Sunday, October 15, 2006

October 15th, 1951

Mitchell Page Born

Continuing my series of coaches who were employed last season but who, on account of mangerial changes, are likely to be looking for work this off season we come to Mitchell Page. Page served as hitting coach for the Washington Nationals this year, a job he'd previously held for the Cards during the 2002 through 2004 seasons. Although one never knows about this kind of thing, perhaps whichever team signs Alfonso Soriano this off-season should hire Page, given Soriano's excellent season this year with the Nats.

Page had a short career in the Major Leagues, lasting just eight seasons, while seeing action in fewer than sixty games in four of those years. Like a handful of other players, Page's best season was far-and-away his rookie year. He hit .307 with a .926 OPS and forty-two stolen bases. Playing on a fairly awful Oakland A's team apparently doomed Page, as he was robbed of the Rookie of the Year award by Eddie Murray. (Funnily enough, Murray is also a hitting coach these days for the Dodgers, although he presumably has a bit more job security.) In hindsight of course that looks fine since Murray was a better player overall by a comical margin; but in 1977 Mitchell Page was clearly the man. Such, I suppose, are the vagaries of fate.

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