MLB…Adieu, Adam Dunn.

I just found out on Monday that Adam Dunn was going to retire from the Oakland A’s at 35 years old. People, and among them Major League Baseball players, retire every day. Usually this is not exactly huge news, but in the case of Adam Dunn, it bears a little discussion.
Adam Dunn is a bear of a man. In fact, he is mountain at 6’6” and 285lbs. He played first base and both corner outfield positions. He played for the Reds from 2001, with stops with the Chicago White Sox, Arizona D-Backs, Washington Nationals, and finally the Oakland A’s. He has 14 Major league seasons of service, in which he played in 2,001 games and had 6,883 AB’s. He hit 462 career home runs and drove in 1,168 runs. He struck out 2,379 times while drawing 1,317 walks, all while posting a career .237 BA to go along with an .854 ops. Defensively he posted a .981 fielding percentage. Those are the bottom line stats for Adam Dunn. But there is more to the career of this man. Let’s take a closer look…
At the apex of his career, there were fewer hitters who were as feared as Adam Dunn. Of his 1,300+ walks, 122 of them were intentional passes, which ranks him 79th all-time. A pitcher did not want to give up a big jack to Dunn when it was simply safer to walk him. He has more career HR’s than Carl Yastrzemski, Jeff Bagwell, and Mike Piazza. This was a scary guy at the plate, in the way that you knew that if a pitcher gave him something to hit, he was probably going to crush it. This was not a guy that the opposition wanted to face with runners on base. I was surprised that in last year’s A.L. Wild-Card game, when the A’s had the need to bring in a left-handed bat, Adam Dunn was left on the bench. As it turned out, Dunn stayed on the bench the rest of the way while the A’s went on to lose an epic game to the Kansas City Royals 9-8 in 12 innings.
As a fan, I will miss Adam Dunn. I will miss watching him hit, when I knew that every time he came to the plate, there was a possibility of real fireworks. If you think about former players like Dave Kingman, Greg Luzinski, and Jose Canseco, Adam Dunn provided that kind of excitement. Best of luck, Big Donkey.


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