Vada Pinson

Baseball is great because of its timelessness.

It is un-anchored in time.

This is true in large. 150+ years of statistics and players and stories provide a context for every happening in every day’s game.

This is true in small. Every pitch provides the potential for instant game-winning action, or as a savory consolation, an opportunity to analyze and/or reminisce and/or solve the problems of the world in a beautiful, geometrically-correct setting with a nutritionally-incorrect hot dog (maybe two if there’s a pitching change).

Tonight’s between-the-pitches discussion is triggered by George Grande’s suggestion that the Reds’ Vada Pinson (late 50’s-early 60’s) belongs in the Hall of Fame. Chris Welsh’s retort was that every fan of every team had two or three players from their team’s history that they felt should be in the Hall of Fame.

Well…sure, Chris. That’s probably true.

But those fans are not Reds fans and those fans might be wrong.

We’re talkin’ Vada Pinson here.

In my pre-teen years, I determined that Vada Pinson was the greatest player not named Frank Robinson in the game. I based this on data…extensive data;

  • I went to two games in Crosley Field and saw him play.
  • I saw him play in maybe three or four TV games (there was only one televised baseball game per week then – Saturday afternoon – the Reds were rarely featured, not being the Yankees).
  • I listened to him play in several hundred games on the radio (including dozens of late-night games from the West Coast, secretly monitored on my transistor radio under my pillow – don’t tell my Mom).
  • I had a baseball card.

Pit yer analytics against that, Mr. Welsh!

Oh, look.

It’s time for the next pitch.

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