Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Johnny Baseball

As you could probably imagine, I was a baseball card collector. With the advent of the baseball card magazines such as Beckett, we all tried to figure out who the next big star was going to be...It started with Gregg Jefferies, whose rookie card was going for $100 before he played a game in the majors (now, it's worth about the same as a BCS bid from the Big East Conference), and went berserk from there.

My buddy made scarce predictions on who would be a star, stocking up on rookie cards for only two players. One was John Smoltz. The other, John Olerud.

If only his luck was as good in the stock market.

On the day that ended with the Toronto Blue Jays trading for a sweet strokin' lefty first baseman named Lyle Overbay, the sweet strokin' lefty first baseman who chased .400 with the Blue Jays announced that he would rather retire than go through another season with another address as younger teammates call him Johnny "Olderdude".

Of course Olerud was a Met for three seasons, coming to Flushing in a surprising lopsided trade that went in the Mets' favor for Robert Person, and will always be remembered fondly here for just stayin' classy. Even when he left for less money and the comforts of home in Seattle, who could ever really be mad at John Olerud? Came to New York much like Billy Wagner has...with the reputation of someone who wasn't fond of big city life. But before he left, made a habit of taking the 7 train to work...a regular joe like you and me.

And you can plainly see why a guy who took less money to play at home would rather retire than be a baseball nomad, wandering the country looking for a new address, when all he ever wanted to do was go home.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Metstradamus....

Anonymous said...

Hey Metsradamus....

John Olerud...most underrated player in Mets history and with the exception of Keith Hernandez..probably the best defensive player the Mets have ever had. Nice touch on the article...

Do you think that Omar couldn't get Soriano because the only white people he had left was Wright, Glavine and Benson? LOL

Mario

hasan said...

We all miss John Olerud