Note: This is a repost of a post I’ve posted countless times around this time.
I close my eyes, then I drift away. Into the magic night I softly say a silent prayer like dreamers do. Then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you. -Roy Orbison
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! Write it, and they will read. Well, as it turns out, Mrs. Q. Public never saw The Natural. So, on Friday night, we buckled in together and watched it. We laughed. We cried. We cheered. Afterwards, I thought, geez, I would love to have Roy Hobbs on my team. Then I thought, who else would I want? A blog is born. So, without further ado, I give you the All-Fictional Team:
Catcher: Leon Carter
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings. This cat has power. Your puny ballparks are too small to contain his gargantuan blasts! Bring him the finest meats and cheeses for a clubhouse feast! Big power. The man of the hour. Tower of power. He’ll devour. He’s gonna tie you up, and let you understand, that he’s not your average man. When he’s got a baseball bat in his hand. Daaamnn!
Think Josh Gibson. So powerful, in the last of the ninth at Pittsburgh. Down one. Man on first. Two outs. Bap! It is high. It is long. Ballgame over! All Stars win! Theeeeeee All Stars win!! The next day, the same two teams are playing again, now in Washington. Just as the teams have taken the field, a ball comes falling out of the sky and a Washington outfielder grabs it. The ump yells to Carter, “You’re out! In Pittsburgh, yesterday!” Say, boy: Does you do this constantly? No, suh. I does it all the time.
First Base: Stan Ross
Wearing number 21, Stan Ross. Big Boss Stan Ross. Big league. Big mouth. Big time. Milwaukee Brewers. Mr. 3,000. Will this be the at bat…that Stan Ross hits number 3,000? You get 3,000 hits in the bigs, you can play for me. Or 2,999. What’s the difference? Putting the “I” back in team. So he left his team in the lurch. You rang?
So he left them in the lurch in the mddle of a playoff race. Left without any grace. Left with a straight face. I don’t care. Stan turned himself around. And besides, he’s got the magic stick. He knows if he can hit once, he can hit twice. Ain’t that nice? So nice, he made the Hall of Fame. One of the best in the game. Say my name! Those 2,999 put Stan 26th all-time. Between Roberto Clemente with 3,000 hits and Sam Rice with 2,987. And, not for nothing, Stan was clearly safe by a step. I love him because he is one of the greatest hitters alive!
Second Base: Marla Hooch
It had to be you. Marla Hooch. Rockford Peaches. The homliest little second basewoman you ever did see. Omar Bradley homely. A woman’s place is on home, first, second and third. Marla’s home is second. Glove, exciting and new. Come aboard, we’ve been expecting you. But she’s not all glove. No siree, Betty. She’s a hitter. A switch hitter. Lickety splitter. It’s not the size of the stick, it’s all about hittin’ the sweet spot! Think Rogers Hornsby. She may not be pretty, but she sure loves to play. She can play on my team. She can drive my car. Toot toot, ya! Just remember, there’s no crying in baseball.
Third Base: Benny Rodriguez
You’re killing me Smalls. Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez. Los Angeles Dodgers. Benny the Jet. He’s got electric boots, a mohair suit. You know I read it in a magazine. Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Benny’s a legend. Benny never dies.
El es un grande muchacho. He can play anywhere. He can play everywhere. Here, there and everywhere. Nobody can deny that there’s something there. Infield. Outfield. Pitcher. It doesn’t matter. He’s all thatter. He’s the leader with the baseball batter. He hits the guts out of the ball. The leader in that little piece of paradise a half block wide and a whole summer long. Leader of the Sandlot. The leader at Dodger Stadium. He doesn’t just lead, he steals. Stealing home in the twilight of his career. Stealing home, Ty Cobb style. Benny the Jet Rodriguez. A legend never dies.
Shortstop: Joe Hardy
One long ball hitter, that’s what we need! I’d sell my soul for one long ball hitter. Joe Hardy. Washington Senators. Hardy may just be the greatest player of all time. At one point, the guy was hitting .524. He’s a long ball hitter. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. He’s got that swing. His power is beyond your understanding! His hitting prowess enables the Senators to win the American League Pennant over those Damn Yankees. So he sold his soul to the devil. So he wasn’t completely on the level. Joe made the supreme sacrifice and sold his soul to have this talent.
He did not do it for himself. He didn’t do it for the fame. The glory. Love-n-hate tattooed across the knuckles of his hands. The hands that slap his kids around cause they don’t understand. How death or glory, becomes just another story. He did it for his favorite team. He did it for the Washington Senators. What Lola wants, Lola gets. And aloha means goodbye.
Left Field: Juan Primo
Lucky number eleven. Juan Primo. San Francisco Giants. Treating the game like a matter of life and death. Juan Primo is a mountain of a man. A mountain man. He don’t breathe, he don’t sleep, he don’t even wash his feet. He’s the man with the golden beard. He has a powerful weapon. He charges a million a shot. An assassin that’s second to none. The man with the golden gun.
Very, very good. He’s twenty-eight. He has lots of power. Lots. That must be a Homer, Simpson, cuz the pitcher just said D’oh! Sure he’s cocky, so what. Doesn’t mean you have to kill a man in the sauna. Just not right. Here is something I cant understand. How Gil Reynard could just kill a man. Shame too. Primo was just in the middle of a hot streak. Most popular guy on the Giants. I am the most popular player in all the land! Swing like Phat Albert Pujols. He makes it fast with one more thing. He is the Sultan of Swing. Glove like Omar Vizquel. Glove me tender. Bobby, now do you care? Bobby! Now do you care? Just a little bit?
Center Field: Willie Mays Hayes
The American Express Card. Don’t steal home without it. Willie Mays Hayes. Cleveland Indians. Willie Mays Hayes. I hit like Mays, and I run like Hayes. Fast like lightning. On the base paths, just as frightening. You may run like Hayes, but you hit like shit. Maybe at first. But Willie did overcome a big loop in his swing. We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall over come some day. Willie Mays Hayes overcame.
By the start of the last game of the season, he was batting .291. The last game of the season, he is waved home and slides in ahead of the tag. They’re…not…gonna…get him. Safe! Baseball’s extra special moment. The Indians make the playoffs! The Indians make the playoffs! We’re number one! Think Rickey Henderson. High top and fade and all. Kid and Play style. Look in the closet and pull out the hype gear. Pull up the hightop fade and I’m outta here.
Right Field: Roy Hobbs
Wonder Boy. Lightning in a bat. Roy Hobbs. New York Knights. My favorite. ”A” number one. Top of the heap. King of the hill. Supernatural is more like it. Just knocks the cover off the ball. Bye-bye baseball. Bye-bye clock. Bye-bye lights. Bye-bye Whammer. Bye-bye Max Mercy. Oh, mercy mercy me. Oh, things ain’t what they used to be.
He lived for a dream that wouldn’t die. There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived. It took him sixteen years to get here…and he gave the best he got. He was the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Crackatoa! East of Java. He has erupted. Bleeding through his shirt long before Schill the Thrill ever bled through a sock. Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening. Galileo. Galileo. Wonderboy splits in two. The Savoy Special. Mecka-lecka-hi-mecka-hiney-ho! From an age of innocence, comes a hero for today.
Starting Pitcher: Bugs Bunny
What’s up Doc? Bugs Bunny. The Tea Totalers . He only pitched one game, but what a game it was. Tonight what heights we’ll hit, on with the show this is it. Pitching against the Gas House Gorillas. Oversized brutes. They make 1998 Barry Bonds look like 1988 Barry Bonds. Just dominating the geriatric Tea Totalers. I’m only 93 and half years old. But here he comes to save the day. That means that Bugs is on his way. Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right, Bugs Bunny will join the fight.
Bugs could beat those gorillas all by himself. With one hand tied behind his back. He perplexes them with his slow ball. Three up. Three down. Go to your room. Go to your room. Go to your room. All on one one pitch. Goodness! He unveils his fastball. A backstop shattering pitch. That’s the old pepper, boy! Call the hostess. Your seat is ready. That’s when I saw it. Ooh, I saw it. It came in through the out door. Out door. Bugs pasted that pathetic palooka with a powerful, paralyzing, perfect pachydermous percussion pitch. Yowza! Behold the power of cheese. Bugs Bunny. The best pitcher of all-time.
Closer: The Mighty Casey
You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone! The Mighty Casey. Hoboken Zephyrs. Once upon a time in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was tryout day. And though he’s not yet on the field, you’re about to meet a most unusual fella. A lefted handed pitcher named Casey. Casey pitches shut-out after shut-out. Inning after inning. Missile-like speed and accuracy. No soup for you! He comes to the rescue of the cellar-dwelling ball club. Hey, daddy-o, I don’t wanna go, down to the basement. There’s somethin’ down there. I don’t wanna go. The Mighty Casey’s a robot. A go-go gobot. An unbeatable robot. But in this age of HGH and other perfomance enhancing drugs, what’s the difference?
Peace out homies. Six Two and Even!