Immaculate Grid, Part Deux: So We’re Doing Silver Sluggers Now

Chip Stewart
3 min readJul 18, 2023

I’ve only been playing Immaculate Grid for a few weeks now, so this may not have been a first for everyone, but it was for me today.

Silver Sluggers? Really?

I remember a lot of MVPs and Rookies of the Year and Cy Youngs, plenty of All Stars, even some Gold Gloves. But I’ve never paid much attention to the Silver Slugger awards — a fact that was on display today.

Things I learned:

  • The Silver Sluggers started in 1980
  • They used to go to 9 players in each league (catcher, each infield position, three outfielders, and a DH in the AL or a pitcher in the NL)
  • Starting in 2020, they gave them out to a DH in the National League since there was no more pitcher batting there.
  • Starting last year, 2022, they added a 10th Silver Slugger for a utility guy. The first winners of those were the Twins’ Luis Arraez and the Padres’ Brandon Drury.

Since I mostly write about the Texas Rangers on here, I put together I handy list of Rangers’ Silver Slugger winners in case this category ever comes back. Some hints:

The first came in 1980, and he won twice at two different positions.

The list includes four designated hitters.

Two guys won Silver Sluggers six times each in the 1990s.

And there was one guy who won it last year.

Answers below my fun stab at obscure Rangers in yesterday’s puzzle — which resulted in my personal best rarity score of 3!

No joke. You put Rangers, Astros and Expos in the same grid, and I’m golden.

Texas Rangers Silver Sluggers

Harold Baines (dh 1989) * one of the DHs

Buddy Bell (3b 1984)

Adrian Beltre (3b 2011, 2014)

Julio Franco (2b 1989–91)

Juan Gonzalez (of 1992–93, 1996–99) * six-time winner

Vladimir Guerrero (dh 2010) * another one of the DHs

Josh Hamilton (of 2008, 2010, 2012)

Nathaniel Lowe (1b 2022) * last year’s winner

Al Oliver (of 1980, dh 1981) * the first, who won it twice, and one of the DH’s

Rafael Palmeiro (dh 1999) * the other DH, who also won a Gold Glove in ‘99

Alex Rodriguez (ss 2001–03)

Ivan Rodriguez (c 1994–99) * six-time winner

Ruben Sierra (of 1989)

Alfonso Soriano (2b 2004–05)

Mark Teixeira (1b 2004–05)

So — no Michael Young, no Ian Kinsler, no Mike Napoli, no Will Clark (who won it twice for San Francisco before coming to Texas) or Rusty Greer. Just those guys above.

Dean Palmer won it twice after the Rangers traded him, for what it’s worth (for the Royals in 1998 and the Tigers in 1999). And Nelson Cruz won four times at DH after his Texas career (Mariners in 2015 and 2017, Twins in 2019 and 2020).

Dickie Thon won in 1983 in Houston also, if we’re looking at guys who played for Texas and won a Silver Slugger at some point.

OK, and here’s my 3-rarity grid from July 17.

For some reason I can’t forgot Luis Pujols very brief end-of-career stint in Texas in 1985. Note Rangers Al Oliver and Ellis Valentine making appearances as well.

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Chip Stewart

Lawyer. Journalist. TCU professor. Viewer discretion is advised.