It's fascinating to me how certain players stick with you, especially if you're watching a team every day as a kid.
When I was a kid growing up near Portland I got to see Ms games when they were broadcast on the WB - maybe once a week (I still remember being so excited when I got to see the "Back to the Future" game
in '98. Junior and Shane Monahan playing with their hats backwards for the first couple of innings before the umpires - and my dad - got fussy is a great memory). I did see quite a few Cubs games in the early-to-late 90s, though. As a result, there are a great many fringe-y players that I hold a special place for, and in most cases, I'm not really sure why.
I love thinking back and examining my opinions of certain players, and once I got a baseball card (or jumping way in to the future - looked on baseballreference) and realized how wrong I was. Of course I loved Tino, Edgar, and Griffey; Mark Grace and Ryne Sandberg. Here, though, is my All-Obscure Team. And I apologize for writing so much, but this is fun stuff for me
Some players I enjoyed watching:
: Didn't really like him as a player, but loved him in general because he would quickly punch the ball in to his glove a couple of times during his leg kick. I attempted to emulate this in a little league game with disastrous results.
: Who didn't love this guy?
: Always expected this guy to steal more bags because of his name. But he was a good story baseball reference-wise. He actually had a very long and successful minor league career: 150 HRs, almost 300 steals, over 1500 hits.\
Orlando Merced/Howard Johnson
: Guys who played for years elsewhere, played only briefly in Chicago, but I distinctly remember both of them hitting late-inning pinch hit homers. That's a good way to win me over.
My absolute favorites:
: My favorite pitcher when I was a kid. Had a couple of really good seasons, and was a pretty solid hitter too. I'm still baffled as to why he didn't stick around in the big leagues longer than he did.
: I'm really not sure why I liked this guy so much. He was they typical veteran catcher who didn't play much, but seemed to be especially clutch when you least expected it. He's a HS teacher now, and a few years ago one of his students wrote a great Wikipedia page for him that's since been sterilized.
: Had good power and always hit the first baseman right in the chest with his throws to first. Ended up having a really good career in Japan, but I still don't understand why he never caught on in the majors.
And some Ms:
: I'm cheating here, because he was a Cub. But I was so excited when the Ms picked him up to replaced the ill/injured Carlos Guillen. I think even today I'd take Sanchez as the M's utility player over Carlos
: I remember SportSpot being up in arms that this guy never got any playing time. He was Roy Hobbs in spring training and made the team. In (I think...) his first two at bats he hit a pinch-hit double and a walk-off home run, then went on to rot on the bench. The man dominated in Japan, but never got the reps in the big leagues. He drove in 100 runs and hit .335 while playing overseas in 2009 at age 38.
: I've heard tell that this guy was kind of a punk. But he was a left-handed hitter who didn't have a lot of power, much like me. So he gave me hope that I could be a ball player too.
This post has been edited by Leo Gomez: 11 February 2012 - 05:58 AM