So pleased was I two days prior when I beheld the glorious (and complex) visage of Rudy Pemberton on this webbed page, submitted for your approval by one Dayn Perry. Pemberton has been a favorite player of mine for the last two seasons based on his absolutely ridiculous 1996 season.
What happened in 1996 to Rudy Pemberton? you ask, predictably. I am glad that you, as I had anticipated, asked. First, he got released by the Tigers after hitting .315/.360/.580 at AAA and .300/.344/.467 in the Majors as a 25 year old in 1995. Then, he signed with Texas. The Rangers promptly traded him to Boston, who stashed him at Pawtucket (where he hit .326/.375/.616) until September.
On September 1, Pemberton was recalled from Pawtucket with Nomar Garciaparra. He played the next day and went 0-for-2, but Pemberton would finish the month at .512/.556/.780 with 21 hits in 41 at bats, 2 walks, 2 hit by pitch, 3 stolen bases, 8 doubles, 1 homer, 11 runs, and 10 RBI. Garciaparra hit .241/.272/.471, the pansy.
What follows is a non-exhaustive and only partially untrue list of facts regarding Rudy Pemberton’s incredible September, which should give you great joy:
1) Rudy Pemberton ordered beer and chicken during games, always ate everything, and never shared. Mo Vaughn never got over it and swore vengeance that has gone unfulfilled.
2) Rudy Pemberton’s 45 plate appearances are the second highest in league history amongst players who batted above .500 in a single season.
3) Rudy Pemberton shot Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas and somehow escaped via jetboat.
4) Rudy Pemberton sent Derek Jeter a lovely gift basket with signed Rudy Pemberton merchandise during Boston’s trip to the Bronx.
5) Rudy Pemberton’s 1.336 OPS is 8th highest of all time among players with more than 30 plate appearances in a season. He is behind Ted Williams (once), Babe Ruth (twice), Barry Bonds (thrice), and JD fricking Drew, for some reason.
6) Rudy Pemberton miraculously won the state lotteries in Washington, Illinois, Michigan, and Massachusetts. Which was weird, because he never bought a ticket, and Washington didn’t even have a lottery in 1996.
7) Mike Greenwell hastened his retirement for the shame of not living up to Rudy Pemberton’s expectations.
8) Rudy Pemberton’s sole home run in 1996 tore a necessary vowel out of pitcher Rick Krivda’s name, as it sped past him. The ball cleared the Green Monster because the iconic wall hunched down in terror.
9) Rudy Pemberton founded Fox News as a joke that he’s still playing on you today.
10) Rudy Pemberton drank a bottle of Schnapps after every hit he got in 1996. Following the season he was declared legally dead. Despite this handicap, he hit .238/.314/.365 in 1997 before being buried at sea in June with the six mighty newborn sons he fathered in September the year before serving as pallbearers. The Dos Equis spokesman and Chuck Norris were in attendance…and wept.