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12 Roberto Alomar facts you might not know

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Since Hall-of-Famer Roberto Alomar turns 47 today, it seemed like a good time to pore over his Baseball Reference page and cull out twelve interesting facts about the guy.

1. If not for 38 games with the Diamondbacks in 2004, Alomar would have worn the number 12 his entire career. He wore 2 in Arizona, as Steve Finley already had 12 there.

2. Speaking of 12, Alomar was a 12-time All-Star. His first selection was in 1990, his last season with the Padres, and he was a yearly fixture through 2001. He was elected as a starter nine times, with 1995 and 2001 being the other years he was a reserve.

3. Alomar played for six other teams after the Padres, most notably the Blue Jays, whose hat he wears on his Hall of Fame plaque. He moved on to Baltimore for three years, and Cleveland for three more. He split the final three years of his career between three teams: the Mets, White Sox, and aforementioned Diamondbacks. He signed with the then-Devil Rays for the 2005 season, but retired during Spring Training.

4. Roberto and his brother Sandy Alomar, Jr. were teammates with three different teams: the Padres, Indians, and White Sox. They also both played for the Mets, but not at the same time.

5. While Roberto isn't generally remembered as a White Sock, he was actually a member of the team on two occasions. He was first traded to the South Side in mid-2003 by the Mets; he signed with Arizona after the season, but was traded back to Chicago in August, 2004. Coincidentally, Sandy was a three-time member of the White Sox.

6. Alomar received MVP votes in seven seasons: 1991-'93 (he finished sixth each year), 1996 and '97, 1999, and 2001. His highest finish was in 1999, when he tied for third with teammate Manny Ramirez, behind winner Ivan Rodriguez and runner-up Pedro Martinez. Alomar was also third in WAR that year, with 7.4, trailing Martinez (9.7) and Derek Jeter (8.0). Rodriguez was sixth, with 6.4.

7. Alomar won ten Gold Glove awards for his defense at second base, every year from 1991 through 2001 excepting 1997. A pre-yips Chuck Knoblauch won it that year, his last season with the Twins.

8. He hit 40 or more doubles in four seasons, 30-plus in three others, and over 20 in yet nine more, with his final year being the lone exception. His career total of 504 is good for fifty-sixth all-time, but he ranks sixth among players who played at least half of their games at second base, and second behind only Charlie Gehringer out of those who played 90% of their games there.

9. Alomar stole 50 or more bases twice, 40 or more twice, 30 or more four times, and 20-plus twice. The only years he finished with a single-digit total were 1997 and his last two seasons. His final tally of 474 ranks forty-second; fourth among guys who played half their games at second, and third among the ninety-percenters.

10. He hit very well in the postseason, putting together a .313/ .381/ .448 (.829) slash line, exceeding his regular-season numbers in each, in 58 games spread out over 11 series in seven seasons. I multiplied his counting stats by 2.8 to see how they translate over 162 games, and compared them to his regular-season 162-game averages.

Regular season 162 708 618 103 185 34 5 14 77 32 8 70 78
Postseason 162 736 644 90 202 48 3 11 92 56 6 76 90

It stands to reason that his postseason offensive numbers would be higher than their regular-season counterparts, since his trips to the playoffs happened in his prime. It also makes sense that his plate appearances and at-bats are higher, as stars are more apt to stick around for the entirety of postseason games.

11. Of his 210 career home runs, Alomar hit 22 as a member of the Padres, and three against the Padres. He touched up Brett Tomko in 2002, Mike Bynum in 2003, and Ismael Valdez in 2004.

12. Alomar has a perfect 1.000 batting average against 76 pitchers. Billy Taylor leads the pack with six appearances, followed by eight guys who failed to retire him in three tries, and 23 who had two shots at him. Nate Bump, Edwin Hurtado, Isidro Marquez, the Jim Morris, and Ricky Trlicek all gave up a homer to Alomar the only time they faced him.

Happy birthday, Roberto! And many more!