that's a hard path to the HoF. In this day and age, folks would have been whispering about Foster's mysterious age 26-32 run:

through 25: 1049 PA, 99 OPS+, 27 HR
26-32: 4100 PA, 149 OPS+, 221 HR
33-37: 2664 PA, 102 OPS+, 100 HR

But, it's not impossible. HoF, less than 1500 PA through age 25, some names: Boggs, Fisk, Puckett, Stargell, Perez. Stargell and Perez seem the most similar:

Stargell 26-32: 3700 PA, 153 OPS+, 218 HR
Perez 26-32: 4600 PA, 138 OPS+, 196 HR

So Stargell and Foster are nearly identical at those ages. Stargell and Perez had been better (or at least more productive as hitters) through age 25.

Stargell 33+: 3800 PA, 151 OPS+, 198 HR
Perez 33+: 5000 PA, 111 OPS+, 141 HR (737 RBI)

I consider Perez one of the worst HoF BBWAA selections but Stargell's a good choice and Foster presumably had as good or better chance (more athletic) as Stargell through age 32. But only Stargell and maybe eventually Edgar and a handful of others (Molitor) made it to the HoF as a late-career slugger.
   26. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:08 AM (#4363630)
I had a Cecil Cooper, and got it signed by Cooper, and still played with it, then it got stolen at school. I then got a red Daryl Strawberry glove. I wasn't necessarily a Straw or Mets fan at all, but a cool mitt.

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