June 8 , 2011
Greetings baseball fans. We are two months into the season and now are seeing generally familiar names at the top of the standings. The biggest early suprise is coming back to earth (CLE) and the biggest early disappointment is now living up to billing (BOS). Still a long way to go, but so far we are looking like fairly educated prognosticators (except for the 7 of you who picked MIN).
Some of you may have followed the draft on Monday and Tuesday, but since it is not the media spectacle that we see with the NFL and NBA, I thought I would point out a few interesting historical connections. There were multiple picks whose fathers are still playing or recently played in the majors:
Dereck Rodgriquez (Pudge)
Shawon Dunston, Jr.
Dante Bichette, Jr.
Dwight Smith, Jr.
Alex Santana (Rafael)
Daniel Oliver (Joe)
Also taken was a familiar name from another sport: Trevor Gretsky. Could there be a “Great One” in baseball also?
But my favorite progeny is that of Eddie Gaedel. Does that name ring a bell with any of you? See the story below (I guess we really do grow them bigger these days).
Have a good start to your summer. I will check in with another report at the All-Star break. Don’t forget to vote at mlb.com. I want to see Lance Berkman in the starting line-up. No, the Astros didn’t need his bat in the line-up this year, did they?
Kyle Gaedele, who spells his name differently than great-uncle Eddie Gaedel, was drafted in the sixth round by San Diego. Eddie Gaedel was the 3-foot-7 man who starred as a pinch-hitter in a Bill Veeck publicity stunt and walked on four straight pitches for the St. Louis Browns in 1951.
The contract of Gaedel, who reportedly dropped the last “e” in his name for business purposes, was voided by the American League the day after his appearance. His great-nephew, a star at Valparaiso University who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 230 pounds, will have no such hazard when he agrees to terms.