The Feast of Brumley the Long-Lived

Very few Feast Days take place during the actual baseball season.  The reasons for this are obscure and hidden from the masses, but from the underground are sometimes heard mutterings of “logistics”.

Life: Mike Brumley was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to wear silly clothing and provide a backdrop for the greatness of others. Brumley contains multitudes: he is known for being the least valuable member of the rookie class of 1987, producing below replacement level in eight of his nine major league seasons. He played seven positions and was above-average at none of them. His career underscored the truth that there is virtue in the absence of strength, and that there is tenacity in existence.  Said existence marches onward as a first base coach for the Seattle Mariners, combining advice for young inattentive people with a propensity for squinting.

Spiritual Exercise: Consider the Taoist philosophy of uselessness, as evidenced in the words of the Chuang-tzu: “Mountain trees are their own enemies, and the leaping fire is the cause of its own quenching. Cinnamon is edible, therefore the cinnamon tree is cut down. Ch’i oil is useful, therefore the ch’i tree is gashed.” The gnarled oak, meanwhile, is good for nothing, and thus it survives. Was Brumley’s success in life, such as it is, the direct result of his own obscurity?  To carry the metaphor a step further: is Mike Brumley a political animal?

A Prayer For Mike Brumley

Mike Brumley!
You lent Ken Griffey, Sr. your bat
As Unferth lent his sword to Beowulf,
Rendering yourself a footnote
To a footnote in history.
You are the patron saint of beat writers.

In your spare time, you lend credence
To the hoary old adage
That those who can’t do, teach.
Many of those who witnessed your early work
Swore to each other that someday,
You would spend your evenings telling runners
How many outs there are.

There are two outs,
You whisper into the night air.
There are two outs.
Run on anything.




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Patrick Dubuque writes for NotGraphs and The Hardball Times, and he serves as Bill Spaceman Lee Visiting Professor for Baseball Exploration at Pitchers & Poets, which is now housed at The Classical. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.

9 Responses to “The Feast of Brumley the Long-Lived”

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  1. Jacob Smith says:

    Today is indeed a day for the making of feasting? How utterly outstanding.

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  2. This touched me in and around the soul part of my body.

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  3. David says:

    Fantastic. No matter what happens today I will know that upon reading this I was consumed by happiness and a better understanding and appreciation of the world… of first base coaches.

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    • juan pierre's mustache says:

      having watched many first base coaches over the years, it is my understanding that their primary role is to make contact with each player’s buttocks upon their arrival at first base

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  4. Yirmiyahu says:

    Love it.

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  5. marc w says:

    Awesome. One of my favorite notgraphs posts.

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  6. J-money says:

    great, great work

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