It's something to be proud of
Manasquan, NJ (Vocus) October 7, 2009
Jackie Robinson never did it. Joe Morgan? Nope. Ryne Sandberg, Rogers Hornsby, Rod Carew? They’re all second basemen enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and none of them have come close to a unique slugging mark achieved by Florida Marlins’ second baseman Dan Uggla.
Batting in the second inning against Philadelphia Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer (whom Uggla has hit a meager .184 against in his career), the slugging second baseman jacked his 30th home run of the season, giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 3-0. More importantly, the dinger marked the third consecutive season that Uggla has surpassed the 30-homer threshold. No other second baseman (based on 100 or more starts at the position in each season) in baseball history has ever achieved such a remarkable feat.
The blast capped off another remarkable season for Uggla, who has become widely recognized by fans across the nation for his power-hitting prowess and by virtue of the increased visibility that has accompanied his promotional deal with elite protein bar manufacturer Supreme Protein. After hitting 31 home runs in 2007 and 32 in 2008, the sky appeared to be the limit for Uggla entering the 2009 season. Uggla however, got off to a slow start this year, mired in a slump that saw him struggle at the plate from Opening Day right through the end of June. Uggla overcame adversity with his teammates’ support and returned to his power-hitting ways in the second half of the Marlins’ season. His second-half tear resulted in a season in which he not only topped the 30-HR mark again, but also significantly reduced his strikeout total while drawing a career high in walks.
The record-setting second baseman, who attributes his strength and season-long stamina to an extensive workout program and a targeted dietary regimen anchored by Supreme Protein bars, his favorite muscle-building protein snack, also became the first Marlins player at any position to hit at least 30 home runs in three consecutive seasons. Remarkably, Uggla narrowly missed hitting 30 home runs in his rookie season, hitting 27 HRs in 2006, or 2009 would have marked an unprecedented fourth consecutive season of thirty or more.
"It's something to be proud of," Uggla has said of the record, "but I don't really know what to think of it or what to make of it right now."