St. Louis, MO
It likely won't make the sting of a Game 7 loss any easier to bear, but Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli had one of the best World Series' in recent memory.
The Texas Rangers were one strike away from a championship twice in Game 6 and that's how close Napoli was to being the series MVP.
It was not to be as the Rangers lost the World Series for the second straight season, but it certainly was not fault of Napoli.
Napoli etched his name in the baseball history books alongside some of the legends of the game with his performance against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Napoli hit .350 with a pair of homers and 10 RBI against the Cardinals. The only other player to have four multi-RBI games in a World Series is Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle, who did it in a seven-game loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960.
Mantle (12) and fellow Yankees great Bobby Richardson (11) - the MVP of the '60 World Series - are the only players with more RBI in a single World Series.
"I want to be a complete player," Napoli said after Game 5. "I'm not just here trying to be an offensive player. My job is to get pitchers through innings, give them a quality start, try to get us a win. I'm trying hard on the defensive side. That's my main goal. And then when I come up to hit, I go to hit."
Hit he did, but Napoli also showed he is a complete player, making clucth plays on defense to go along with his performance at the plate.
Napoli threw out two runners at second base in Game 5, and picked off Matt Holliday at third with the bases loaded in the sixth inning of Game 6.
Not bad for a player who was traded from the Los Angeles Angels to the Toronto Blue Jays in the offseason and then flipped by Toronto to Texas for reliever Frank Francisco.
When spring training rolled around, Napoli looked like he would be the third catcher and part-time first baseman for the Rangers but he showed he could handle pitchers, play defense and hit.
He was the backup catcher before spring training ended and kept earning more and more playing time. Napoli then batted .429 with eight homers and 16 RBI in September and stayed just as hot in the postseason.
'Year of the Napoli'
- Tribe Make Sizemore Free Agent; Exercise Option On Carmona
- Indians Acquire Derek Lowe From Braves
- Tony Goes Out On Top: La Russa Retires After World Series Win
- Yankees Retain CC Sabathia With Five-Year $122M Deal
- Superb Catcher Mike Napoli Nearly Lifted Rangers to World Series Title
- David Ortiz Open to Red Sox Return, But Blue Jays May Swoop In
- Carpenter, Bullpen Excel as Cards Top Rangers in Game 7
- Freese Frame: Homer in 11th Helps Cards Force Decisive World Series Game 7
- Napoli Stars as Rangers Top Cardinals; Rangers Take 3-2 World Series Edge
- Holland Tosses 8 Plus Innings of Two-Hit Ball: Rangers Level World Series 2-2
- Pujols Powers Cards to 2-1 Lead: Belts Record-Tying Three Homers
- Sac Flies Lift Rangers Over Cards in Game Two: World Series Even 1-1
- Carpenter, Bullpen Help Cards Top Rangers in World Series Opener
- Midwest Best or Southern Fried? Rangers - Cards Clash in Fall Classic
- Bud Selig Appears Headed For Retirement in Wisconsin to Pen Memoir
- Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan Predicts Texas Will Win World Series
- Indians Start Offseason Overhaul: Make Two Roster Moves
- Red Sox Pitcher Jon Lester Says Don't Blame Collapse On Beer and Chicken
- McCourts Reportedly Reach Settlement Over Dodgers
- Rangers Huge 3rd Inning Finishes Off Tigers
- Red Sox Owner Sorry to See GM Epstein Go
- Rangers Likely To Pursue CC Sabathia
- Brewers Ride Randy Wolf Gem To Top Cards
- Verlander and Homers Help Tigers Avoid Elimination vs Rangers
- Nelson Cruz Clutch Again in Rangers Game 4 Victory Over Tigers
- Cards Start Fast; Bullpen Excels Over Brewers
- Theo Epstein to Join Cubs
- Nelson Cruz Powers Texas Rangers
- Fister's Arm and Tigers Bats Too Much for Rangers in ALCS Game 3
- Cardinals Roll to NLCS Game 2 Win; Head Home With Series Tied
- Cruz Control: Nelson Homers Twice as Rangers Top Tigers for 2-0 ALCS Lead
- Plenty of Questions; No Answers Yet for Yankees
- Phillies Could Face Overhaul After Disappointing Postseason
- Post Philly Hurt Feelings Ryan Howard Ready to Recover
- Cleveland Sizing Up Grady Sizemore's Situation
- Rangers Rope Series Lead vs Tigers in ALCS opener
- Carpenter Outduels Halladay: Phillies Ousted by Cards
- Brewers Outlast Diamondbacks: Advance to NLCS
- Tigers Headed to Texas Edge Yankees in Game 5
- Hap-Philly Ever After: Charlie Manuel Hopes to Add to Legacy
- Cardinals Defeat Phillies to Force Game 5
- Diamondbacks Power Bats Force Deciding Game 5 vs. Brewers
- Rays Come Up Short in Playoffs But Ready for Long Haul
- Diamondbacks Cut Brewers Lead to 2-1
- Pinch-Hit Homer by Phillies Francisco Pushes Cards to Brink
- Rangers Top Rays in Game 4; Texas Advances to ALCS
- Divisional Series Game Woes Frustrating for Sabathia
- Pence Adds Up: Phillies Hunt for Title with Ex-Astros Outfielder
- Cleveland Indians Bright Spot: Reliever Vinnie Pestano
- Seventh Inning Surge Lifts Rangers Past Rays in Game 3
- Tigers on Trail: Detroit Tops Yankees
- Phillies Ace Can't Beat Cardinals: St. Louis levels NLDS at 1-1
- Lucroy Bunt Helps Brewers Forge 2-0 Series Lead vs. D-Backs
- Scherzer Stellar, Cabrera Homers as Tigers Even ALDS with Yankees
- Cano Shines with Slam: Yankees Take Game 1 vs. Tigers
- Moreland's Late Blast Helps Rangers Even Series with Rays
- Halladay Recovers as Phillies Offense Pounds Cards in Game 1
- Gallardo and Fielder Lead Brewers to Game 1 Victory over Diamondbacks
- Philliess Slugger Raul Ibanez Back in Swing of Things
- Aces Low: Washout Costs Tigers-Yanks No. 1 Starters For Opener
- Red-Hot Rays Rip Rangers in ALDS Opener
- Sinking Ship Costs Skipper Terry Francona
- MLB Baseball Divisional Playoffs Preview
- Wild Finish: Rays and Cards In; Red Sox and Braves Crumble
- Awful End To Awful Season For Red Sox Outfielder Carl Crawford
- Marlins Next for Ozzie Guillen
- Yanks Seek Cash Back: Want GM to Return in 2012
- Nationals Being Cautious: Innings Limit For Strasburg Next Season
- Jim Thome Plays Hot Corner One Last Time for Indians
- Indians Skipper Says Tribe Can Be Serious Contender In 2012
- Judge Dismisses 9 of 11 Counts of Fraud Against New York Mets Owners
- Mariners and A's to Open 2012 MLB Season in Japan
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