1. Two nice trophies
Two pieces of Josh Donaldson’s hardware collection are quite notable. He won the AL MVP award in 2015, his first season in Toronto after parts of four seasons in Oakland. He hit 41 homers that year, with 123 RBI and carried a .297 average. This past season, four years and two teams removed from that MVP campaign, Donaldson earned the 2019 NL Comeback Player of the Year award after bashing 37 home runs and recording 94 RBI to help lead the Braves to a NL East title. In his career, Donaldson has 219 homers and over 600 RBI.
2. Sweet swing x 2
Donaldson is a big golfer, and has been for a long time. According to the Toronto Star, when Donaldson was 18 months old, he appeared on a local TV and showed off what was called then a “picture-perfect” golf swing.
3. Roller-coaster 2018
After three strong seasons with the Blue Jays, Donaldson’s run hit a wall. In March 2018, Donaldson was reported to have “dead arm syndrome,” and in April he went on the 10-day disabled list for shoulder inflammation. He returned, played well, but then landed on the 10-day DL again in June with a calf strain. Later that month on a rehab assignment, he re-aggravated the strain and was eventually transferred to the 60-day DL. In August, Toronto traded him to Cleveland for a player to be named later. He played just 16 games for Cleveland, after yet another calf strain. He was limited to 56 games total in 2018 and after the season signed a one-year “prove it” deal with Atlanta (1-year, $23 million contract).
4. Another Auburn-Minnesota connection
What’s the deal with the Auburn-Minnesota connection of the past 12 months? The Tigers made the Minneapolis Final Four in the spring. Then the Gophers and Tigers squared off in the Outback Bowl. And now the Twins sign Donaldson, a former Auburn standout. In his final season with the Tigers, Donaldson hit .276 and led the team with 10 home runs.
5. ‘Vikings’ fan
Good news, Minnesotans: Donaldson is a “Vikings” fan. OK, that was a tease, but there’s truth to it: Donaldson is a fan of the History Channel series “Vikings” and in 2016 made a guest appearance in the fourth season of the show as the character Hoskuld. He sported a “Vikings”-like hairstyle for quite some time, too.