Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cardboard Gods: Wilker: Win Remmerswaal

Any truth to the rumor that Bill James felt Win Shares was so damn complicated he was going to name it Win Remmerswaal?

Win Remmerswaal was the most memorable of the young pitchers who existed solely as names in the back of the team yearbooks I read as a child. I never saw him pitch and don’t remember noticing him registering in a box score. He appeared in only 22 major league games. But I do remember the name. The first name could not be simpler, a distillation of everything life was supposed to be aiming toward, clean and clear as an ideal: Win. The second name meandered, complex, unpronounceable but impossible to resist trying to pronounce; it beckoned, a magic spell if said correctly, everything about it a tangle of knowable and unknowable, remembering and swaying and wailing and All, the opposite of an ideal, the dream-drunk wooze of real: Remmerswaal. Who was he? Where was he? When would he arrive to bring change?

...The other day, I gave up trying to write about Win Remmerswaal. I had been at it for some time, failing. The dour, fearful strain in my voice, the part of me that when I write is like a mediocre guitar player (which, as it happens, I am) playing the same tired blues lick over and over, unable to break through to some new way of feeling, is tempted to present his story as evidence that life only dissolves. He never hooked on with any permanence in the majors, never completely engaged the talent he was blessed with, blithely squandered his chances, meandered onward, out of the game. Several long, hard years followed, leading directly or indirectly to him suffering a debilitating stroke and falling into a coma in 1997. Wanting to know more about what happened next to Win Remmerswaal, I right-clicked the “translate to English” option on a feature on him at a Dutch website:

  When, after a few weeks awoke, his brains and nervous system so badly damaged that it for the rest of his life in a wheelchair is designated to be fed and limited him to communicate falls.

Repoz Posted: April 12, 2012 at 12:44 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bob Evans Posted: April 12, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4105022)
In the essay, he links to a nice SABR bio of Remmerswaal that's well worth a read.
   2. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: April 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4105171)
I just finished "Bottom of the 33rd," the book about the long Pawtucket-Rochester game in 1981. The part about where Remmerswaal is now was the saddest part.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 12, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4105282)
From said SABR bio, the Dutch call baseball "honkbal." And Win's brother Hans played soccer for Spijkenisse in the Hoofdklasse. I love the Dutch.

The Flemish, on the other hand, I do not care for.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dingbat_Charlie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2014
(1009 - 4:08am, Nov 24)
Last: sardonic

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(4242 - 3:05am, Nov 24)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogRed Sox trying for mega-free agent double play: Panda and Hanley - CBSSports.com
(78 - 2:48am, Nov 24)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogKemp drawing interest, raising chance he's the Dodgers OF dealt - CBSSports.com
(30 - 1:16am, Nov 24)
Last: akrasian

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(57 - 12:31am, Nov 24)
Last: Rowland Office Supplies

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8650 - 11:54pm, Nov 23)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogAstros interested in Robertson: source | New York Post
(18 - 11:31pm, Nov 23)
Last: RMc is a fine piece of cheese

NewsblogBraves shopping Justin Upton at a steep price | New York Post
(36 - 11:16pm, Nov 23)
Last: spike

NewsblogMatthews: Cashman sleeps on the street, says all is quiet on the free-agent front
(24 - 10:50pm, Nov 23)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogPirates DFA Ike Davis, clear path for Pedro Alvarez - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(21 - 10:13pm, Nov 23)
Last: zonk

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2014 Ballot
(10 - 9:09pm, Nov 23)
Last: MrC

NewsblogPablo Sandoval leaning toward Red Sox, to decide next week — Padres have highest offer, all offers on table (including SF Giants’) - John Shea
(32 - 9:04pm, Nov 23)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogMike Schmidt: Marlins' Stanton too rich too early? | www.palmbeachpost.com
(31 - 6:53pm, Nov 23)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(451 - 6:43pm, Nov 23)
Last: JuanGone..except1game

NewsblogCashman in wait-and-see mode on retooling Yanks | yankees.com
(22 - 6:14pm, Nov 23)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

Page rendered in 0.1098 seconds
52 querie(s) executed