Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Dandy Dozen: Winston Powell
Winston Powell played his entire 12-season career for the Sioux Falls Dakota. He posted a career .325 average with 253 HRs, 1317 Runs, and 1094 RBI. His career OBP of .449 is 2nd all-time and his 1225 career base on balls are the most in league history. Only in his final two seasons did his OBP fall below .400 and his batting average below .300.
Powell made the All-Star team 6 times, was named RF Silver Slugger in 8 of his first 9 seasons, and won the NL MVP in season 6. During season 6 he would hit .372, with 44 HRs and 140 RBI while score 153 runs and walking 119 times and striking out just 27 times. His .488 OBP during the season is still the Second City single-season record. Perhaps his most amazing skill was his ability to put the ball in play. Powell holds 4 of the top 5 spots on a list of fewest strike outs for a hitter with 502 or more plate appearances in league history.
He made the playoffs in every season of his career (and won 2 titles), hitting .329 with 14 HR and 58 RBI in 395 ABs. He walked an unbelievable 79 times in the playoffs leading to a .454 OBP.
He recently retired as has joined the Dakota's minor league coaching staff.
The Rest of the Story:
Powell's grandfather was 1st Baron Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant-general in the British Army around the turn of the century. He is best known as the founder of the International Scouting movement, publishing a book, Scouting for Boys, in 1908.
All of his direct decedents have become accomplished scouts. He was prouder of none than young Winston, his youngest grandchild, whom was named after another famous Brit, Winston Churchill. Young Winston however had his name-sake's tempermant more than a love for his bloods passion. He would eschew the scouts, and instead spend every waking moment playing baseball as a boy in Massachusetts. By the time Winston was drafted, he was barely speaking to his famous grandfather, who though baseball a waste of time, and "far less civilized than cricket."