My Fave 5

My Fave 5

This idea is pawned off from the “Sir” Charles Barkley and Dwayne Wade commercials for T-mobile. The idea really started with the movie High Fidelity. Many people, including myself have a hard time in letting someone know with absolute certainty that they are in love with Pastor Tacos and could go about every day of their lives eating said tacos, or their favorite beer and so on. The character in the movie had this same predicament and I usually find myself in the same boat. So, as I see fit, perhaps once a week, I will throw out my “fave 5”. Ideas for future Fave 5’s are more than welcome, in fact they are encouraged. Ideas that have crossed my mind are as follows; Favorite Beers, Favorite Movies, Favorite Websites and Favorite Foods that make me fart… You get the idea.

Since I’ve been on quite the baseball kick in the month of April I will continue the trend with my Favorite Baseball Players.

1.) Donald Arthur Mattingly a.k.a Donnie Baseball, The Hitman, The Captain: I have been a Don Mattingly Fan as long as I can remember. When I was a kid watching those telecasts and even when I was lucky enough to go to the stadium, where they were lucky to get 25,000 fans into the stadium. You knew that Mattingly was out there giving it his all. He played the game the right way and was everything a Yankee is supposed to be. In his only post season appearance in 1995, he left everything he possibly could on the field with this line .414/.440/.770 1 Hr 6 RBI. When he hung up the spikes and had to call it quits due to injury it was a sad day for me. I pine for him to be the next Yankee manager and hope he can get his much deserved ring while wearing the pinstripes. If I had a vote for the hall of fame you’d surely get my vote!

2.) Cal Ripken Jr.: Another player that seems to be cut from the same cloth as the Hitman. I was lucky enough to meet Cal Ripken at Joe’s Stone Crab (Keep this in mind for my favorite restaurants) in Miami. I was about 12 years old and he seemed like a giant to me. He was a gentleman and obliged a young baseball fan by signing a menu for me. I don’t know a single person that was rooting against him to break Lou Gehrig’s record. Athletes like Cal come by once every generation. I’ll be lucky enough to say I met him.

3.) Derek Sanderson Jeter: Perhaps you’re seeing a trend here. I couldn’t ask for a better player to follow in the footsteps of Mattingly to be the next Yankee Captain. Derek has always been in the limelight since he stepped onto the big stage in 1996 as rookie. To maintain the level of respect he’s garnered in the media and sports capital of the world speaks volumes of the man he is. Everyone speaks of his relationships with models, actresses’ and so on. All the more to him, if I were Derek Jeter I would be doing the same thing. The fact that he is able to keep out of the back pages of the NY Post while A-Rod seems to have a new story every 2 months really shows you how focused and awesome Derek really is. Not to mention as a kid I grew up wearing the number two playing shortstop for my little league teams on up through high school. I also attended both games in which Jeter dove into the stands. The playoff game against Oakland was probably the loudest I have ever heard it in the Stadium. I’ve been to a lot of playoff games in my time but nothing compared to the intensity of the crowd in this moment.

4.) Paul O’Neill: This guy was a straight up gamer, there wasn’t an at bat that he didn’t take seriously. Anyone who wasn’t a Yankees fan thought of him as a primidona who was only concerned with smashing water coolers and making a stink on the field when things didn’t go his way. After reading Buster Olney’s book the Last night of the Yankee Dynasty it really gave me a better view into the man that Paul O’Neill is. He’s the guy everyone hates but secretly wants on their team. That’s exactly how I feel about Kevin Youkilis but he’ll never make it to this list. He will always be remembered as one of the Yankee greats and was a key part of that dynasty I grew up with. My one lasting memory of Paulie would be that incredible catch he made in game 3 against Atlanta in the 7th inning on a bad knee. He is the Warrior.

5.) Wade Boggs: Not necessarily because he stuck it to the sox by going to the Yankees and winning that World Series in 96’ and gloating like a 7 year old on that stupid horse. It’s because this guy could straight up hit. I’ve went to games where he would have a 10 minute at bat, fouling off 25-30 pitches until he found the one he liked and would slap it into right for a single. There are also the rumor’s that he could drink with the best of them. If I can find the link I will surely post it. Rumors have it he was known to polish off 64 beers on a cross country flight without looking the slightest bit intoxicated. On a side note, I’ve actually heard many stories that a lot of ballplayers actually play better when hung over. If this is actually true we’ll never know. Hey, maybe Sports Science can do a show on this myth? Wade also was notorious for being a habitual creature by eating his chicken at a certain hour every day before a ball game. Baseball players, of all professional athletes are extreme creatures of habit. He is the only player in major league history to have his 3,000 hit come via a home run.

5a.) Rickey Henderson: Ricky is quite the opposite of Donnie Baseball but they did play together early on his Mattingly’s career. You have to love a person who talks about himself in the 3rd person. In fact Rickey was an important reason why Mattingly won the MVP in 85’. Who do you think was setting the table for all of those 145 RBI’s Mattingly had? It was always exciting to see Rickey play. Making those flashy catches in the outfield, stealing bases at rates that were unheard of and most importantly for “Rickey being Rickey”. He is one of the most ostentatious athletes I know, and his time was before the primidona WR’s of the NFL came to be. In fact I will display some choice quotes from Rickey for your viewing pleasure.

"“This is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball.”

In the early 1980s, the Oakland A’s accounting department was freaking out. The books were off $1 million. After an investigation, it was determined Rickey was the reason why. The GM asked him about a $1 million bonus he had received and Rickey said instead of cashing it, he framed it and hung it on a wall at his house.

Check out that link for the rest of Rickey being Rickey

Well folks that’s all for this installment of my fave 5 even though it turned into a fave 6, hope you enjoyed it!