Okay everyone, I was #18 again this week so I had to get creative. The Indians retired #18 for Mel harder and I already wrote tribute to him. The Cardinals may have had a significant person wear #18 but I do not remember them, so I had to make something up. Today we will have a short math lesson. (Don’t worry; it’s really easy.) I am an indians fan now so I had to “subtract” the Cardinals from the top of my baseball team list so we will be doing subtraction today!
Start with… you guessed it: 24!!!!!(haha I beat the system!)
Grady Sizemore was born in Seattle, Washington on August 2, 1982. He is actually Grady Sizemore III. I think that is really cool. He is the third. He went to Cascade High School in Everett, Washington where he played football, basketball, and of course baseball. He was planning to attend the University of Washington to play football and baseball. He was also recruited by Arizona State and Clemson (!) but signed a letter of intent for University of Washington. I do not remember where I read this but apparently the coach at UW did not think Grady wanted to go there because he was so quiet during all of the recruiting sessions and stuff. His mom, Donna, said she was surprised by this because Grady usually gets along with everyone but she could see how he may seem really quiet because that is just Grady. He was a standout football star who was his high school’s all-time leader in rushing yards with 3,081 and interceptions with 16. He was drafted in the third round of the 2000 MLB draft by the Expos who offered him $2 million signing bonus. Clearly Grady made the right choice and signed with the Expos. Then in 2002 he was sent to the Indians along with Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips in what was formerly known in Cleveland as the Bartolo Colon deal but has come to be known as the Grady Sizemore deal. Maybe one reason I do not hate Ozzie Guillen, manager of the White Sox, as much as I would normally is because he loves Grady. Grady has been nicknamed Superman (which I do not think is actually used all that much).
In 2005 he made his debut in the big leagues. He immediately established himself as a star and at the end of the year signed a six year $23.45 million contract with the Indians. In 2006 he made the All Star Game for the first time (probably because Ozzie Guillen was the manager). In 2007 he was in the All Star Game again and won his first Gold Glove award. He also went to the playoffs with the Indians but did not make the World Series. In 2008 he became the 32nd member of the 30-30 club on August 25 (a day after my birthday!). He went to the All Star Game again and won another Gold Glove Award and his first Silver Slugger Award. He also appeared in the Home Run Derby for the first time. He was knocked out in the first round in part because Josh hamilton is a freak of nature. His consecutive games played streak was broken at 382 games after he sprained his ankle in a game against the Yankees in April (yes, I hold it against the Yankees). His career batting average is .279 and he has stolen 117 bases in his career.
Grady is also a great person off the field. He hates being in the spotlight and does what he can to stay out of it. He is very humble and does not focus on himself or his own numbers and records. He is a real team player and only cares about doing what he can to help out his team. This characteristic was evidenced this year when he pulled out of the WBC for a minor groin injury that I think many other players would have played with. Grady is entirely unselfish and very mature.
He is a great role model and is bringing baseball back to what it should be.
Now subtract the Cradinals greatest… #6!!!
Stan “The Man” Musial
Stan Musial was born November 21, 1920 in Pennsylvania. He actually started his career as a pitcher but eventually moved to the outfield. In 1940 he made the move to the big leagues with the Cardinals. He was the NL MVP in 1943, 1946, and 1948. In 1957 he was Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. He was known for his consistent hitting and his gentlemanlike disposition. He was never ejected from a single game and he played in 3,026 games. He is one of the only two players to hit 5 home runs in one day. His 3,630 total career hits are currently fourth on the all time hits list. He played in 24 All-Star Games which is tied with Hank aaron as the most.
Stan is still a favorite in St. Louis. His statue stands outside of Busch Stadium and is a popular meeting place at Cardinal Games. Last year he was honored on May 18 on “Stan the Man” day at Busch Stadium. I was at that game and it was awesome to see him at 88 years old go out there. He even pretended to swing for the crowd and everyone went crazy.
So our math problem is 24-6=18!
Also Cleveland State University won the Horizon League and will be making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1986. I will have them gong a long way because as I have already explained to Jen I am not good at making brackets because I go with the teams with funny names (Oral Roberts) or teams that I like (Clemson, Cleveland State) which usually are not the higher seeds. I am aware I never make good brackets but I refuse to change so it is my own fault.
Is CSU winning a good omen for the Tribe in 2009? I think so.