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Al C.risafulli
04-02-2017, 06:05 PM
Hi everybody!

Every year on Opening Day I refer back to this amazing piece that was written by Keith Olbermann in 1997 or so. At the time, he referred to the Ninth Man. Read the story below, and you'll see how amazing it is - it's what we all do on this board, to one degree or another, tracing the history of the game from its roots til today.

But it was 20 years ago that KO wrote this, and I think it's safe to say at this point that as much as I wanted it to be Derek Jeter, The Ninth Man was likely David Ortiz.

So the question is: who is The Tenth Man? Who do you think it'll be?

Here's the piece. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do each year. Play ball!



The ninth man

Baseball is often criticized for having an obsession with its own history. Yet, these days, it seems that history alone separates it from every sport. As the character portrayed by James Earl Jones said in the movie "Field Of Dreams," America has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, erased again, rebuilt again -- and all the time baseball has been there.

For better or worse, history, in baseball, is a living thing. And in this spring training, history walks the camps looking for one player to claim as his own.

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.

oldjudge
04-02-2017, 06:47 PM
Al, I'm going in a little different direction to incorporate two of my favorite players. My ninth man is Mariano Rivera, and my tenth man is Mike Trout.

BTW, great auction last night. You must be running on fumes today.

kailes2872
04-02-2017, 07:09 PM
Great article. I think Ortiz is your man as 1997 was his first season. Baseball Reference has Rivera as 1995 - so I don't think he would qualify with KO's criteria.

Based upon the ROY voting last year, Seager has a good chance to be the 10th man - with Fulmer in the running as well. Of course, Joe Charboneau looked like he would be a long timer and we know how that one worked out and Papi was no where near the top of the ROY voting in '97.

National League Player 1st Place Votes 2nd Place Votes 3rd Place Votes Points
Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers 30 ---- ---- 150
Trea Turner, Washington Nationals ---- 11 9 42
Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers ---- 11 4 37
Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies ---- 7 3 24
Aledmys Diaz, St. Louis Cardinals ---- 1 11 14
Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies ---- ---- 1 1
Steven Matz, New York Mets ---- ---- 1 1
Seung Hwan Oh, St. Louis Cardinals ---- ---- 1 1
American League Player 1st Place Votes 2nd Place Votes 3rd Place Votes Points
Mike Fulmer, Detroit Tigers 26 4 ---- 142
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees 4 23 2 91
Tyler Naquin, Cleveland Indians ---- 2 14 20
Chris Devenski, Houston Astros ---- 1 4 7
Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners ---- ---- 4 4
Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers ---- ---- 4 4
Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox ---- ---- 2 2

Timbegs
04-02-2017, 07:12 PM
Hi everybody!

Every year on Opening Day I refer back to this amazing piece that was written by Keith Olbermann in 1997 or so. At the time, he referred to the Ninth Man. Read the story below, and you'll see how amazing it is - it's what we all do on this board, to one degree or another, tracing the history of the game from its roots til today.

But it was 20 years ago that KO wrote this, and I think it's safe to say at this point that as much as I wanted it to be Derek Jeter, The Ninth Man was likely David Ortiz.

So the question is: who is The Tenth Man? Who do you think it'll be?

Here's the piece. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do each year. Play ball!



The ninth man

Baseball is often criticized for having an obsession with its own history. Yet, these days, it seems that history alone separates it from every sport. As the character portrayed by James Earl Jones said in the movie "Field Of Dreams," America has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, erased again, rebuilt again -- and all the time baseball has been there.

For better or worse, history, in baseball, is a living thing. And in this spring training, history walks the camps looking for one player to claim as his own.

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.

The ninth man really shouldn't be Ortiz; he was a whiny, self obsessed PED powered cheater who never played the field.

Derek Jeter seems the far better choice; besides being arguably the greatest shortstop of the modern era, I think he deserves it even more so for being the tenth man (Trout's) favorite player...

oldjudge
04-02-2017, 07:27 PM
Kevin-KO wrote the article in 1997. In the continuity he talks about the ninth man could have arrived earlier.

kailes2872
04-02-2017, 08:03 PM
Kevin-KO wrote the article in 1997. In the continuity he talks about the ninth man could have arrived earlier.


Thanks for the clarification.

I read this part:

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.

and assumed it meant that 1997 was his first season as that lined up with Murry in 77, Robinson, etc.

Steve D
04-02-2017, 08:15 PM
Al, I can make that connection in 9 players:

1. Doc Adams: 1846-1855
2. Dickey Pearce: 1855-1871
3. Cap Anson: 1871-1897
4. Bobby Wallace: 1894-1918
5. Jimmy Dykes: 1918-1939
6. Ted Williams: 1939-1960
7. Willie McCovey: 1959-1980
8. Rickey Henderson: 1979-2003
9. Miguel Cabrera: 2003 - present

So, Miguel Cabrera is the 9th and current man.


Steve

steve B
04-03-2017, 12:11 PM
The ninth man really shouldn't be Ortiz; he was a whiny, self obsessed PED powered cheater who never played the field.

Derek Jeter seems the far better choice; besides being arguably the greatest shortstop of the modern era, I think he deserves it even more so for being the tenth man (Trout's) favorite player...

Such a very NY attitude.

Jeter was a great player. Maybe over several years the "best" but for a big chunk of his career that was debatable.

Having every great play he made hyped as "the grestest play ever!!!" got really tiresome, especially when most of those plays were great, but not even close to greatest ever.

Seeing Ortiz play more often, I'll say that he usually seemed to play with a lot of joy, something I didn't see often from Jeter, although not seeing him as much I could have missed it.
I can't think of many players who played for a long time who didn't complain about something along the way. And Ortiz was a passable first baseman. That he didn't play there more often is more a function of the team having someone better than him not being good.

Steve B

Bill77
04-03-2017, 12:26 PM
How about Paul Konerko, Who made his debut in 1997 and if he had played a full 20 years would have retired in 2016, but ended his career at 18 seasons in 2014 which would open the door for Mike Trout to be the 10th man.

Peter_Spaeth
04-03-2017, 12:27 PM
Al, I can make that connection in 9 players:

1. Doc Adams: 1846-1855
2. Dickey Pearce: 1855-1871
3. Cap Anson: 1871-1897
4. Bobby Wallace: 1894-1918
5. Jimmy Dykes: 1918-1939
6. Ted Williams: 1939-1960
7. Willie McCovey: 1959-1980
8. Rickey Henderson: 1979-2003
9. Miguel Cabrera: 2003 - present

So, Miguel Cabrera is the 9th and current man.


Steve

I think you could get to someone who started much more recently than Cabrera if you did 6. Early Wynn 1939-1963 and 7. Tommy John 1963-1989. Not sure who 8 would be but surely someone who lasted beyond 2003. Griffey maybe.

Al C.risafulli
04-03-2017, 12:59 PM
I like to think that from Anson on, KO was talking about Hall of Famers - guys who were the "grand old man of the game," that sort of thing.

At least that's what I like to think - that the point he was making was that somewhere out there is a kid who will eventually be a legend.

Otherwise, if we're just trying to trace the origins of the game right to the present day, I'm pretty sure that when Julio Franco broke in, Bob Feller was still playing.

-Al

wondo
04-03-2017, 01:08 PM
I like to think that from Anson on, KO was talking about Hall of Famers - guys who were the "grand old man of the game," that sort of thing.

At least that's what I like to think - that the point he was making was that somewhere out there is a kid who will eventually be a legend.

Otherwise, if we're just trying to trace the origins of the game right to the present day, I'm pretty sure that when Julio Franco broke in, Bob Feller was still playing.

-Al


Lets not forget Minoso or Kaat (I mean, if we go for lengevity). And of course somehow Paige should fit in.......................just sayin'.

I really like the article; KO's passion is always evident when he talks baseball.

Peter_Spaeth
04-03-2017, 01:08 PM
Such a very NY attitude.

Jeter was a great player. Maybe over several years the "best" but for a big chunk of his career that was debatable.

Having every great play he made hyped as "the grestest play ever!!!" got really tiresome, especially when most of those plays were great, but not even close to greatest ever.

Seeing Ortiz play more often, I'll say that he usually seemed to play with a lot of joy, something I didn't see often from Jeter, although not seeing him as much I could have missed it.
I can't think of many players who played for a long time who didn't complain about something along the way. And Ortiz was a passable first baseman. That he didn't play there more often is more a function of the team having someone better than him not being good.

Steve B

I like Jeter a lot but he was not nearly as good as Rodriguez or Ripken among modern era shortstops. People like him, justifiably, because he conducted himself well at all times, didn't complain, and stayed free of scandal. Between that and playing in New York, it's a recipe for iconic status. But far more was at play than sheer ability and numbers.

Peter_Spaeth
04-03-2017, 01:12 PM
Lets not forget Minoso or Kaat (I mean, if we go for lengevity). And of course somehow Paige should fit in.......................just sayin'.

I really like the article; KO's passion is always evident when he talks baseball.

Jim Kaat pitched to both Ted Williams and Julio Franco, one of my favorite baseball trivia things.

Steve D
04-03-2017, 02:05 PM
I think you could get to someone who started much more recently than Cabrera if you did 6. Early Wynn 1939-1963 and 7. Tommy John 1963-1989. Not sure who 8 would be but surely someone who lasted beyond 2003. Griffey maybe.


Correct, if you change Ted Williams to Early Wynn, then you get to Tommy John, Omar Vizquel, and then Mike Trout.

Steve

Timbegs
04-03-2017, 03:04 PM
If you want to see 200 hits and 100 Runs and .300, go look up Derek Jeter's stats if you need to but he's not all stats anyway. I am a Yankee fan and a PED hater. Never liked any - Canseco, Bonds, Clemens, Ortiz, Palmiero, ARod, Sheffield, Sosa, McGwire. What makes Jeter remarkable is he did have a flair for the dramatic and he was a big in big moments. The HR for 3,000. The flip. The jump throw. Wearing out the Mets. And the ladies. And the postseason. He was - like him or not - the face of baseball for most of America. The grand old man in his final year for sure.

Ortiz was on his way out of baseball prior to taking roids. I don't believe in him as a romantic hero. He was clutch, had great power and killed my Yankees - every time. Utmost respect for his bat. On the list of guys who helped save (and helped taint) the sport. And he didn't play first because he was not good. Average is an overstatement. And I think all these guys are the modern day Black Sox - we just don't really punish wrongdoing as well anymore.

MVSNYC
04-03-2017, 04:49 PM
Awesome Al!

To me, it's not even a question...Jeter is the ninth man...I think you have to also factor in leadership, grit, rings.

PS- I know that KO has been on here before (N54), so it would be cool if he chimed in about his ninth man...and #10 while he's at it.

Klrdds
04-03-2017, 06:28 PM
I love the article and I have told people for years that to collect anything baseball is to collect a portion of American History that is defined by a specific time frame / year. Baseball has always been a mirror of American history , both good and bad.
As I am Not an Ortiz fan either so how about for arguments sake the 9th man being the inimitable Bartolo Colon. Maybe a Hall of Famer , who knows, but his career started in Eddie Murray's last year of 1997 and in the American League too where Murray played part of his last season of 1997 with the Angels. I didn't check it but Colon could've pitched to Murray at some point in the season.
If you go for HoFers then it is Jeter but he debuted in 1995 and I was looking at last year and rookie year direct overlaps. That is why I said Colon.

clydepepper
04-03-2017, 08:36 PM
I love the article and I have told people for years that to collect anything baseball is to collect a portion of American History that is defined by a specific time frame / year. Baseball has always been a mirror of American history , both good and bad.
As I am Not an Ortiz fan either so how about for arguments sake the 9th man being the inimitable Bartolo Colon. Maybe a Hall of Famer , who knows, but his career started in Eddie Murray's last year of 1997 and in the American League too where Murray played part of his last season of 1997 with the Angels. I didn't check it but Colon could've pitched to Murray at some point in the season.
If you go for HoFers then it is Jeter but he debuted in 1995 and I was looking at last year and rookie year direct overlaps. That is why I said Colon.



I like Bartolo Colon, but he is definitely NOT a Hall-of-Famer.



.

Klrdds
04-03-2017, 08:48 PM
Raymond
I like your picture of the immortal Sidd Finch by your name . I wonder how many Net 54 members can remember the life and times and fleeting career of his.

Timbegs
04-04-2017, 09:22 AM
And by the way, Dustin Pedroia would be a fine choice from the Red Sox had the years worked out. I am not biased against the Red Sox blindly. David Ortiz was one of the all time great hitters in baseball history - this is not in question. Clearly a special place, too, as the heart of multiple Red Sock championships.

Still, I think the stink of PEDs ruins it for me when it comes to their place in baseball history. Like Palmiero and Sosa before him, there seems to be a clear 'starting point' for use and the greatness that came after is in question. At least Bonds and Clemens had great seasons 'before.' I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way. Yes, I know we'll never know who did and did not, or when they started - maybe even my beloved Yankee captain juiced; I'd be a fool not to acknowledge it and I'd never have thought Andy 'Man of God' Pettitte would have been a juicer - but guys who failed tests or had to much smoke around them, even if the gun could not be found, are always going to be cheaters to me.

And I don't blame them for it with the money at stake, either.

Exhibitman
04-04-2017, 11:15 AM
Um, I didn't know there would be math...

I'm just excited to have Dodgers-Padres tickets tomorrow night! A colleague has box seats behind home plate, so I'm going to the ballgame after work! I just hope the boys aren't too tired after the beat down they laid on the Padres yesterday. Running the bases that much can be very tiring.

MVSNYC
08-08-2017, 02:12 PM
Wanted to revive this thread...

Further thoughts on that 9th man...and (now) 10th?

btcarfagno
08-08-2017, 02:22 PM
I think you could get to someone who started much more recently than Cabrera if you did 6. Early Wynn 1939-1963 and 7. Tommy John 1963-1989. Not sure who 8 would be but surely someone who lasted beyond 2003. Griffey maybe.

Jamie Moyer? 1986-2012.

Peter_Spaeth
08-08-2017, 02:25 PM
I'm good with Jeter or Ortiz as the successor to Eddie Murray. If the 10th man doesn't have to have started in the year the previous guy retired, then I would pick Harper as 10, he is still just 24.