Jason Giambi

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Jason Gilbert Giambi

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Biographical Information[edit]

Controversial Jason Giambi, the 2000 American League MVP, hit 440 home runs in the major leagues, thus putting him at #41 on the all-time list when he retired after the 2014 season. His career was spent with four teams, the Oakland Athletics, the New York Yankees, the Colorado Rockies and the Cleveland Indians.

He has compiled 100+ RBI seven separate times. He has also drawn 100+ walks in a season seven times, and his 1366 walks rank as # 32 on the all-time list. He also got on base frequently via hit-by-pitch, with 180 times lifetime.

He was at Cal State Long Beach at the same time as Steve Trachsel. He competed for the United States at the 1991 Pan American Games (Bronze Medal) and 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He was originally a third baseman, but was moved to first base and enjoyed his best seasons at that position.

He is the brother of Jeremy Giambi, who had 52 home runs in the majors.

He testified before Congress in 2005 in the steroids hearing. That year, he admitted previously using steroids. Although presumably not on steroids in 2005, he led the American League in OBP. His renaissance that year after a very poor 2004 season earned him the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Giambi was back with Oakland at the start of the 2009 season but was released in August, after he hit .193 in 83 games, although with decent power. Colorado picked him up to use as a power-hitting pinch-hitter for the pennant drive. He hit .292 with 2 homers in 19 games, prompting the Rockies to invite him back in 2010. He got more playing time than expected because of injuries to regular first baseman Todd Helton, and ended up hitting .244/.378/.398 in 87 games. He started 2011 in a slump, but got a rare starting assignment on May 19th and made the most of it: facing the Philadelphia Phillies, he hit homers in his first three at-bats for the first three-homer game of his career. He failed in next two at-bats to make it four homers, but still became the second-oldest player ever to hit three long balls in one game; Stan Musial was 41 when he did it against the New York Mets on July 8, 1962. He had entered the game hitting just .115 with 1 homer and 4 RBI. For the season, he hit .260 in 64 games, with 13 homers in only 131 at-bats, good for a .603 slugging percentage and a 141 OPS+.

On May 2, 2012, Giambi and Chipper Jones both hit walk-off homers. It was the first time two players 40 years or older hit walk-off shots the same day. He hit .225 in 60 games for the Rockies that season, getting only 89 at-bats as most of his playing time was as a pinch-hitter. He was a dark horse candidate to succeed Jim Tracy as manager of the Rockies after the season, but the job went to Walt Weiss and Giambi moved on, going to spring training as a non-roster invitee with the Cleveland Indians in 2013. At 42, he managed to earn a spot on the team as a part-time DH and pinch-hitter, although he started the season on the disabled list with a lower back strain. On July 29th, he became the oldest player to hit a walk-off homer when he connected as a pinch-hitter against Ramon Troncoso of the Chicago White Sox to lead off the 9th inning. The record had been held by Hank Aaron since 1976. On September 8th, he collected the 2,000th hit of his career against LaTroy Hawkins of the New York Mets. He hit a particularly dramatic homer on September 24th, with the Indians battling to hold on to a wild card spot. The Indians had a 3-2 lead entering the top of the 9th, but closer Chris Perez blew it by allowing solo homers to Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza; Giambi was called in to pinch-hit for Matt Carson with two outs and Michael Brantley on first base. He hammered a pitch from Addison Reed deep into the lower deck in right field to turn what could have been a devastating defeat into a stunning 5-4 win. He was back for a 20th season at age 43 in 2014 but hit only .133 with 2 homers in 26 games.

Giambi announced his retirement as a player on February 16, 2015. In 2016, he was a guest spring training instructor with the Indians. He became eligible for the Hall of Fame in its 2020 election but received only six votes and was dropped from the ballot.

Through 2009 he was one of 11 major leaguers born in West Covina, CA. Six of those 11 were born there in the 1970s.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 5-time AL All-Star (2000-2004)
  • AL MVP (2000)
  • 2-time AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2001 & 2002)
  • 2005 AL Comeback Player of the Year Award
  • 3-time AL On-Base Percentage Leader (2000, 2001 & 2005)
  • AL Slugging Percentage Leader (2001)
  • AL OPS Leader (2001)
  • AL Doubles Leader (2001)
  • 4-time AL Bases on Balls Leader (2000, 2001, 2003 & 2005)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 11 (1996-2003, 2005, 2006 & 2008)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 8 (1999-2003, 2005, 2006 & 2008)
  • 40-Home Run Seasons: 3 (2000, 2002 & 2003)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 7 (1998-2003 & 2006)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 4 (1999-2002)

1999 2000 2001
Ivan Rodriguez Jason Giambi Ichiro Suzuki

Related Sites[edit]