Saturday’s winner was Yonder Alonso (56.5% to 47.4%). He awaits the winner from today.
Today we have Jon Jay (Staunton 2004) vs John Kruk (New Market 1981).
- Jon Jay got here by defeating Billy Sample. His writeup: “Jay played in Staunton in 2004, while he was a student at Miami. He was picked in the 2nd round of the 2006 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, and made his MLB debut four years later, on April 26, 2010. After winning the World Series with the Redbirds in 2011, he had his best season in 2012, hitting .305/.373/.400 in 443 at-bats, with 22 doubles, four triples, four home runs, 40 RBIs, 19 stolen bases, and a solid 34/71 BB/K ratio. He was with the Cardinals through 2015, and has bounced around quite a bit since then. In 2016, he played in San Diego; in 2017 in Chicago for the Cubs; in 2018 for both the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks, and back in Chicago (but with the White Sox) in 2019. He signed back with Arizona for 2020, and was 11-27 in Spring Training before the season was halted. Jay is hitting .285/.350/.375 in 3,774 career at-bats.”
- John Kruk got here by defeating Wayne Comer. His writeup: “John Kruk is pretty well known as an interesting guy. For example, he famously said, “I ain’t an athlete, lady, I’m a professional baseball player,” and he was batting in the 1993 All-Star game when Randy Johnson fired a fastball over Kruk’s head. He was visably relieved that he wasn’t hit by the pitch, and then he promptly struck out on three pitches, much to the delight of the other players. On July 30, 1995, he reportedly told his manager that if he got a hit in his first at-bat, he was retiring. Sure enough, he singled, was lifted for a pinch hitter for his next at-bat, and Kruk never played again. (He retired with a batting average of exactly .300. If he had made an out, his career average would have been .299974.) Over ten years and 3,897 career at-bats, Kruk hit .300/.397/.446, with 199 doubles, 34 triples, 100 home runs, and an outstanding 649/701 BB/K ratio. He was a three-time All-Star, received MVP votes in those same three years, and finished 7th in the Rookie of the Year award voting in 1986. One of his best years was in 1993, when the Philadelphia Phillies surprised MLB by advancing to the World Series. Kruk hit .316/.430/.475 that summer, with 100 runs scored, 33 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs, and 85 RBIs. He walked 111 times against only 87 strikeouts. He went on to be an ESPN broadcaster after his career, and he was inducted into the VBL Hall-of Fame in 2017.”
Vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL to vote! (Closes Tuesday morning)
And by the way, if you want to read much, much more about the 2019 VBL season, be sure to check out the 2019 Valley League Annual!