Who Am I? | August 24, 2011

****Remember, try this without research. Release your inner Jim Joyce and show us your stream of consciousness as you decipher the answer. Add to that the teachings of Myagi: patience. If you don’t get the answer right away, give your brain a chance to work if for no other reason than to stay in the discussion. You may not have THE answer, but you might prompt another reader by asking the right question.

 

By Chas

I was involved in one of the most famous trades in baseball history. It was a one-for-one trade, me-for-him, no one else involved. Unfortunately, I was traded for a player who was extremely popular, and, in retrospect, my new team got the short end of the deal.

At the time of the trade, I was 29 years old and coming off the third top ten MVP finish of my career, and perhaps my best year of all of them. My counterpart was almost three years younger and had just finished in the top five in MVP voting for the second consecutive year.

Fans in my new city weren’t happy with the trade, to which my new GM replied, “What’s all the fuss about? All I did was trade hamburger for steak.” That didn’t turn out to be the case. I was traded away again a year later.

To put the one-sidedness of the trade in perspective, using one of those newfangled stats, I produced a total of 5 wins above replacement (WAR) for the remainder of my career. My counterpart: 27.5 WAR.

Fans of that Great Lakes region team still cite the trade as the primary reason for their futility in the years since. Not to be outdone by that team in New England, they even call it a curse.

I had a pretty good career, though. I knocked out over 2000 hits, and batted over .300 for my 15 years in the bigs. I was also name to 8 All-Star teams (7 of them prior to that ill-fated trade) and stuck around for 15 years on the BBWAA’s Hall of Fame ballot, peaking at just under 40% of the vote.

I even had some success in a very brief managerial career. As a rookie manager, I took over my hometown team early in the year and led them to the only World Series appearance in their history. We lost in seven games, but I took home Manager of the Year honors for my efforts.

The following season, I was fired after my team missed the playoffs, although we finished a respectable 12 games above .500.

I never managed again. Five years later, I died, just two months past my 57th birthday.

Who Am I?

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