Ludwick earned ‘Player of the Game’ honors last night with 3 hits, including a 2-run homerun that led the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. It had been 16 games since he last homered.
At a very enviable place in the Cardinal lineup, hitting 2nd, in front of a fella named Albert Pujols, Luddy has sparked his own bat rally. While in the 2-spot of the Cardinal lineup, his BA, OBP, SLG and OPS have all soared.
Honestly, I have under-appreciated Ryan Ludwick for far too long. Luddy’s bat has been hot. Plus he’s been gobbling up fly balls and line drives in the outfield at an amazing pace, including climbing a wall and nailing some diving catches.
So I have done some research for Ryan Ludwick Appreciation Day:
Diamond Diaries Cliff Notes:
Ryan Andrew Ludwick
- 31 years old, born July 13, 1978
- Lives in Texas with his wife and their son (born December 2008)
- Brother, Eric Ludwick, pitched for the Cardinals (1996-97)
- Played college ball for the UNLV Rebels
- *attended UNLV because the other recruiting schools wanted him to pitch (Ryan throws left & his older brother pitched), but Ryan wanted to hit
- 2nd round draft pick by Oakland A’s
- 2002 Traded to the Texas Rangers (major league debut in 2002), played with Rangers club 2002-2003
- *2003 -while playing for the Oklahoma City Redhawks (the Rangers’ AAA affiliate), Ludwick led the team in HR, RBI, and hitting, but missed playing in the AAA All-Star game in 2003 when he was promoted to the Big Leagues at the beginning of July
- 2 weeks later was Traded to the Cleveland Indians (2003-2005)
- 2006 played for Detroit’s AAA affiliate, earning a spot in the AAA All-Star game
- 2007 received invitation to Cardinals Spring Training camp
- 2007 called up to St. Louis Cardinals when Preston Wilson was put on DL
- Fractured hip in August 2003 while playing for the Oklahoma City Redhawks – surgery included placement of 6 inch titanium rod
- Prior right wrist surgery – 4-inch titanium rod
- October 2003 left knee surgery for torn cartilage
- April 2004 left knee surgery to remove scar tissue
- Prior history also includes spinal stress fracture, bleeding ulcers and some oblique issues.
- early 2009 strained right hamstring – 15 games on DL
- Phrase Ryan says he might use too much: “What’s up, bro?”
- Greatest accomplishment: the birth of his son
- Greatest extravagance/indulgence: food/steak
- ”I’m old school,” he said. ”I’ll get dirty when I play. I’ll dive for balls, run into walls, whatever it takes. Accidents are going to happen, and injuries are part of the game. You can’t dwell on it.”
- All-Star Selection 2008
- Silver Slugger 2008
- MLB Player of the Month winner (July 2009)
- Avoided arbitration in January 2010, agreed to a 1-year deal with the Cardinals.
- 2010 salary: $5.45 million, a 47% increase over his $3.7 million 2009 salary.
- Back in July of 2002 when Ludwick suffered severe left hip pain while playing for the OKC Redhawks, doctors first told him he might have a tumor and need an amputation. Luckily, that turned out to be wrong and surgical repair of a hip fracture kept him in the game.
- Fall 2002 – after his surgery, Ludwick was ‘hobbling down the aisle’ on crutches at his October wedding.
From an article by Jeff Passan: While Ludwick was playing for UNLV, then Cardinals scouting director, John Mozeliak made a trip to see Ryan hit. But Ludwick overslept that day and ‘team rules’ stated if you’re late to the game, you sit on the bench. Luckily Mozeliak remembered the name anyway!
Should Have Seen It Coming:
When I was at Spring Training in March, Ryan Ludwick hit homeruns in 3 consecutive games, including smashing one out on the 12th pitch of an at bat when he had fouled 2 pitches off of his shin.
Let it be noted: Ryan Ludwick is tough!
Happy Ryan Ludwick Appreciation Day!
Enjoy your weekend Cardinals Fans! :)