I am still amazed at the tear which Padres Third Baseman Chase Headley has been on over the last month and a half. From August 1st through September 7th, Headley hit .338 (46 for 136), racked up 4 Doubles and 14 Home Runs, slugged .676, and drove in an amazing 46 Runs in 34 games. Yesterday, Chase continued his hot streak and added a Grand Slam to add to his fantastic run of productivity during the Padres 8-1 Win. Not only has Headley eclipsed his previous career high totals for Home Runs (12 no2 26), but the Third Baseman has also set career highs in RBI’s (102 and counting), Walks (70), and Runs (78) as well.
Even more impressive though has been the fact that #7 is well on his way to breaking his own personal season bests in Hits (150 now) On Base Percentage (.368), and Slugging Percentage (.489), and OPS (.857). When Headley hit the Grand Slam though, something really interesting happened. With 4 RBI’s, Chase moved into 1st Place in National League for the lead in RBI’s for the season, a feat which has only bee accomplished once in the 44 season history of the franchise.
So who was the only Padres player to lead the National League in RBI’s? Well, it was Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. Winfield’s 1979 season was one for the ages, and one of the best offensive seasons in terms of power and run production in franchise history. In fact, Winfield set many career highs during his ‘79 season. The Hall of Fame Outfielder not only set personal bests in RBI’s (118), but Triples (10), Slugging Percentage (.558), OPS (.953), Total Bases (333 was a League Leading Total), and Walks (85 plus 24 Intentional). But Winfield also hit 34 Home Runs, 27 Doubles, batted a terrific .308, and won a Gold Glove for his play in the Outfield that year as well! The craziest part about Winfield’s terrific season was the fact that the team finished with only 63 Wins total, and in 5th place in the National League West division.
Headley is well within striking distance of catching Winfield’s career best 118 RBI’s, but also has a puncher’s chance of tying Ken Caminiti’s season franchise record of 130 set during his 1996 MVP campaign. Whether or not he can stay atop the NL RBI standings will be up to him and whether or not Ryan Braun or some other player will eventually catch him by the first week of October. I truly hope that Headley can keep up the current tear which he is on because it would be a nice moment of recognition for our favorite yet sometimes “forgotten” and “ignored” franchise.
So let’s root for the Padres and root for Headley down the stretch. There has been quite a bit to smile about over the last month, and hopefully Headley and the rest of the Padres will keep us smiling for the rest of the season.