With the New York Yankees acquiring Giancarlo Stanton from Miami last week, there already is speculation that the tandem of Stanton and Aaron Judge could rival the immortal Yankees slugging duos of the past.
Like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
And Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.
It seems a bit premature to put them into that category, although Stanton and Judge did combine to slam 111 home runs last season, 59 by Stanton with the Marlins and 52 by Judge in his rookie season in New York.
Ruth and Gehrig combined to hit 107 in their best season, 1927. Mantle and Maris homered 115 times in 1961. That’s the only instance of two men topping 50 on the same team.
The one area where the Stanton-Judge combo is certain to surpass the Yankees duos of the past is in strikeouts. Judge fanned 208 times last season with Stanton going down on strikes 163 times.
Ruth (89) and Gehrig (84) whiffed 173 times in 1927 while Mantle (112) and Maris (67) combined for 179 in 1961.
By the way, SportsBettingDime.com already has set the over/under for Stanton-Judge at a very modest 89.5 homers and 364.5 strikeouts.
Muscatine’s Joe Wieskamp collected 44 points and 25 rebounds in a game against Davenport North on Tuesday. That’s the second highest point total and the highest rebounding total of any player in Iowa so far this season.
It kind of makes you wonder what the Iowa-bound 6-foot-6 forward might be capable of.
He scored 50 points in a game against Burlington last season. Could he hit 60 some night? Maybe 70?
As far as we can tell, the single-game record for a player in the Iowa Quad-Cities region is 68 points by John Laing of now-defunct Delwood High School in a game against Calamus in 1969. Laing, a 6-foot-9½ center, went on to have a stellar career at Augustana.
Former Iowa linebacker Christian Kirksey is very quietly having an excellent career in the NFL. You just don’t hear anything about him because he plays for the most abysmal team in the league, the Cleveland Browns.
Kirksey was third in the NFL in tackles last season with 148, and he is sixth this season with three games to go.
It’s not unprecedented for a former Hawkeye to rank among the top five tacklers in the NFL. Chad Greenway was second in total tackles in 2012, third in 2011 and fourth in 2010. And Bettendorf’s Pat Angerer was fourth in his second season with the Indianapolis Colts in 2011.
We wrote a few years ago that the Quad-City Mallards never were going to get back to the lightning-in-a-bottle popularity they enjoyed in the late 1990s. Officials of the team, including team president Bob McNamara, bristled at the comment.
When McNamara was relieved of his duties last week, one of his parting comments was this: "It’s never going to be where it was in the mid to late '90s."
We’ll give McNamara this: When he arrived, the Mallards were a shaky and volatile franchise that faced an uncertain existence from year to year. Mallards fans owe him a debt of gratitude for helping give the franchise some much-needed stability.
Davenport’s Roger Craig again is among the 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The list will be trimmed to 15 finalists sometime in the next few weeks, with a maximum of five inductees being named on Feb. 3.
It would be great to see Roger finally get in, but I’m not really optimistic. There are a lot of good, new candidates this year that will make it tough to crack that final five. The general consensus is that Ray Lewis and Randy Moss will be among the inductees, and some think former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher also has a good chance.
Interestingly, there are no quarterbacks among the 27 Hall of Fame semifinalists.
In fact, only two QBs have been inducted into the Hall of Fame in the past decade — Brett Favre and Kurt Warner — and there’s not likely to be another one until Peyton Manning goes on the ballot in 2021.