Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the Pine? How did I come to the Pine? Why was I not consulted? And if I am compelled to take part in this, where is the man in charge? I want to see him?
Actually, I’ll settle for the answer to the question, who am I? But remember to try this without research. If the answer doesn’t come to you immediately, be sure to share your thought process, as you may assist another in his or her quest to help me answer this “existential” question.
I was drafted by a west coast team, but most people don’t know me for that. I was supposed to be the successor to a guy who failed at replacing a legend, a man whom some wonder why he didn’t receive more Hall of Fame support.
I played only parts of three seasons out west before being traded to an eastern team, in a deal for a player who could be described as a professional hitter (a guy who won four batting titles), although he was in the twilight of his career.
I played 5+ years there for a team on the rise. We went from 64 wins in my first full year to a postseason berth in my last. While there, I set a major league record (that since has been broken) for most assists in a season at a position not known for them.
I left as a free agent, though, to sign with another eastern team. We turned our fortunes around in my first year there, which was the beginning of a long run of sustained success. In fact, we made the playoffs in all of my three seasons there, but lost in the World Series twice. We even beat my previous team in a playoff series once, and I played a pivotal role on a series-deciding play.
My postseason numbers were solid, if not spectacular: a .785 OPS in 92 AB over 28 games.
I moved on from there, heading west again, and played one final year for a fourth team where I served as the backup to another player whose Hall of Fame candidacy has become a lightning-rod for controversy.
I didn’t reach 1000 hits or 100 homers over my 12 years in the majors, but I held my own. Even though I played the requisite 10 seasons, my name never appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Who Am I?