Happy Trails, Geoff Jenkins

Happy Trails, Geoff Jenkins


Happy Trails, Geoff Jenkins


4 Mar 1999:  Outfielder Geoff Jenkins #5 of the Milwaukee Brewers gets ready to swing during the Spring Training game against the Oakland Athletics at the Maryvale Ball Park in Phoenix, Arizona. The Athletics defeated the Brewers 7-5.

Former outfielder Geoff Jenkins will sign a one-day contract on Friday, allowing him to retire as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.  This is definitely nice to see — it’s a classy move by the organization, which usually doesn’t score many points when it comes to loyalty and player satisfaction.

Jenkins was essentially run out of town by Miller Park’s drunken boo birds, but there’s no doubt that he was one of the best (and underrated) players the team has ever had.  Part of it may be the way he ended his Brewers career — essentially a platoon player — but to me, it’s mostly because his contributions came during one of the darkest periods in club history.

From 1998 to 2007, Jenkins posted the following numbers (his all-time Brewers ranks in parantheses):

WAR: 18.9 (9th)
Slugging: .496 (5th)
OPS: .843 (5th)
Games Played: 1234 (6th)
At Bats: 4407 (5th)
Plate Appearances: 4932 (5th)
Runs Scored: 661 (5th)
Hits: 1221 (5th)
Total Bases: 2188 (4th)
Doubles: 287 (4th)
Triples: 22 (9th)
Home Runs: 212 (2nd)
RBI: 704 (4th)
Walks: 394 (9th)
Strikeouts: 1118 (2nd)
Singles: 700 (9th)
Runs Created: 757 (4th)
Extra Base Hits: 521 (4th)
Hit by Pitch: 95 (1st)
Win Probability Added: 13.4 (7th)

Looking at those numbers, it’s hard to argue with Jenkins being one of the best players in Brewers’ history.  Maybe not a Top 5 player, but definitely Top 10.  Jenkins was the face of the franchise for most of those 10 years, and he deserves every accolade the Brewers can give him.  He won’t get his number retired — the precedent there of only Hall of Famers getting that honor is set — but a Walk of Fame plaque wouldn’t be out of the question.  It’s just a shame he couldn’t be around when the Brewers finally made the playoffs in 2008, but I’m sure he’s happy with the way that year turned out for him…as a member of the Phillies, Jenkins beat the Brewers in the playoffs and went on to win the World Series.

Jenkins had a great career, but you can’t help but think what might’ve been if he wasn’t sidetracked by injuries.  And yeah, this is just an excuse to post a link to that horrific ankle injury.  But let’s not let our last thought be something so bad — here’s a picture of one of the most awesome plays I’ve ever seen an outfielder make.  Stick that one in your pipe, Edmonds.

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