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July 24, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman (12) lays on the ground after being hit by a pitch in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium. Berkman was removed from the game. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

Is this the final straw for Lance Berkman?

After coming back from knee surgery, Lance Berkman was hit by a baseball in the knee this week. It’s very possible that this season could be the end for Lance Berkman.


Derrick Goold reported in the Post-Dispatch:
“My career is complete as far as I’m concerned,” Berkman said. “Not that I wouldn’t love to win another championship. Not that I wouldn’t love to be out there every day and be productive. But if that is not the case, I’m not that upset about it. If they think AC gives them a better chance to win as a first baseman, I’m all for it. I’ll do everything to help him.”

During the offseason, as Allen Craig recovered from surgery and Albert Pujols moved to the American League, it was thought by many that Lance Berkman would be moving right right field to first base as a stop-gap. This would be so that the organization would make sure that prospects like Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter were ready.

As it turned out, Matt Carpenter got injured and Matt Adams would be called up to the big leagues, where he made quite the impression over 27 games, hitting .244 with 2 home runs and 13 RBI. This season, playing for Memphis, Adams has a .357 average with 16 home runs and 44 RBI.

If this is truly the end of the road for Lance Berkman, he’s had one heck of a baseball career. He’ll be remembered moreso for his 12 years playing for the Houston Astros as part of the Killer Bs although nobody will forget his comeback year with the St. Louis Cardinals last season. When knee injuries in 2010 posed as a threat to retirement, Berkman signed a one year contract with the Cardinals, where he hit .301 with 31 home runs and 94 RBI.

Are Berkman’s numbers good enough to earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame? After all, the 2012 season is his 14th season. At the moment, he has 1,840 career hits and 359 home runs. His career batting average is .296, just shy of .300. He has been named to 6 All-Star teams. David Schoenfield offers his thoughts on Berkman and the Hall at ESPN.

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Tags: Allen Craig Lance Berkman Matt Adams Matt Carpenter

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