Craig ran a story in October explaining why current Diamondbacks manager and former Dodgers legend Kirk Gibson is selling several pieces of his personal memorabilia.
Gibson basically said that the memories of his playing career are locked in his head and that he doesn’t need bats and batting gloves on display at his home to prove his accomplishments in the game of baseball. He’s giving some of the proceeds to charity, too, which makes it an even more reasonable move.
The way things are going, it looks like he might have a lot of money to go around.
According to the Associated Press, the bat that Gibson used to launch his famous home run “on two bad knees” in the 1988 World Series is already up to $90,570. In a world where baseball memorabilia no longer regularly goes for millions, Gibson’s stuff is doing quite well.
He is also auctioning off his home and road jerseys from that 1988 Fall Classic and his batting helmet.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.