Tuesday, August 22, 2006
The All-Danny Heep Team
We've already gone over the Mets' 1986 Reunion Night in meticulous detail. During the ceremony, however, MC Howie Rose made a remark that is crying out for further analysis.
In his introduction of Danny Heep, Rose remarked that in 1986 Heep became the first designated hitter in Mets history. This, said Rose, was a role that Heep was remarkably suited to. Because, after all, "his initials were DH".
Wow. So that's what it takes to be successful in baseball -- simply having the same initials as your position. This insight could revolutionize the game. Instead of players gravitating towards a position based on their physical attributes, they can simply take the field at the position that most resembles their initials.
In this regard, Designated Hitter Danny Heep was a trailblazer. Let's take a peek into the annals of baseball history and see what other players achieved success as a result of harmony between their initials and the positions they played.
Starting Pitcher (SP): Satchel Paige -- Legendary Hall of Famer with a pitching career that spanned three decades.
Relief Pitcher (RP): Ron Perranoski -- Made 736 relief appearances over a 13-year Major League career. Went 16-3 with 21 saves for the 1963 Dodgers.
Catcher (C): Carumbino -- independent league legend who allegedly invented the crouch. Fathered 26 children. Angel Berroa is a direct descendent.
First Base (FB): Frank Bowerman -- okay, he played catcher for the majority of his 15-year career (1895-1909). But he made appearances at first base as a member of the New York Giants. This was because his manager, Hall of Famer John McGraw, was an early proponent of what was then called "the moniker theory".
Second Base (SB): Steve Balboni -- well, sometimes his mustache would detach itself and play a few innings at second.
Third Base (TB): Tom Brookens -- Long-time Detroit Tiger who was a member of the 1984 World Champion team. Went on to manage the New York-Penn League Oneonta Tigers.
Shortstop (SS): Sergio Sanchez -- 23-year-old shortstop currently with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. Only batting .212, but the sky is the limit for this alliterative wonder.
Center Field (CF): Curt Flood -- Played 1683 games as a centerfielder, the third-most in baseball history. Won seven gold glove awards. Refused to accept a trade to the Phillies in 1969, which went down in history as the most sensible action ever taken by a ballplayer.
Right Field (RF): Rikkert Faneyte -- Sure, he played just parts of four seasons in the big leagues (1993-96). But as one of two Dutch players to ever appear in the Major Leagues, Faneyte gets special consideration. He was known for telling jokes to his Giants teammates, most of which did not translate well from Dutch to English. His favorite one had something to do with bidets actually being "tampon puller-outers".
Left Field (LF): Lew Ford -- reserve outfielder with the Twins. You're still reading this?
This list represents just the tip of the iceberg of the "Position=Initials" team. Please help us compile a complete list by adding additions to the team in the comments section.