Question: What do George Brett, Cal Ripken, Jr., Tony Gwynn, Mike Schmidt, Craig Biggio and Edgar Martinez all have in common? Answer: They played their entire MLB careers for only one team.
There is something nostalgic about a player who has never put on another team’s uniform. This is what I thought Eric Chavez would do. He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1996 and made his professional debut in Sep. of 1998.
Throughout his brilliant career in Oakland, Chavez won the Silver Slugger Award in 2002, won six consecutive Gold Glove Awards, and was named the American League’s Player of the Month one time. His best hitting season came in 2002 when he hit 34 home runs, collected 109 RBIs, and batted .275.
Then in 2007, injuries started to plague Chavez; he never really recovered. It was unfortunate because he is one of the all-time great Oakland third basemen. But after yet another injury-plagued season, I figured Chavez would retire. Apparently, I was wrong.
Eric Chavez is a free agent and has been linked to a couple of teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers. I will always root for Chavez, but I can’t imagine him wearing another team’s uniform. I just can’t do it.
I guess in the age of free agency, it is less and less likely that we will ever see players like Ripken, Jr. and others begin and end their careers in the same uniform. I guess we should just enjoy the ride while it lasts.