Happy Birthday J.T. Snow

By MJ Lloyd

It’s about time I share a story with you, my Halo Hangouters. See, I’m not from Southern California, I’ve never been to the Big A and Chili Davis isn’t my uncle (even though the resemblance is stunning). I was born in New Orleans but moved around most of my life. I learned to love the Saints and LSU from my dad but he didn’t much care for baseball so I was on my own. I was living in southern New Jersey, a suburb of Philly, when I really started to pay attention to MLB. I was more of an NHL kid up to that point. So why not the Phillies or the Braves that were actually on TV? I don’t know.

I tabbed the Angels around 1993 to be my favorite MLB team. Yeah, I loved Tim Salmon. But, for whatever reason, I LOVED J.T. Snow. I don’t know how much my mom spent on that authentic Snow jersey but I wore it with pride. Quite often. And endured more than a few “Informer” comments. I can’t explain it. I was a fan of perceived first base defense? I guess it happens to the best of us.

Looking back on his stats, I’m not sure how he was a Major League player. Snow was a .268/.357/.427 career hitter and didn’t live up to his defensive hype by the advanced metrics. He compiled a 15.7 fWAR (Fangraphs wins above replacement) over his 15 year career which makes him replacement level. Baseball-Reference WAR and BP’s WARP aren’t as generous.

Snow was traded to the Giants after the 1996 season and had his best seasons in 1997, 1999 and 2004 with them. Perhaps his most memorable moment of his career was in the 2002 World Series against the Angels. As Snow crossed home after a Kenny Lofton triple, he scooped up 3-year-old batboy/manager’s son, Darren Baker, at the plate before David Bell would have surely crushed the child. I believe he received a Purple Heart. I was in Vegas for that series, my memory is fuzzy.

While it wasn’t a great career, J.T. Snow helped get me hooked on the Angels. For that, I wish him a very happy 44th birthday. Your Fudgie the Whale is in the mail.