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The Great Debate – 1975 Reds vs. 1984 Tigers – Centerfield

If there was one player I most tried to mimic as a kid, it was Chet Lemon. The way he’d casually go back, stand under the ball, and just sort of hold his mitt under the ball, letting it fall into his glove was classic. Rarely did he catch anything two handed, and rarely did I. In fact I still catch grief when I play softball, since I basically conditioned myself to catch the ball without both hands.

1984 was a great season for Chet Lemon. What’s funny is, I don’t remember him for a great catch. And I don’t remember him for a clutch homer. What I do remember him for is going back on a fly ball, losing it in the sun, and getting clocked in the head. I vividly remember sitting in friend’s basement and watching Gibby and a couple other Tigers carrying Chet off the field.

Chet Lemon didn’t set any career marks in 1984, but he probably had his best all-around season. His twenty homers were second best to the year before, and his batting average, on base percentage, and slugging were all above his career marks.

Here’s the numbers:

Runs 77
Homeruns 20
RBIs 76
Average .287
OBP .357
Slg% .495
Runs Created 88
OPS+ 135

Batting Runs Above Replacement 41
Fielding Runs Above Replacement 41
Equalized Average .295
Wins Above Replacement Player 9.0

Chet Lemon had a WARP of 9.0, which tied him with Tram for the team lead, so he was as much of an MVP on this team then anyone. Gibby had a monster season at the plate, but his defensive skills (or lack of) hurt when it came to WARP.

And it looks like Blade doesn’t have much to argue about here. In fact he conceded a lot more easily then I thought.

Scorecard – 1975 Reds 5, 1984 Tigers 2

You can read Blade’s analysis of Cesar Geronimo at Reds Cutting Edge.

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