The Grand Old Man of Baseball

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The Grand Old Man of Baseball

Post by sabrjay on Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:23 pm

This was written by Keith Olbermann in 1997.

The Ninth Man.

"He is out there somewhere, in Arizona, maybe in Florida. His may be a name we already know; it may be one we do not. He is probably 20 or 21 years old, maybe 22. And he will make his big-league debut some time this year, or spend his first full season in the bigs this year -- and he will retire in the year 2016 or 2017. He will be the grand old man of baseball. And they will say, he's so old that the year he broke in, Eddie Murray was still playing! He is out there somewhere, in Arizona, maybe in Florida. And to him is about to be passed -- the torch. He will some day be the senior player in the game, representing an era at its end. And he will be the ninth man. Murray, beginning his 21st season, is the eighth man. That's because he is so old that, when he broke in, Brooks Robinson was still playing. That was in 1977; they were teammates. And at that time, Robinson, the grand old man of the game, had been playing so long that when he broke in, Bob Feller was still playing. Feller is the sixth man. Because, when Brooks Robinson broke in, Feller had been playing so long that when he was a rookie in 1936, Rogers Hornsby was still playing. The fifth man. Hornsby had been playing so long that when he was a rookie in 1915, Honus Wagner was still playing; Wagner was the fourth man. He had been playing so long that when he was a rookie in 1897, Cap Anson was still playing. Cap, of course, was the third man. And when Wagner broke in, Cap Anson had been playing so long that when he was a rookie in 1871, Dickey Pearce was still playing. The second man. When he was a rookie in 1855, Doc Adams was still playing. And Doc Adams was a member of the Knickerbocker club when on June 19, 1846, it played the first recorded game of baseball as we know it. He was the first man. Adams. Pearce. Anson. Wagner. Hornsby. Feller. Robinson. Murray. And now, someone new. He is out there somewhere, in Arizona, maybe in Florida. His may be a name we already know. It may be one we do not. Now, he is only at the beginning. But some day, he will be ... the ninth man."


15 years have gone by. Who do you think The Ninth Man will be?

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Re: The Grand Old Man of Baseball

Post by sabrjay on Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:53 pm

Notable rookies that came up in 1997:

Sean Casey
Bartolo Colon
Magglio Ordonez
David Ortiz
Miguel Tejada
Chris Carpenter
Todd Helton

That list has The Ninth Man

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Re: The Grand Old Man of Baseball

Post by jbonie on Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:21 pm

I'd go with Mags.
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Re: The Grand Old Man of Baseball

Post by LucasRiley on Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:20 pm

Well, Olberman's list seems keyed around guys who lasted at least 18 years or more. I don't know if anyone on the 1997 list is going to make it that long. If we remove the time factor, however, I'd go with Helton. He's certainly among the most likeable on the list, he's had a very notable career (with no obvious ties to roids), and is probably one of the last guys we'll ever see play 15 straight seasons for one team.
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Re: The Grand Old Man of Baseball

Post by sabrjay on Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:27 pm

I was thinking Helton might be the one hanging around the longest just because he is so good with the bat and he is the youngest one on the list. Someone pointed out that Sean Casey isn't playing anymore, so we can count him out.

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