I have a feeling this is going to be a two-horse race, but I decided to allow Victor Diaz to try to drum up some support. It’s going to be a tough one for him – he’s facing two of the most popular Rainiers of all time!
The designated hitters of the decade are below – make sure to vote here.
- Juan “The Large Human” Thomas – one of the most memorable Rainiers of all-time, Thomas was a 300+ pound DH/1B. When he connected, it was gone. Thomas batted .300 with 23 home runs and 95 RBI for the 2001 championship team, and then he added 17 more homers in 2002. Hit a home run at Edmonton that their PR director and I stepped off at 505 feet. Thomas also pitched three times – manager Dan Rohn sent him to the mound when the team was getting blown out, to add some levity to the situation.
- Bucky Jacobsen – he was healthy for just three months while playing in Tacoma, but everybody loved Bucky – mostly because he seemed like a regular guy. Big, overweight, and bald, Bucky had one major league skill: power. Played in 81 games in 2004 and hit .312 with 26 homers and 86 RBI. Was on pace to challenge franchise records when he was promoted to Seattle. Hit nine more homers in the majors – including bombs off CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, and Mark Mulder – but knee injuries ended his career right when it was getting started.
- Victor Diaz – Diaz was one of two players this decade to collect 100 RBIs in a single season for the Rainiers (AJ Zapp in 2004). Diaz joined the Rainiers in the first week of May 2008 – and he managed to hit .280 with 24 home runs and 100 RBI in just four months. Diaz was a big part of the Rainiers late surge in 2008, when the team won 11 of the last 12 games.
These are your designated hitters – I can’t wait to see how this one ends. Get out there and vote!