If there was a record for home runs by a player who played exactly 60 games in a season, MLB Players Association head Tony Clark would hold it.
For some reason, I can not remember MLB Players Association head Tony Clark the baseball player. Aside from having one of the best cereal character nicknames in the game, Tony the Tiger played fifteen years in the majors.
Still, I have trouble placing him.
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He was a first-round draft pick in 1990 by the Detroit Tigers and put together several solid seasons in Motown before moving on. Clark spent time with both teams in the Big Apple, a year with the BoSox, he spent some time on the West Coast, and a handful of years in the desert.
Yet, I have trouble placing this cat in half of those uniforms.
Over the course of his playing career, Clark surpassed the thirty home run total in four different seasons en route to running up 251 dingers for his career.
His 2000 season with the Tigers is the subject of this piece though, and the 13 home runs he hit in the 60 games he played. This mark acts as the most home runs by any player to play exactly 60 games in a season. The maximum number of regular-season games players can play in this shortened season.
Clark averaged about four plate appearances a game in 2000 giving him adequate chances to dethrone Reb Russell, of this home run feat.
The remarkable fact about Russell is, he was a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox the first seven years of his career. After a three year hiatus, he resurfaced as an outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
One can not imagine the home run leader for this shortened 2020 season having just 13 home runs. Kind of makes me wonder if this isn’t why Tony Clark was pushing so hard for a seventy game schedule.
The caveat to this statistic is, only players playing in exactly 60 games will be eligible for this non-record, record.
Let’s say Aaron Judge hits his fourteenth home run in his team’s twentieth game, all of which saw Judge participate. Will he clammer to stay in the lineup every game the remainder of the season so his name can go atop this list at the end of the season?
Even if the league leader in home runs doesn’t play in all the games, there will be someone who does and eclipses the 13 home run plateau. When that happens, it will be one less reason for us to remember Tony Clark, the baseball player.