Monday, March 22, 2010

My Time in the Bigs, No. 2

My Time in the Bigs, No. 2

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4 comments:

thingy said...

I like it, but. what are the bigs?

Mythical Monkey said...

Actually, it's a baseball term. The "bigs" are the major leagues. A "cup of coffee" refers to a minor leaguer who gets called up to the major league team for a brief stay, a couple of weeks usually, filing in for an injured star or something. He sits on the bench, gets a dozen or so at bats, then gets sent back down before anybody really learns his name or figures out whether he's any good.

Which is to say, he's there long enough for a cup of coffee and not much else.

Or as Thomas Grey put it, "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air."

Baseball-Reference.com lists 969 players and 504 pitchers who played in exactly one game in their major league careers, the ultimate in "cup of coffee" ballplayers.

The most famous cup of coffee in history was Archibald "Moonlight" Graham who on June 25, 1905, appeared in one game for the New York Giants. He played one inning in the outfield, did not make any plays and did not come to bat. He inspired the movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner and Burt Lancaster (the latter as Moonlight Graham).

Before Field of Dreams made Graham famous, I'd say the most famous cup of coffee was Eddie Gaedel, a three foot seven inch dwarf who pinch hit for the St. Louis Browns on August 19, 1951, a publicity stunt by team owner Bill Veeck. Gaedel walked on four straight pitches, was lifted for a pinch runner and was never heard from again.

thingy said...

Thanks, Myth. That is fascinating and so sad.

I'm just thinking of how they felt being out there, and it was one time.

Wow.

mister muleboy said...

I feel like I'm married to that big lug, the MythMon.
He completes me.

The sadness that you refer to, Thingy, is what this photo evoked when I chanced upon it the day after taking it.

So something is working today. In the ol' communications game.