In 1983 unemployment in the US rose to 12 million, highest total since 1941 (sound familiar?), the final episode of M*A*S*H aired setting a record of 125 million watchers, and The Hawk was setting records of his own for the Montreal Expos.*
I've mentioned it before in a previous post that in my opinion, Andre's 1983 season was probably his best all-around offensive season. So good that I think we should revisit that season with a closer look.
Here's the numbers The Hawk put up that year in 159 games:
32 - HRs, 113 - RBIs, 189 Hits, 104 Runs, .299 Avg., 25 SBs, 36 2Bs, 10 3Bs, 341 TBs
What stands out about these numbers and that 1983 season?
1. Was the first Expos to have at least 30 HRs, 30 2Bs, 100 RBIs, and 100 Runs in a season. Only two other players in Expos/Nationals franchise history have achieved this, Vladimir Guerrero and Ryan Zimmerman.
2. Led the league that year in hits, total bases, sacrifice flies (18), extra base hits (78) and hit by pitch (9). Finished 10th in batting average, 2nd in slugging %, 3rd in runs, 5th in doubles, 3rd in triples, 3rd in homeruns, 7th in times on bases and 6th in at-bats per homerun (19.781).**
3. Set single-season club records at that time for home runs (32, now seventh), RBI (113, now fourth), extra base hits (78, now seventh), and sacrifice flies (18, still first)***
4. Had to expand his trophy case in the off-season after winning his fourth consecutive Gold Glove and third Silver Slugger awards. Almost added an MVP trophy as well, coming in 2nd in voting.
1983 was just one of several seasons that made Andre a Hall of Fame caliber player. But, no other season I think was a better indication of the 5-tool player he was and how dominate he was in the early 80s.