Born in Kremlin, Oklahoma, Higginson began his professional baseball career in season 1 for Madison Lasers, winning his only World Series during that year. It was during that that the USMLB would find out just how good of a hitter Higginson truly was. He was the Rookie of the Year for the American League, was an All-Star and believe it or not, won a Sliver Slugger award at the catcher position. Higginson was never a good catcher or first basemen through out his career, but as a DH he will go down as the greatest in league history. He batted .367 that season, was among the league leaders in hits, doubles, and RBI’s. It was in season 2 that his reputation as a pure hitter began to take hold. Along with hitting .384 (still the highest average in league history), he finished with 39 homeruns; he also got 132 RBI’s during the year.
Higginson continued his steady and consistent climb up the best hitters in the game during season 3, hitting .346, and finished the season among the league leaders in on-base percentage and doubles. Over the next four seasons, he continued to be among the leaders of many offensive categories; such as runs, batting average, slugging, hits, doubles, walks, and RBIs. It was during the 8th season that Higginson married Julie Shirk-Hummer, and they had there first child Darren Higginson Jr. towards the end of the season. After hitting his career low during season 7 he once showed the league why he’s the best hitter in the league, with an incredible .382 average during season 8. It was a great year for Higginson, but missed some games due to little nagging injuries throughout the year. His slugging numbers also began to take a dip, and consistently in the top ten in doubles, he hit 36 that season, and just 29 the season prior.
Starting in 9, Higginson once again at the top in average, but the nagging injuries only allowed him to play 141 games. Also that season he got 100 RBI’s for the first time since season 6 and over 100 walks for the first time since season 3. During season 10, Higginson had a healthy season playing in 157 games and it showed in his numbers. He hit over .350 once again, getting over 100 RBI’s for the second straight season and hitting 30 homeruns. To the surprise of most fans in Minnesota, Higginson was left out of the All-Star game, only the fourth time in his career. At the end of ten season Higginson is number one in average with a .360 career average, number three in doubles with 361, number three in hits with 1912, number on in on-base percentage at .459, number one in OPS at 1.062 and number one is walks with 944.
A subtle, but longstanding feud between Higginson and future Hall of Famer Nick Ball started during season one with Ball winning the National League Rookie of the Year. The friction reportedly stemmed when Higginson made a remark that all Ball is good for, is swinging at air. The remark was never forgotten by Ball, that when Ball was traded to the Sting during season 10, he told reporters that the American League finally has a true hitter, not a bum like Higginson.
When Higginson finally decides to hang them up, he will surely make the Hall of Fame and will go down as the greatest DH in league history. Unless his average drops a ton during his remaining playing time, I don’t believe anyone will break his average record or his on-base percentage. Higginson is truly one in a lifetime type hitter and he may never see another like him again. Good luck the rest of the way, in a great career Higginson, your truly one of the best.