In 8 days, The Silver Fox and I embark on our sojurn across this great land to suckle at baseball's great teet. In honor of this event, I will begin a countdown.
This one's for you, Silver Fox.
My 8 Favorite Pitchers
8. Mitch Williams: He's not on the list for any accomplishments; he was a moderate pitcher at best, and a sloppy closer at best as well. No, "Wild Thing" is on the list for no other reason than his control was so sketchy and erratic, he would scare the absolute crap out of batters. You could actually see the fear when they came up to the plate. Coupled with his wild hair, he was a pleasure to watch (except for the '91 World Series when he blew it against the Blue Jays, giving up the home run to Joe Carter. Boo.)
7. Tim Wakefield: Any fan of the Red Sox, or knuckleballers, will agree; the boy can pitch, and he has the work ethic of a horse.
6. Rollie Fingers: Have you seen the moustache? He helped epitomize the role of "relief ace." 17-year career, 341 saves, and a bitchin' moustache.
5. Randy Johnson: Any man that stands 6'7", can throw 100mph, and scares John Kruk is ok with me.
4. Dennis Eckersley: The Eck, another treasure the Sox once had, displayed an uncommon side-arm delivery that lasted him throughout his starting career(149-130), and as one of, if not the, greatest relievers in baseball history (390 saves.)
3. "Three-Finger" Mordecai Brown: At the age of 7, Brown was playing on his uncle's farm and got his right hand caught in a corn shredder. His index finger was amputated above the second knuckle, and his thumb and pinkie were both impaired permanently. While chasing a hog a few weeks later, he fell and broke the third and fourth fingers on the same hand, both of which healed unnaturally. This accident led to the distinctive nickname, "Three Finger Brown." It's eerie how much his story mirrors my sex life. Sigh.
2. Dent "Cy" Young: nicknamed "Cyclone" because of his blinding fastball. 22-year career, 511 wins, and over 7,300 innings pitched as a Red Sox. I loved that man.
1. Nolan Ryan: The "Alvin Express" accrued 5,714 strikeouts (still the record) and seven no-hitters over a 27-year career. His last no-hitter came at the age of 46. He owns or shares 48 Major League records, some while wearing one of the worst uniforms in the history of professional sports (Houston Astros of the 1980's.)