Today, I - your Constable - turn 32 years old. This sucks. I'm afraid that I'm getting too old to blog, in addition to my penchant for yelling at the television, thinking about wearing earplugs to concerts, and the necessity of the nose-hair trimmer (which sounds like a weed eater when I use it twice a week).
So let's run down the best Age 32 seasons in baseball history:
1. Easy. Babe Ruth, 1927. Ruth hit 60 homers with a .356/.486/.772 slash line. 17 of his 60 homers came in September. He led the AL in homers (obviously), runs (158), walks (137), OBP (.486), SLG (.772), OPS (1.258), and OPS+ (225). Generally considered to be the best player on the greatest baseball team in history (the Yankees went 110-44, and swept the Pirates in the World Series).
2. Bob Gibson, 1968. One of the all-time great pitching seasons, all around. But Bob Gibson went 22-9 for the Cardinals, with a 1.12 ERA/0.85 WHIP, and 268 strikeouts (all NL-bests). He threw 13 shutouts, and had a 258 ERA+ - better than any other 32-year old pitcher. Gibson only allowed 5.8 hits/9, and gave up just 11 homers all season, good enough for 0.3 HR/9 innings - the best of his career, and topped 300 IP (304.2) for the first time. They lost the World Series in seven games, which Gibson lost Game 7, but he did go 2-1 (all three starts were complete games) in the '68 World Series with a 1.67 ERA/0.82 WHIP.
3. There are undoubtedly better seasons, but I'm bored of the research for this post already, so let's finish up with Craig Biggio, 1998. Led the NL in PA (738) and doubles (51 - 3rd-highest total among 32 year olds). 1998 was also the year he set a career high in average (.325), SLG (.503), with his 2nd-best OPS at .906, and a career-high 50 stolen bases (only caught stealing eight times). Also, he was only hit by pitches 23 times in 1998, down from a career-high of 34 the year prior.