Current Leader: Ro! Ber! To! Ro! Ber! To!
Our quest to find a movie-worthy story continues today as we vote on the second round of contestants.
Here’s the top five from Round 1:
1. Roberto Clemente 14.5% (77 votes)
2. Satchel Paige 13.94% (74 votes)
3. Moe Berg 11.11% (59 votes)
4. Branch Rickey 9.79% (52 votes)
5. Bill Veeck 8.47% (45 votes)
Here are the Round 2 contestants, our final grouping:
Hilda Chester — A Dodgers fan in the true “fanatic” root of the word, Chester spent a healthy portion of the early 20th century cheering on Brooklyn’s home team — first with a frying pan, then team-supplied brass cowbells. She had heart attacks.
Otis Nixon — The speed-demon Nixon stole 620 bases in his lengthy career and had a slew of strong defensive plays on his tab. He also struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, but has since gone clean and committed himself to helping others rehabilitate.
Bob Gibson — A Hall of Fame pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Gibson — despite two awful late-career seasons — finished his MLB time with an 82 FIP- and nearly 3900 IP. He debuted at age 23 and retired at 39 — oh, and had rickets and some sort of asthma as a child.
Reggie Jackson — “Mr October” got Dayn Perry to write a book about him. According to Perry’s bio: “Ne’er has there before strutted a scalawag of equal October aplomb, of greater fastball dimissory powers, of such lasting bespectacledness or mustachiosity.” Or maybe not; like I’m actually going to read that book.
Nolan Ryan — This guy pitched in the majors from age 19 to age 46. He then parlayed those earnings and that Hall of Fame career into owning his home-state team, the Texas Rangers, which are now a perennial powerhouse franchise.
Willie Mays — He could field, he could crush dongers, and he did it for 22 seasons — one fewer than he would have had he not served his nation in the Korean War. This guy has live a Life, I tell you.
Lenny Dykstra — The All-Star Dykstra had a solid career with the Mets and Phillies, and then parlayed his career success into a fashionable story of fraud, tax evasion, NHL great’s house flipping, and ultimately house arrest and rehab. This story is still very much writing itself. Though the short version can probably be seen in any episode of Arrested Development — coocoo-kacha!
Ryan Vogelsong — The North Carolina native Vogelsong translated his less-than-great MLB career into a mediocre career in Japan’s NPB league, and then — upon returning to the MLB at age 33 — Vogelsong suddenly become a FIP-breaking wizard. He now leads the National League with a 2.27 ERA, despite a 4.31 SIERA.
Ozzie Guillen — A great defensive middle infielder turned dynamic, boisterous, commie-loving manager. You know the story.
Rick Ankiel — Ankiel was a failed pitching prospect turned feel-good comeback story as he changed to the outfield, turned brush-under-the-rug story as he was caught for steroid use, turned solid, Jeff Francoeur-like career.
Marge Schott — I’ma let Wikipedia do the heavy lifting here:
She was the third woman to own a North American major-league team without inheriting it … and the second woman to buy an existing team rather than inheriting it. She is perhaps most well known for her controversial behavior during her tenure as owner of the Reds, which included slurs towards African-Americans, Jews, the Japanese and homosexuals. She was banned from managing the team by the MLB from 1996 through 1998 due to statements in support of German domestic policies of Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler; shortly afterwards, she sold the majority of her share in the team.
I wonder if she made a non-aggression pact with Mr. Red, and then betrayed him.
Jose Canseco — The steroids squealer wrote a tell-all story about PEDs after his dynamic 17-year career. He is currently seeking a second chance in the MLB, which renders his Twitter account perhaps the most depressing place on the Internet.
John Rocker — Rocker was best known as the sayer of racist, homophobic, and sexist comments and the “who wasn’t?” user of steroids.
Michael Jordan — The Chicago Bulls Hall of Famer and world-famous fop and jerk, Michael Jordan also had one spectacularly uninspiring season with a Chicago White Sox Double-A affiliate at age 31.
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