05/17/2021 4:30 AM
Evan Longoria Chatham (05) SportsPix Photo
Article By: Mike Richard
While no Cape Cod League baseball player has ever won the Triple Crown, the 2005 Chatham squad combined to put up the numbers to lead the league in the top three categories.
The A’s, one of manager John Schiffner’s finest all-around teams, featured the league’s top three hitters in Chris Coghlan (.346), Baron Frost (.343) and Alex Presley (.341), while leading the CCBL in home runs and RBI was Evan Longoria.
That season, the Long Beach State product had league-leading eight home runs and 35 RBI despite falling out of contention in the batting race with a .299 average after spending much of the season in the top five in that category.
Just the same, Longoria was the recipient of the Pat Sorenti Award as the 2005 Cape League Most Valuable Player.
Longoria is presently in the midst of the 14th year of a Major League career and one of the most productive Cape League products over the past two decades. As of early May this season he was hitting .275 with four home runs and 12 RBI for the Giants.
The 2005 Chatham As had eight players who would go on to major league careers. Aside from Longoria there was infielder Todd Frazier, outfielders Chris Coghlan and Alex Presley, while future big-league pitchers on the staff were Brooks Brown, David Huff, Jared Hughes and Andrew Miller.
During the regular season, Longoria was the Coca Cola player of the week on two separate occasions. Over a six-game stretch between June 20 and June 26, he hit .440 (11-25) with two home runs, five RBIs, three doubles and a slugging percentage over .800.
Then, during the week of July 11-17, he belted three more home runs and 11 RBI in 30 at-bats. His batting average for the week was .400, while his slugging percentage was .883.
As good as that team was, Chatham finished second in the Eastern Division to Orleans.
In the playoffs, despite winning the first game against the Cardinals, Chatham would be swept in two-straight to close out the semifinals and Orleans would go on to capture the championship in three games over Bourne.
The next year, Longoria was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays as the third overall pick in the 2006 Major League Baseball draft. He would go on to become the 2008 American League Rookie of the Year with the Rays and played in the World Series that year, losing to Pittsburgh.
A three-time American League All-Star (2008-10) and three-time Gold Glove Award winner at third base (2009, 10, 17), he was also the Silver Slugger Award winner in 2009.
Red Sox fans will recall Longoria hitting a clutch 12th-inning walk-off home run in the last game of the 2011 season against the Yankees. The Tampa Bay win snapped a tie with Boston in the race for the American League wild card spot and sent the Rays into the postseason.
After nine seasons with the Rays, Longoria was traded to the San Francisco Giants in December of 2017. In August of last year, he reached a key milestone with his 300th career home run.