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Friday, September 30, 2022

To dream the impossible dream - and then decide it’s time to let it go

“You had a great year, and I love ya, and I want you to come back and sign back with us,” Deeds recalled Butler saying.

Deeds paused before answering.

“I said, ‘Yeah, sure, Bugsy.’”

Deeds turned to the other former major leaguer in the room, hitting coach Rick Burleson, who couldn’t bear to make eye contact with Deeds.

His heart sank.

“It was like a scene out of ‘Bull Durham,’” said Deeds, who trained his focus back on Butler. “Bugsy, you’re not calling me up, are you?”

“Nah, Deeder,” he said. “I wish I could, but it’s not up to me.”...

Deeds wasn’t your average career minor leaguer. There have been 246 players who compiled more than 4,000 plate appearances in affiliated and independent leagues since 1948 and played at least 10 years without reaching the majors, and among that cohort, Deeds’ career .838 minor-league OPS (.368 OBP, .470 SLG) ranks 15th, according to data provided by Baseball Reference. His OPS ranks first among such players who started their careers this century.

He’s one of 1,420 minor leaguers since 1891 to reach 4,000 plate appearances and never play in the majors….

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2022 at 01:25 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leaguers

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2022 at 05:03 PM (#6098511)
A good article, includes additional players as well and even casts back to Moonlight Graham and a brief mention of Meneses. It's also reminiscent of Bobby Scales who had about 4000 minor-league PAs before finally getting a call-up by the Cubs at 31 and again at 32. He floated to Japan for a bit before landing in the Angels' FO for a few years.

My impression, which may be badly inaccurate, is that deptie its shitty approach to the minors, baseball has done a reasonably good job of taking care of these lifers in that they seem to often get offered coaching/scouting slots. But maybe those are just the ones we hear about ... I particularly wonder about all those Latin kids signed at 16 then out of the game at 27 with no real education and maybe not even good networks within organized ball. I assume/hope that's improved over time.
   2. Perry Posted: September 30, 2022 at 05:08 PM (#6098513)
Fantastic article, thanks.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 30, 2022 at 05:29 PM (#6098515)
Lots on career minor leaguers, and when to let the dream go. RTFA.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2022 at 06:04 PM (#6098517)
My roommate was on the baseball team at Ohio State and we hosted Deeds when he was a freshman. Nice guy from what I remember. I must be so tantalizing to be this good at baseball - the 1 percent of all the kids that every play baseball, but you're not in the .0999 percent, which makes you a big leaguer. Still an impressive career he should be proud of.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2022 at 07:32 PM (#6098525)
Deeds' best shot was probably 2010 at Reno in the DBacks org. It was his first full season at AAA after two previous half-seasons in which he didn't do particularly well. There were at least 3 other Deeds types who were there that year too. The DBacks won only 65 games but were a very young team so weren't making a lot of deadline deals or DFAing a lot of vets. Also it was Reno -- Deeds nice line was about the third best on the team but there are a bunch of guys hitting just about as well. The three in particular:

Cole Gillespie -- 3 years younger, he did get his first callup that year and kept getting short stints, including one with the 2013 Cubs I learn, through age 32. He never really hit in the majors but seems to have been a decent glove as a good chunk of his ML time was in CF. He ended with one year of Mex/Indy ball at 33.

Brandon Allen -- 5 years younger, I suppose he was the "big name" prospect in this group, made BPro's top 100 that year, he'd been called up the year before at 23 but his last ML stint came at 26. He kept at it until he was 30 when it seems he got hurt (a half-season with a OPS 300 points below his typical AAA performance).

Jeff Bailey -- 1 year older, basically the slightly luckier version of Deeds. He'd gotten a call-up in 2007 for 3 games then about a month each in 2008 and 2009. He did not get the call in 2010 either then played one more year of AAA.

Lots of reasons Deeds didn't get the call-up. This was his first year in this org so not an organizational soldier; also his first success at AAA. Combine those with his age and it's easy to see the DBacks might prefer others. The DBacks were terrible but young so they weren't really looking for emergency guys, they were working through who might be part of their future. Still, with more injuries, maybe there's a shot. I don't know but I assume he wasn't on their 40-man roster which would mean a DFA even to add him in Sept and while I'm sure there were some good candidates, the DBacks probably had a quite young 40-man overall.

It's a tough game of course but not making AAA until 26, not doing great and being back at AA for all of age 27 (may have deserved a promotion), not succeeding at AAA until 29 -- it's a story of how hard this is more than one of missed opportunities or questionable team decision-making.

MLB careers
Gillespie: 482 PA, 85 OPS+
Allen: 389 PA, 78 OPS+
Bailey: 159 PA, 98 OPS+

The Cubs have a guy called Matt Mervis in their system. He hit 36 HRs this year, 40 doubles, led the minors in RBI -- mlb.com considers him the Cubs' #21 prospect. He's probably higher than that (he tore it up at 3 levels this year, is still only 24) but it's not a ranking that screams call-up. In his favor, the Cubs have nobody else at 1B next year ... but then the Cubs have nobody else at 1B right now and they've got a 24-yo kid who hit 297/383/593 in 240 AAA PAs and he's not been called up for the final week or two while we trot Alfonso Rivas (82 OPS+) out there. But for all I know, he's the next Max Muncy or Nate Lowe or Luke Voit or Ty France or at least Ryan Mountcastle.
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: September 30, 2022 at 07:47 PM (#6098529)
"Dream the Impossible Dream" was a popular - well, there were no memes yet but still - theme in the zeitgeist as the 1969 Miracle Mets drew closer to, well, the impossible.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: September 30, 2022 at 07:51 PM (#6098530)

"Dream the Impossible Dream" was a popular - well, there were no memes yet but still - theme in the zeitgeist as the 1969 Miracle Mets drew closer to, well, the impossible.


That would be two years after the Red Sox won the Impossible Dream pennant (trust me, I had it on vinyl).

As for the story at hand, I took my son to an independent league game and saw this guy playing rightfield for the Kansas City T-Bones. He looked so much better than everyone else I went home and looked up his numbers on Baseball Reference. And after doing that, I don't understand how he never got a shot.

   8. Zach Posted: September 30, 2022 at 08:09 PM (#6098535)
All time, there are 22,849 major-league players in Baseball Reference's database. Compare that to 226,179 to play in professional baseball at any level in North America, according to their records.

That's a higher fraction than I would have thought.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2022 at 08:10 PM (#6098536)

As for the story at hand, I took my son to an independent league game and saw this guy playing rightfield for the Kansas City T-Bones. He looked so much better than everyone else I went home and looked up his numbers on Baseball Reference. And after doing that, I don't understand how he never got a shot.


Looks like he was a pitcher, then converted to hitting, but by the time he did he was too old to by considered a prospect. He was terrific in AAA in 2004 and the Mariners lost 99 games that year, but I guess he was blocked by Ichiro and Raul Ibanez. Seems like you coulda made room for him on your bench instead of 35 year old Dave Hansen?
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: September 30, 2022 at 08:10 PM (#6098537)
Post 7 is true - but that impossible dream did not ultimately close the deal, hence "dustbin of history."

victory is written by the winners.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: September 30, 2022 at 08:30 PM (#6098540)
Post 7 is true - but that impossible dream did not ultimately close the deal, hence "dustbin of history."

victory is written by the winners.


Google "Impossible Dream baseball" and tell me when you finally get to the Mets. I gave up after five pages of '67 Sox references.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: September 30, 2022 at 08:50 PM (#6098542)
not a great look for 'Red Sox Nation' - seemed like they were so satisfied to win the AL pennant, finally, and that was enough for them. their fandom made it such "a thing" when, well...... a dustbin might have been a better place.

fortunately for Sawx fans, the 2004 squad was far hungrier after what, by every metric, was a much bigger achievement - coming back from a 3-0 series deficit against the hated Yankees.

the Miracle Mets had a ton more things/memes going for them than just a song and an ill-fated ending to a season.
   13. Perry Posted: October 01, 2022 at 12:10 AM (#6098570)
Not a fan of either team, so no dog in this fight, but as a fan who was around in the late 60s (12 years old in '67) when you say "Impossible Dream" season, the only one I think of is the '67 Red Sox. I had the vinyl, too. And "just a song and an ill-fated ending"? How about a Triple Crown winner? Also it was an incredible 4-team race that went down to the last day. And it was their first pennant in 21 years, after finishing 9th in a 10-team league the year before. It was incredible.

And yeah, you had the Miracle Mets two years later, and that was even more incredible and amazing and I enjoyed it just as much.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: October 01, 2022 at 02:58 AM (#6098572)
Regarding Greg "this guy" Jacobs ... he and Deeds may have had similar problems in not having enough HR power (plus the delay mentioned in #9). Jacobs had ust 31 HR in 1000 AA PAs, that was barely passable in 2000s MLB. Deeds had just 48 in over 1700 AA PAs and 37 in nearly 1600 AAA PAs. His SLGs and ISOs are decent but, especially in his case, he just never turned his doubles into HRs (216 doubles vs those 85 HRs). Maybe with 150 doubles and 150 HRs he gets the call sometime.

Wow Jeff Bailey ended up with 2995 PA at AAA and over 1800 at AA.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: October 01, 2022 at 09:06 AM (#6098575)
the Miracle Mets had a ton more things/memes going for them than just a song and an ill-fated ending to a season.


Which is precisely why there's no reason to stake a claim to a phrase that had nothing to do with the club. In baseball, Impossible Dream refers to the 1967 Red Sox, regardless of the zeitgeist of 1969.

Now, those Mets are certainly welcome to continue to employ "Miracle" as a description. While some might dock them for a lack of originality since they appropriated it from the 1914 Braves, since there probably weren't a lot of Bees fans still around by then, I'll graciously give them a pass.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: October 01, 2022 at 10:05 AM (#6098578)
yes, the 1967 WS losers have the bigger stake to the phrase.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: October 01, 2022 at 10:12 AM (#6098580)
yes, the 1967 WS losers have the bigger stake to the phrase.


It's not biggest. It's only.

The digging isn't helping.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: October 01, 2022 at 10:38 AM (#6098582)
am tempted to spend the $15

and send you a copy of that Sept, 26, 1969 New York Times cover page titled "THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM"

granted, it's a fringe publication..

or maybe this 1969 World Series button

it reads: "The Amazin' Mets. We're No. 1. The Impossible Dream Came True"

after the World Series, the Mets were booked for 17 days at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas (which I suspect is 17 more days than the Red Sox got).

“We sang the song ‘Impossible Dream’ with some baseball lyrics.” added Ed [Kranepool]. “We did okay with the early show but at midnight we were a little shaky. In between shows we used to go out for dinner and drink a little. We were off a key for the late show.”

The group received an invite for a second 17-day booking in Vegas.

“The first 17 days were enough,” Kranepool laughed. “We weren’t performers. We were baseball players, we all wanted to get back to our day jobs. It was a great experience.”


..........

[feel free to retract "only" and "the digging isn't helping"]
   19. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: October 01, 2022 at 11:04 AM (#6098584)
Howie's comments are an interesting side piece to the companion article here about the regular season needing to matter more.

I've never heard "impossible dream" associated with the ''69 Mets who were always the "Miracle Mets" or "The Amazins." Obviously Howie brought receipts and if that's what he thinks of when he hears that phrase that's fine with me. To me (as a Sox fan of course) impossible dream will always be the '67 team.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: October 01, 2022 at 11:29 AM (#6098589)
[feel free to retract "only" and "the digging isn't helping"]

And I'm sure some beat writer with the Oakland Tribune used the phrase Impossible Dream at some point in 1972, but that doesn't mean the A's are associated with the phrase. No one associates the 1969 Mets with the Impossible Dream tag.

To me (as a Sox fan of course) impossible dream will always be the '67 team.


You and Google.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: October 01, 2022 at 11:33 AM (#6098590)
it's amazing that even after being informed that the Mets played Vegas for 17 days singing "The Impossible Dream" in 1969 - each player getting a then unheard-of $10,000 apiece (!), by the way - vs zero for the Red Sox, you claim that the team with zero days as an attraction has the "only" claim to the phrase.

the 1967 Red Sox have a bigger stake to the phrase, as I previously noted.
"only" - that's just bizarre.

the Mets won - and thus there are many larger memories with them from that year than just "The Impossible Dream."
the Red Sox lost, so that's all they had.

your digging isn't helping, to coin a phrase. and your overbid is obvious.

here is Vin Scully's call of the 1988 Dodgers winning the World Series

Hershiser gets the last batter on strikes: "Got Him! They've done it! Like the 1969 Mets, it's The Impossible Dream revisited!..."

but hey, what does Vin Scully know? after all, "No one associates the 1969 Mets with the Impossible Dream tag."

:)
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: October 01, 2022 at 12:00 PM (#6098593)
I'm sure Dick Young once called the 1969 Mets whiz kids too. And since the '59 Phillies lost the series, the Mets get to stake a claim to that one too.

As I've said Google Impossible Dream Baseball. When you get to the 1969 Mets, let me know.




   23. Howie Menckel Posted: October 01, 2022 at 12:08 PM (#6098595)
wow. I have more evidence, too.

but my point has been made successfully, I suspect, to all but one stubborn holdout. the defense rests.
   24. Mr. Hotfoot Jackson (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: October 01, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6098605)
I believe Howie has me blocked, but in any event on this one he's dead wrong. The end.
   25. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 01, 2022 at 03:35 PM (#6098616)
the Philly Whiz kids were 1950. The 1959 team was the Go Go White Sox. But I get your pt.

*****
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: October 01, 2022 at 03:50 PM (#6098618)

the Philly Whiz kids were 1950. The 1959 team was the Go Go White Sox. But I get your pt.


Yes. I'd like to say it was a typo, but it was not. I was definitely conflating the two nicknamed pennant winners, series losers.
   27. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 01, 2022 at 04:00 PM (#6098620)
Worth mentioning that the hero of this thread, the Nationals Joey Meneses, has a HR (#13) & double today, with 3 runs & 4 RBI. Now at .328/.368/.588. Might not be done, his game is in 7th. Good thing he kept chasing the dream, and he should get a chance to be the Nationals regular 1st baseman next season.
   28. Itchy Row Posted: October 01, 2022 at 09:17 PM (#6098668)
The true nickname for the 1967 Red Sox was “the 1927 Yankees.”
   29. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 01, 2022 at 10:49 PM (#6098691)
Post 7 is true - but that impossible dream did not ultimately close the deal, hence "dustbin of history."

victory is written by the winners.
WOW. Seriously, this is terrible.

The references to the '69 Mets team being the "Impossible Dream" team appears to be from a NY-area source, but you have to be very specific in the search engine window because apparently just about the only people who called that team the "Impossible Dream" team were from the NY area. If you just type a general search for "impossible dream baseball team," it's 1967 Red Sox all the way down because that team is universally known as that, no matter what Mets fans think.

If you target it, you can find "impossible dream" references for the 1988 Dodgers and 2014 Royals, as well as Leicester City FC in 2016, and really, lots of teams. Everyone thinks their team is special, but this is the first time I've ever seen someone say, no, your team ISN'T special and you should reject this lovely and wildly-used nickname for that team.
   30. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 01, 2022 at 11:14 PM (#6098696)
... 2015 Royals. I'm really tired.
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: October 01, 2022 at 11:22 PM (#6098699)
Everyone thinks their team is special, but this is the first time I've ever seen someone say, no, your team ISN'T special and you should reject this lovely and wildly-used nickname for that team.


yes, the 1967 WS losers have the bigger stake to the phrase.


The references to the '69 Mets team being the "Impossible Dream" team appears to be from a NY-area source


multiple references, actually, and one from 3,000 miles away.

the phrase was very popular in 1967 about the Red Sox, check.

it also was popular with the 1969 Mets, per the NY Times headline the day after the Mets clinched, the 17-day Vegas tour (which the Red Sox were not offered), and a second 17-day tour that was turned down, check.

19 years after the Mets won - and the last time the Dodgers won the World Series in a full season - broadcaster Vin Scully, until now a BBTF fave, used the "Impossible Dream" reference to the 1969 Mets in his initial response to the last out. check.

It's not biggest. It's only.

The digging isn't helping.


so let's recap:

- we all agree that "The Impossible Dream" is most associated with the 1967 Red Sox.

- plenty of evidence exists (again, there is more but it would be pointless by now) that the 1969 Mets not only had this as part of their story, but I note 4 references to it - including an incredibly lucrative Las Vegas show and a Scully reference almost two decades later - yet we want to deny that the Mets and 1969 and "Impossible Dream" ever happened.

it's "only" Red Sox. the ad hominens at the beginning of the comment above are interesting.

if your case isn't weak, no need to lie that "this is the first time I've ever seen someone say, no, your team ISN'T special and you should reject this lovely and wildly-used nickname for that team."

I frankly don't remember a lot about the 1967 Red Sox. but I already have stipulated that they are the most-remembered team with that phrase.

all that said, the 1969 Mets and countless Impossible Dream references absolutely happened - and not at all on a small or local scale. Vegas ain't a short drive from NYC, and plane travel wasn't even that common in 1969. why did Caesars Palace spend so much money - and attempt to spend even more - on a lounge act that nobody outside of the NYC area would even "get?"

two facts cannot be denied (well, clearly they can be):

- the phrase is most associated with the 1967 Red Sox;
- it also was associated with the 1969 Mets, not to that extent but also not to a trivial extent.

but if the 2014 and 2015 Royals and 2016 Leicester City got its players six-figure invites to perform for several weeks in Vegas or anywhere similar and offered several weeks more of same, then I'll take that under advisement. the Mets were an enormous story in 1969, and Impossible Dream was a part of it.

why that has to be denied, I can't explain.

I'll be charitable and assume that someone oddly stopped reading at Post 7.

sometimes two things can each be true. at least, when it's not BBTF.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: October 01, 2022 at 11:53 PM (#6098704)
but my point has been made successfully, I suspect, to all but one stubborn holdout.


Looks like you were wrong again.
   33. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: October 01, 2022 at 11:56 PM (#6098705)
This is a ridiculous argument.
   34. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 01, 2022 at 11:57 PM (#6098706)
the ad hominens at the beginning of the comment above are interesting.
The beginning was your #10, where you casually dismissed everyone else's comments because "victory is written by the winners." Sometimes two things CAN be true, so I'm mystified why you'd insist that "Impossible Dream" ought not apply to the team universally known by that label.
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: October 02, 2022 at 12:18 AM (#6098709)
I'm mystified why you'd insist that "Impossible Dream" ought not apply to the team universally known by that label.


are you really this - I'll be charitable, and go with "dense" - after reading my latest post?

the "Impossible Dream" label applies more to the 1967 Red Sox than any other team. If I write it 1,000 more times, will it finally sink in?

the 1969 Mets also had this same label applied to them extensively, and that cannot be disputed (except on BBTF). not as extensively as the Red Sox, but extensively.

if someone said "I am offended how much the Mets glommed off the Red Sox use of the phrase" - ok, that's a reasonable point.

but the Mets gained as much or more national fame from the phrase than any other team, at the time but not as much after - yet it still didn't disappear.

why did Vin Scully reference it in the Dodgers' moments after winning his team won the 1988 World Series, if the phrase lived and died at the end of the 1967 calendar year?

most interesting to me is those on the sidelines here. few people want to be bullied, which is fine. but silence allows this sort of weird clique to gain power.

..............

"the "Impossible Dream" label applies more to the 1967 Red Sox than any other team. If I write it 1,000 more times, will it finally sink in?

the 1969 Mets also had this same label applied to them extensively, and that cannot be disputed (except on BBTF). not as extensively as the Red Sox, but extensively."

anyone want to debate that very specific point? so far, no. and the mob doesn't need to do so. that's what is so weird.


   36. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 02, 2022 at 12:29 AM (#6098711)
not a great look for 'Red Sox Nation' - seemed like they were so satisfied to win the AL pennant, finally, and that was enough for them. their fandom made it such "a thing" when, well...... a dustbin might have been a better place.
Gee, I wonder why people thought you were being dismissive.
   37. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 02, 2022 at 12:39 AM (#6098712)
Occasionally, someone will in some fashion refer to a power hitting line-up as some kind of modern “Murderers Row”. However, such stray references don’t change the fact that the term “Murderers Row” is properly applied to the 1927 New York Yankees, and no other team. Seems like the 1967 Red Sox situation is comparable, even if their achievements aren’t.
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: October 02, 2022 at 11:21 AM (#6098731)
Gee, I wonder why people thought you were being dismissive.

speaking of dismissive, you completely ignored my post 35. that's more telling than you apparently realize.

I appreciate the concession, though.

and I do enjoy the other extrapolations and ignoring of reality. am glad I didn't bother with listing more references to the 1969 Mets and The Impossible Dream. 1000 references still wouldn't be enough for deniers.

we all agree that it is most associated with the 1967 Red Sox. and the panel here pretends it had nothing at all to do with the 1969 Mets, in spite of the examples already given. what a time to be alive....
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: October 02, 2022 at 12:16 PM (#6098732)
speaking of dismissive, you completely ignored my post 35. that's more telling than you apparently realize.


People aren't ignoring your posts. We're not too dense to appreciate your subtle nuances. We find your conclusion spurious.

That there are references to the 1969 Mets and Impossible Dream is not surprising - they probably exist for every unlikely champion since 1966. But some sportswriter/broadcaster mentions and even Eddie Kranepool and the '69 Singers warbling out a popular (and obvious) tune in the offseason following the title does not forge some kind of meaningful connection between the team and the phrase.

That's the conclusion that's been drawn by all but one stubborn holdout.
   40. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 02, 2022 at 01:22 PM (#6098736)
speaking of dismissive, you completely ignored my post 35. that's more telling than you apparently realize.
#39 is exactly why I don't bother. I suppose I'm just entirely done with people trying to tell other people that the things that matter to them shouldn't, and I'm not interested in the post hoc pullbacks.
most interesting to me is those on the sidelines here. few people want to be bullied, which is fine. but silence allows this sort of weird clique to gain power.
What battle are you actually fighting?
   41. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 02, 2022 at 03:14 PM (#6098742)
I think the Cardiac Kids is another moniker that found numerous usages. I think it used first for the Browns.
   42. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2022 at 07:55 AM (#6098813)
I wish people would let this argument go
   43. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2022 at 07:57 AM (#6098814)
Doug Deeds started in the Twins organization. I believe his walkup song was AC/DC which led to the nickname "Dougie Deeds - Done Dirt Cheap"
   44. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2022 at 08:00 AM (#6098815)
All time, there are 22,849 major-league players in Baseball Reference's database. Compare that to 226,179 to play in professional baseball at any level in North America, according to their records.

That's a higher fraction than I would have thought.


FTA - "The minor-league record is incomplete prior to 1950, however"
   45. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 03, 2022 at 04:47 PM (#6098930)
but my point has been made successfully, I suspect, to all but one stubborn holdout. the defense rests.

I have no particular dog in this fight; both of these teams played over a decade before I was born, and I'm not a fan of either of them. But this thread is the first time I have heard any reference to any team other than the '67 Red Sox being the Impossible Dream. The '69 Mets have always been the Miracle Mets in my hearing (the Amazins were generally the lousy teams from earlier in the decade).

Also, just gonna throw this out there and wait for an angry mob to track me down: I think it is possible that Vin Scully crossed up his nicknames 20 years after the fact.

Anyway, I am very much looking forward to going through the article linked above.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: October 03, 2022 at 04:53 PM (#6098932)
FTA - "The minor-league record is incomplete prior to 1950, however"


Which the heirs of 96 percent of the males who "played a little minor league ball back in the day" are grateful for.
   47. PeteF3 Posted: October 03, 2022 at 04:59 PM (#6098933)
I actually feel like there are more nicknames/catchphrases for WS-losing teams than winning ones. Or at least as many: the Impossible Dream, the Whiz Kids, the Go-Go Sox, the Wheeze Kids (1983 Phillies), You Gotta Believe...sometimes the losers are more endearing than the winners, especially unlikely ones like the '67 Red Sox and '50 and '83 Phils.

"Big Red Machine" qualifies, too--it was regularly in use as early as August of 1969 in the Ohio newspapers.
   48. SoSH U at work Posted: October 03, 2022 at 05:05 PM (#6098936)
I actually feel like there are more nicknames/catchphrases for WS-losing teams than winning ones. Or at least as many: the Impossible Dream, the Whiz Kids, the Go-Go Sox, the Wheeze Kids (1983 Phillies), You Gotta Believe...


And don't forget the team that gave us Inner Circle BTFer, Harvey's Wallbangers.
   49. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: October 03, 2022 at 05:32 PM (#6098942)
Howie is a douche bag.

Don't worry, he has me blocked, so his fee fees won't be hurt.

Someone tell him that The Impossible Dream was FIRST associated with the Red Sox, and then try to again explain why that's important. He is the dense one. As always.
   50. Zach Posted: October 03, 2022 at 08:13 PM (#6098969)
... 2015 Royals. I'm really tired.

If it helps, it all seemed much more impossible in 2014 than in 2015.
   51. chisoxcollector Posted: October 04, 2022 at 08:32 AM (#6099004)
I despise the Red Sox, and I was born 11 years after their 1967 World Series loss.

Like all reasonable humans, that Red Sox team is the only team I think of when I hear “Impossible Dream”. I don’t care how many isolated instances there are from 50 years ago of other teams being referred to using that moniker. There have been many instances of teams/athletes achieving what felt like an impossible dream. When it comes to The Impossible Dream, there is only one. Obviously.

But this is Howie we’re talking about, so I’m not surprised to see this ridiculously pedantic argument being posited.
   52. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 04, 2022 at 10:18 AM (#6099023)
This was a fantastic article. I very much enjoyed it, then was looking forward to 50 comments about it.

Instead, its some ####### Mets fan making it all about himself. typical.

   53. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 04, 2022 at 05:21 PM (#6099071)
my favorite career minor leagues is Jim Hicks probably because I had his 1969 rookie card. When he had already played parts of 3 seasons and was 29 years old (his obit is apparently in error. 5/18/40 seems the correct date). He had a 1967 card as well but then he got sent down the first week of April, which is mentioned on the back of the card. That's embarassing.

Anyhow he basically annihilated pitching at every level. Basically going 300/400/500 at every level, going 24-8 SB/CS in 4 triple A seasons 63-67, and getting a good number of assists. He must have been very raw because he made 42 errors in 3 seasons playing LF/RF in the lower minors. But he was MVP of the Sally league in '63 so his time had come. The CWS had him on the roster from '64-'66 but he only got 47 AB or so and was sent back down several times. '67 was the great pennant chase. The CWS had no interest in bringing Hicks up, he spent the entire season in triple A. The CWS acquired Colavito for RF in July for very little because he wasnt the same player and he had held out in the spring. But Colavito was not the answer and the CWS collapsed in the final week. Surely someone could have used this guy?

Its hard to figure what the CWS strategy was at this point. But they made a series of trades including Agee/Al Weis for Tommy Davis/Jack Fisher as well Don Buford for Aparicio. This opened up a spot in RF for 1968. They decide to fill it with youngsters: Buddy Bradford, Walt Williams and Bill Voss (also Leon Wagner who was Hicks teammate both before this and later).

How did that work out? Well Bradford got more AB then the other three in 68 but he was replacement level in '68 and for ten more MLB seasons. He did show some positive value on defense so maybe that's why he stayed around. Williams put up two decent seasons later in his career. Voss was sub replacement most of his career. Davis fell off a cliff in '68 as the broken ankle would haunt the rest of his career. The CWS had been very good every year in the 60s till now: they went 28 games under .500.

Meanwhile Hicks had been sold to STL in Oct '67. He said he definitely felt he was better than some of the others guys in Chicago. But STL didnt need him either. I guess he was supposed to be an insurance policy for Maris. They already had a very young Bobby Tolan who was getting AB there. So Hicks spends another year in the triple A where he was MVP of the PCL hitting .366 with a bunch of HRs. Basically his usual.


   54. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 04, 2022 at 08:41 PM (#6099101)
This was a fantastic article. I very much enjoyed it, then was looking forward to 50 comments about it.

Concur, the article was excellent - it progressed nicely through the stages of the various careers and post-careers. More importantly, it introduced me to the existence of BodyArmor SuperDrink.
   55. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 04, 2022 at 10:30 PM (#6099115)

it's amazing that even after being informed that the Mets played Vegas for 17 days singing "The Impossible Dream" in 1969 - each player getting a then unheard-of $10,000 apiece (!), by the way - vs zero for the Red Sox, you claim that the team with zero days as an attraction has the "only" claim to the phrase.


Don't you know -- what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
   56. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: October 05, 2022 at 10:21 AM (#6099147)
... but then the Cubs have nobody else at 1B right now and they've got a 24-yo kid who hit 297/383/593 in 240 AAA PAs and he's not been called up for the final week or two while we trot Alfonso Rivas (82 OPS+) out there.


Come on, Walt. You know better than this. Mervis hasn't been called up because he's not on the 40-man and not eligible for the rule 5. Thus, they don't want to waste a spot for him before the Rule 5 draft. He will compete for, and (unless they trade for or sign a veteran) like win, the starting job at 1B in Mesa.
   57. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 05, 2022 at 01:46 PM (#6099191)
it introduced me to the existence of BodyArmor SuperDrink

me too, and it sold to Coke for $5.6B. Deeds probably came out of that pretty well, so it all worked out.
   58. Mr. Hotfoot Jackson (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: October 05, 2022 at 06:06 PM (#6099247)
my favorite career minor leagues is Jim Hicks probably because I had his 1969 rookie card.


One of my favorite features in The Sporting News when I was a kid was the columns of type showing & pitching stats for each of the Triple A leagues. Leading (or maybe just really high-achieving) hitters & pitchers were pictured at the bottom of the stat columns. Why the heck I particularly remember Jim Hicks' photo showing up with what must've been the PCL stats circa '71-'72, I have no idea ... but I do.
   59. Rally Posted: October 06, 2022 at 08:07 AM (#6099322)
I remember when the Angels signed Deeds, thinking my projections showed he could be a useful backup outfielder if they had need for one. Didn’t realize he never got a cup of coffee. In his last season, 2012, they did have a need for an extra outfielder in late April but called up a 20 year old kid instead. I wonder whatever happened to him.

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