Best Sports Expatriate - 2012
Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers
Andre Ethier grew up near what is now Chase Field and was a huge Diamondbacks fan (he went on to play at ASU under legendary Coach Pat Murphy) — which makes it all the more ironic that he and his Dodgers have been such a bane to our boys of summer. Especially this year. The Dodgers keep getting better, and the D-backs keep staying mediocre — even though several experts predicted that they would be in the World Series this year. Part of the reason the Dodgers are rising now after a big slump is that outfielders Ethier and Matt Kemp have returned to the lineup from injuries. Ethier has come back from a left oblique muscle strain. This season, he hasn't matched his 2011 performance of a Gold Glove award and hitting in 23 straight games, breaking former Dodgers and Yankees manager Joe Torre's record as a player. But the intense Ethier has added spice to the Dodgers' powerful lineup in his cleanup role. In his abbreviated season, he leads current Dodgers in hitting with a .285 batting average (lifetime in the majors .290) and in runs batted in (65) — with 11 home runs. If the Dodgers make it to the World Series, the half-Mexican-American Phoenix native (he spends winters at his Chandler ranch) will be a major reason why.