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Bob Bloss, author of Rookies of the Year, predicted the correct winners for the 2005 Rookies of the Year:

American League:
Houston Street, pitcher, Oakland Athletics

National League:
Ryan Howard, 1st baseman, Philadelphia Phillies


Houston Street

2005 Oakland Athletics, American League
Born: August 2, 1983 in Austin, TX
Height: 6'0"
Playing Weight: 187 lbs.
Throws right, bats right.

Rookie Year, 2005: Primary Position pitcher. His 1.72 ERA was second to Mariano Rivera among AL closers. Allowed only 3 HR in 78 1/3 innings.

Total Career, 1 year: Athletics 2005

  Record ERA G GS SO IP
Lifetime 5-1 1.72 67 0 72 78.1

Twenty-two year old Houston Street, whose relief pitching was a key factor in Oakland's ability to remain in West Division contention well into September, became the second consecutive member of his ball club to earn Rookie of the Year honors. Shortstop Bobby Crosby was the 2004 American League winner.

Street, as '05 National League honoree Ryan Howard, earned an opportunity to play regularly when a teammate became injured. Two disabled players in fact. A's closer Octavio Dotel went down with a season-ending elbow injury in late May. In came young Street who had made the opening day roster only because reliever Chad Bradford required springtime surgery.

Oakland's new closer was magnificent. Seventy-two strikeouts in his 78 1/3 innings over 67 games. A 1.72 earned run average. An opponents' batting average of just .194. Among the 53 hits Street sparsely scattered, only three were home runs.

With Street's selection, the Athletics now join the Browns/Orioles franchise with seven Rookies of the Year. Only the Yankees with eight have more among American League clubs. New York's most-recent, Derek Jeter, was crowned in 1996. The A's list three in the meantime—Ben Grieve (1998), Crosby (2004), and then Houston Street.


Ryan Howard

2005 Philadelphia Phillies, National League
Born: November 19, 1979 in St. Louis, MO
Height: 6'4"
Playing Weight: 260 lbs.
Bats left, throws left.

Rookie Year, 2005: Primary Position first base. .288 avg., 22 HR, 63 RBI in only 88 games. Led team with .567 slugging average.

Total Career, 2 years: Phillies 2004-05

2005 .288 88 90 17 2 22 63
Lifetime .288 107 101 22 2 24 68

After registering one of the most prolific offensive seasons in modern minor league baseball, young Ryan Howard entered the Phillies' expanded 2004 September lineup and immediately showed that his qualifications for big league consideration were indeed authentic.

His .282 average and long-ball power in that limited 19-game late season audition earned him the right to a thorough exam in the following Spring Training. However, as the 2005 season began, Ryan had been re- assigned to Triple A, because popular Jim Thome was still entrenched at first base in Philadelphia.

Fortuitously for Howard, and unfortunately for the incumbent, Thome was forced to the disabled list in July. Enter Ryan Howard from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He immediately made himself at home, and made a positive impression on Phillies officials and Phillies fans. His 22 homers in little more than a half season, and his .567 slugging percentage were key ingredients in his team's drive to a mere one game short of post-season Wild Card status.

Having been rated by Baseball America in 2004 as the Philadelphia Organization's top prospect, Ryan Howard clearly achieved Rookie of the Year laurels and established for himself a very promising major league future.

Bob Bloss hands his book Rookies of the Year to
Philadelphia Phillies' Rookie of the Year 2005
Ryan Howard.


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