Thursday, July 27, 2006
Dave Kingman Will Soon Lose His Footnote Status
Over 16 Major League seasons spent with seven teams, Dave Kingman slugged 442 home runs. He retired in 1986, a year in which he hit 35 homers and drove in 94 runs for the Oakland A's.
Mark McGwire, meanwhile, made his Major League debut with the very same 1986 Oakland A's. The future Congressional Stonewaller bashed three home runs over 53 September at-bats that season.
The brief overlap of the careers of Kingman and McGwire could be viewed as a passing of the torch, as the one-dimensional Kingman gave way to the equally one-dimensional McGwire. Both men could hit awe-inspiring home runs, but that's about it.
20 years later, Kingman has another torch to pass to McGwire --as an honor that has belonged to Kingman since 1992 will soon be Big Mac's.
That honor? Most career home runs by a Hall of Fame eligible player who has failed to make it to the Hall.
Kingman first appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot in 1992, and the results weren't pretty. He recieved 3 out of a possible 430 votes, and was promptly removed from future ballots. Kingman's inability to make it to the Hall set a new standard -- never before had someone with so many dingers failed to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
In 2007, that will change. McGwire, who hit 583 homers in his steroid-enhanced career, will be on the ballot for the first time. Upon retiring in 2001, he was considered a lock to make it. But the resulting steroid scandal has severely tarnished his reputation. Big Red will be Big Dead to the Hall's voters*.
When this happens, Kingman will no longer hold the distinction of "guy with most homers not in the Hall of Fame". It will be his 1986 teammate, Mark McGwire.
Appropriately, McGwire will be rejected right along with his former "Bash Brother", Jose Canseco. Mr. Juiced also retired with more homers than Kingman (462) and has zero chance of election. In 2010, Fred McGriff and his 493 homers will be rejected, and in 2010 steroid kings Sammy Sosa (588) and Rafael Palmeiro (569) will certainly be excluded from the Hall. Dave Kingman, meanwhile, will just keep falling farther and farther into baseball obscurity.
When the 2007 Hall of Fame votes are tallied, it will be like 1986 all over again. Dave "Kong" Kingman will silently be ceding his throne to Mark McGwire.
Poetic, isn't it? I'm crying as I write this.
It's time, again, for the High and Inside boys to go on a famous TV dating show. We've been selected to be contestants on MTV's: NEXT! Lucky us. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, we go on one date with a girl while a bus full of 4 other girls follows us around (Dating on a bus was made popular by the Bang Bus. This is not quite the Bang Bus). If we get bored with the date we're on, we yell out "NEXT!" and a new girl comes off the bus. What a concept! Oh, and the girl who you "NEXT" gets one dollar for every minute she's lasted (May her fortunes be plenty!). At the end of the show, you ask one of the girls out for a second date, she either takes the money or goes on a second date with us. Well... you know the deal.
So, here now is how our "date(s)" went:
The show starts and we intorduce ourselves with a few "extreme" camera shots from several angles. This is what we say: "Hey what's up MTV! We're High and Inside and we're looking for a girl who can get us HIGH... and let us get INSIDE... her heart (wink*)."
Then we stand outside the bus and wait for our first 'victim' to step off the bus. Suddenly, the doors open and a tall chocolate beauty steps off the bus. She stops, poses, and interesting facts appear:
Name: Deanna Nolan
Occupation: WNBA player
- Nickname is "Tweety."
- She has 16 tattoos and her favorite is the butterfly on her back (seriously?).
- Once ate only garnish for a week to lose weight.
So, Deanna steps off the bus and makes this little snap sound with her mouth. It was a flattering. She's actually wearing her Detroit Shock uniform because the drycleaners lost all her Hard Rock Cafe T's that she's amassed while visiting all the boom towns the WNBA calls home. Then Deanna introduces herself to us with a sexy little handshake. It all goes a little something like this:
Deanna: how you doing, sexies?
H and I: we're good.
Deanna: so, what are we doing today?
(Now, what struck us when she first got off the bus was the "armband" tattoo she has. Not really what we're looking for in a girl. So, we decided to cut our losses and go our seperate ways. But, in NEXT! fashion!)
H and I: Nothing... with you! NEXT!
Deanna is stunned. She gives us the old "one over" and says, "Well you guys are ugly anyways, with your tiny [bleep] and all." Real classy. Glad that one is over, onto the next girl.
The next girl steps off the bus wearing a little gymnast get-up. She stops and poses and we learn:
Name: Svetlana Khorkina
Occupation: Olympic Gymnast
- Has won 7 Olympic medals
- Has appeared on the Rosie O'Donnell Show
- Followed Phil Collins on tour for 8 months thinking that she was following Phil Lesh and Friends.
When Svetlana steps off the the bus we get a little excited because High has certainly seen her before and knows exactly what she is capable of (see: right). She kind of caught us off guard, because when she got off the bus she handed us a few gifts. One being a signed copy of the Russian Playboy that she posed in and the other being a giant calander with pictures of her frolicing on the gym mat. Don't get us wrong, we love the gifts, but we have nothing to give her in return and now we feel like dicks. But, High is convinced we should look past it and continue on with the date. Afterall, he reminds me that she's a gymnast and shows me the photo to the right that he carries around in his pocket.
The conversation with Svetlana turns out to be a little dry because she learned how to speak English at a Russian day school and we learned our English from Stephen A. Smith and reading Scoop Jackson articles.
H and I: How you doin' Tuhday? I mean seriously, people? Can ya TELL me how you're doin'!? Svetlana: Good. Thank You.
H and I: To quote Big Daddy Kane, "I'm so goddamn dope I sell rhymes in a twenty sack." So, wussup?
H and I: Huh?
(And then, NEXT history...)
Svetlana: I NEXT myself! goodbye.
(So, we had to save face...)
H and I: You were fat anyways! Did you knoooow you were fat? Can ya TELL me how you got so fat?!
Date two, not so good. Let's hope this third girl is someone we can date:
Name: Penny Banner
Occupation: Retired Female Wrestler
- Was the 1st A.W.A. Women's World Champion
-Once dated Elvis Presley (really!)
-Her head shrinks a quarter inch every leap year
So, Penny gets off the bus and, well, she wasn't the same Penny Banner that dated Elvis Presley. She was 72 year old Penny Banner who dates the toilet everytime she eats roast beef. And that whole head shrinking thing looks awfully strange.
NEXT! (Realizing that she could still kick both of our asses we made sure to yell NEXT from the top of a tree. Old women can't climb trees. That's a little something you learn while spending the day at an elderly people's retreat. More on that in a future article.)
0 for 3! This isn't turning out to be the dating show experience we had hoped for. Until....
Name: Cat Osterman
Occupation: Softball Pitcher
- Is considered the 'Nolan Ryan' of women's softball
- Awards? Yeah, she got 'em!
-Once considered naming her underhand circle-change "Sillius Soddus"
Nice! A tall drink of water who is a proven winner on the softball field. Does it get any better?
So, we introduce ourselves and the conversation is flowing, my friends.
Cat: So, how have the other dates gone?
H and I: Well, they were pretty much all strike outs! Get it? Cause you pitch!
Cat: (laugh-crying) You guys are really funny. I like that in a duo. The other girls on the bus were saying that you are a couple of shallow guys who think that their #2's don't stink.
H and I: (High, in a British accent... for no particular reason) And is that a problem?
Cat: No, I think it's appealing. When I struck out 33 batters in a 14 inning game, I did it all with an air of confidence. I like that in a duo.
H and I: Cool. Well, we have something set up over here for you. Have you ever made pottery?
Cat: No, but I always wanted to!
H and I: Well, we're going to make pottery today.
See how smooth that went? Man, we're good! So, we begin to make some pottery and continue down the relationship road. Things are looking good. Until...
High decides to make an ashtray. An Ashtray! She's an athlete, High! Female athletes don't want guys who smoke. Luckily, we divert her attention by releasing a rodeo clown. Have you ever seen these guys work? It was perfect! Cat was so thrown off by the rodeo clown that she forgets exactly what is wrong with us. Thank you rodeo clown!
So, after 37 minutes of being on a date we decide to offer Cat a chance to go on a second date with us or take $37. She took the money...
Her reasoning: "Listen, you gusy are cool and all.... And I really had a good time making potery, but this guy's been High the whole time, and that guy's been trying to get Inside me since I got out here. So, I'll take the money."
Damn! We were doing so well. Oh, at least it could have been worse. Later we found out that the next person to come off the bus would have been Spike Lee. Close call!