Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RBI Kings

I know that the RBI doesn't have the same significance among baseball stats as it did years ago. A lot of it has to do with the lineup around a given player, a variable not really considered for a long time. Assuming they put up the same batting lines, a cleanup hitter with some .400 OBP guys in front of him is going to have more RBIs than a cleanup hitter with a bunch of .300 OBP guys a head of him. More men on base should mean more RBIs. Easy.

Also - it's dumb that an RBI is awarded on a fielder's choice, but not on a double play.

Regardless, one still has to be a good hitter to collect a chunk of these so-called runs batted in. And in 1997, Tino Martinez was just that. He hit 44 HRs and drove in 141 runs. That's pretty damn good, RBI stat flaws or not.

In most instances, Tino hit fourth that year with a combination of Derek Jeter (.370 OBP), Wade Boggs (.373), Paul O'Neill (.399), and Bernie Williams (.408) ahead of him. Four guys with OBP percentages over .370 = lots of RBI chances. Plus Tino drove himself in 44 times.

One constant with Fleer Ultra over the years was an insert set called RBI Kings. Despite consistently driving in over 100 runs, Tino only appeared in the 1998 set after his monster year.
Still, it's one of the better looking RBI Kings inserts that they made. The pinks and purples make for a card color combination not frequently seen in my Tino collection.


  1. Damn those Yankees lineups were stacked. Lol... just another reason I still don't like them. Gotta admire some of that home grown talent though.

  2. A couple years back someone in the Pirates media was bitching about the lack of rbis Cutch had. Somehow Ryan Howard's name came up. Thankfully the person showed this idiot that Howard had over a 100 more chances with runners on than Cutch.

  3. There is a skill to driving in runs, but it ultimately comes down to who is hitting in front of you and the person hitting behind you. There have been so many times that Cutch has been pitched around because he doesn't have any fearful hitters behind him. Just a few games ago, he was intentionally walked because Marte was on 3rd base in a tie game.

    That being said, Tino's monster year was in fact a monster year. Driving in 141 is ridiculously good.