I don’t know about you, but all of this down time with no sports on TV has led me to the MLB Network’s Greatest Games series, which I have been enjoying much more than I expected.
It started with the replay of the Mariners 1995 ALDS game against the Yankees, with Edgar’s double. We’ve all seen/heard that one hit countless times, but watching the entire game was a different experience.
Then I watched the Yankees – Red Sox “Bucky Dent Game” from 1978, which spurred me to re-read one of the favorite baseball books of my youth, “The Bronx Zoo” by Sparky Lyle.
It has continued… Marlins – Indians Game Seven when Edgar Renteria comes through in the 11th inning, and then the Jack Morris goes to the Hall of Fame game. Apparently the Kirk Gibson game is coming soon.
Remembering the old players is a big part of the fun. I saw Rafael Belliard get a hit in the last game of the World Series for Atlanta, had the “oh yeah I remember him” moment, and one google search later learn that he spent 17 years – seventeen years! – as an infrequently used utility infielder.
It all leads me to the most memorable Tacoma Rainiers games, and whenever I ponder that question two games immediately come to mind – for very different reasons. There is the Scott Savastano game, and the Tommy Everidge game.
Scott Savastano was a utility infielder who never reached the majors, but on July 18-19, 2012 he won the longest game in Tacoma history by pitching a scoreless top of the 18th inning, and then hitting a game ending home run in the bottom of the 18th. The game is etched in the minds of all who made it to nearly 1 AM at Cheney Stadium that night/morning. Here’s the post from that one.
Tommy Everidge was a Sacramento River Cats player when he became part of Tacoma’s franchise history in 2010. Playing first base in the decisive Game Five of the Pacific Conference Championship Series, Everidge unwittingly tossed a live ball into the stands allowing the go-ahead run to score in the seventh inning. Tacoma went on to win the game, 4-1, and then sweep Memphis in the PCL Finals. More on that here.
Those two games are just unforgettable for me. Do you have an most memorable Tacoma Rainiers game?
- With MLB facing an obvious cash flow problem, the teams are going to cut down their draft expenses – which could mean a lot of top high school talents go to college instead. Baseball America has a look at the situation.
- Last Thursday on what would have been Mariners Opening Day, Larry Stone caught up with Rick Rizzs and Dave Sims of the broadcast team.
- Ryan Divish posted a Mariners opening day lineup and roster, just for fun.
- Marco Gonzales was supposed to be the Mariners opening day starter. The Times checked in on him. Would like to add that I enjoyed it the one time I drove Highway 93 through Nevada – sorry, Marco.
- Projected Rainiers multi-position player Sam Haggerty was the subject of an interview by an Albuquerque TV station (he played at the University of New Mexico).
- Fangraphs has an article on anticipated Rainiers reliever Sam Delaplane and his wipeout slider – which Delaplane considers to be more of a curveball.
- Potential Rainiers corner infielder Nick Zammarelli told his hometown newspaper what has been doing during the shutdown.
- MLB has decided to pay minor league players a weekly stipend through the end of May, and will re-evaluate at that time.
- Former Rainiers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo – who is paid very well by the Texas Rangers – is assisting by giving $1000 to each of the Rangers 190 minor league players.
- Fun stuff: ESPN.com selected a “one-year wonder” for each major league team. They identified a player who came out of nowhere, had a huge season, and was never able to replicate it. It’s two different clicks: National League and American League. You’ll have to be an older fan to guess the Mariners player.
- The Austin, TX paper has a good story on the Round Rock Express and how the franchise is coping with the shutdown.
- PCL slugger A.J. Reed quietly retired earlier this month. Just 26-years-old, Reed must have decided he didn’t want to pursue a career overseas.
- Scary stuff: Josh Mauer – the Pawtucket Red Sox broadcaster who called the Triple-A All-Star Game from Cheney Stadium with me in 2017 – almost certainly has Covid-19 but can’t get tested in Rhode Island. His story serves as an example of how quickly and unknowingly it can spread.