Wednesday, June 23, 2004

T-minus 8 and counting...

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.)


Oldsmoblogger said...

A few more (not all, and neither comprehensive nor scientific):

Sandy Koufax: One of the greatest lefties of all time. As a southpaw myself, I go for solidarity.

Steve Carlton: See Sandy Koufax.

Dan Quisenberry: Submarine delivery and probably more 2- and 3-inning saves than anyone. Given bullpen usage trends, that record will never be broken.

Gaylord Perry: He was the only good pitcher the Indians had, at the time I became a serious baseball fan as a child.

Bob Feller: Rapid Robert has to be at the top of the list of any true Indians fan.

Tom Seaver: The Miracle Mets were a great story, and Tom Terrific was a great pitcher.

Ewell "The Whip" Blackwell: He was the ace of my 1947 AL pennant-winning Replay Baseball 1947 old-timers team (also featuring Early Wynn, Jackie Robinson, Phil Rizzuto, Pete Suder, Harry "The Hat" Walker, Billy Johnson, Bruce Edwards, Tommy Holmes, and King Kong Keller). 33 starts, 21-12 record, 30 complete games. "Gimme the ball and go sit down, skip."

Aurelio Lopez: Bill James had a hilarious description of Senor Smoke (paraphrasing): This guy must have one of the greatest arms God ever made. He threw about a million innings in the Mexican League, he looks like he trains on beans and beer with three side orders of meat, and all he does is blow his fastball by good major league hitters.

Bartolo Colon: My favorite memory of Colon is of him going up the ladder on Mo Vaughn in the late innings of a close game. Couldn't quite catch up to that heater, Mo? Here's another--a little higher, a little harder. Siddown, Mo.

Tug McGraw--One of the first, if not the first, great lefty closers.

Anonymous said...

Easycure says:

Randy Johnson is 6'-10", I'm pretty sure.....which is 3" more intimidating.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog and respectable list. By the way though, the Wild Thing-Joe Carter moment was '93.

This leapt out at me because my beloved Twins won in '91. Jack Morris would be high on my list.

Have a great trip and if you ever get to the Metrodome, please be merciless.