This post is an idea I’ve come up with to generate some interest and commentary.
Basically, the idea is, write a comment that mentions you’re favorite Cardinal who’s not an MLB Hall Of Famer. (Ones in the Cardinals HOF are allowed.) One caveat: You cannot re-use a player someone else has already used. This’ll help add some variety. Current players are allowed.
Since it’s my blog, I’ll start. My choice is from the Whitey-Ball era. Willie McGee. One odd thing, until checking Willie’s stats I didn’t remember that he’d had a long career, spanning from 1982 until 1999, ending up with over 2200 hits and a .295 career average. Not bad for a guy who didn’t look like your typical player.
That’s what I remember about Willie, he didn’t *look* like a baseball player, he looked long and and skinny, was all arms and legs and had that long neck….If he looked like an athlete from any sport, it’d be basketball.
And yet, the man could hit. As I said above, he ended up with a .295 career average. His best season was in 1985 where he hit .353 with 10 homeruns, 82 RBI’s and 56 stolen bases, culminating in an MVP Award.
Willie had his share of other honors too. 4 all-star games, 3 Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger from that ’85 season.
Some might argue that his high batting averages were a little empty, as he didn’t walk much, and while it’s true he never had a .400 OBP, not even in 1985, alot of players these days would happily take the .333 Career OBP Willie ended up with. And it’s true he didn’t hit for power either, but that wasn’t his game. His game was to get on and create a little havoc. The .295 average and 352 career steals attest to that.
But beyond the stats, what I’ll always remember is that tall, skinny guy who could hit. Being a tall, skinny guy myself, I admired him. He gave me hope, hope that not everyone needed to be muscular to excel in baseball.
To this day, I admire guys like him, guys who don’t pass the eye test, or the flamethrower test. Guys like Jose Altuve of the Astros or Mark Buerhle of the Blue Jays. Give me the scrappers, the crafty veterans. You can keep your Trouts and Kershaws.
Well, there’s my guy, who’s yours?