Posted at 7:58 AM on April 18, 2007
by David Zingler
During baseball’s celebration of Jackie Robinson last week, a lot was made about the dwindling number of African-Americans in the major leagues. While that is cause for concern, I’ve always thought that Robinson opened the door for all non-white players and that his spirit lives on in the dozens of Latino and Asian players active in the big leagues.
While we all had Carlos Silva, Matt Garza and Sidney Ponson under the microscope during spring training, apparently we should have been paying more attention to Ramon Ortiz, who is now 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA. Brad who?
Watching players pass the 500 homerun plateau has become almost commonplace, but 3,000 hits is still relatively rare. Only three men have reached the milestone this century: Cal Ripken in 2000 (A Metrodome moment), Rickey Henderson in 2001 (Is he still playing?) and Rafael Palmeiro in 2005 (Did that really happen?) Houston’s Craig Biggio will be next. He currently has 2,944 hits and will cement his Hall of Fame resume later this year.
While watching FSN’s special on Joe Mauer prior to last night’s game, I couldn’t help but wonder how good of quarterback Mauer might have been. He already had NFL size and flawless mechanics (imagine that) in high school. Sure baseball is a safer sport (although catcher is its most demanding position) with more guaranteed money, but is there a more glamorous position in sports than NFL QB?
Last and least, do you remember the Montreal Expos? I do, but I had thought Major League Baseball had wiped them from its memory, until I saw this. Thanks to MLB.com Auctions, you can now own a “Montreal Expos Publication and Baseball Collection” which consists of a 1983 Yearbook; 1983 Magazine; 1984 Magazines (2); 1985 Calendar; 1985 Magazines (2); 1987 Media Guide; 1991 Magazine; 1993 Media Guide; 1996 Magazine; 1997 Magazine; and signed baseballs from Tony Batista, Graeme Lloyd, Scott Strickland, Peter Bergeron, and Scott Downs. Opening bid is $75.00.