Saturday, November 08, 2008

Big Mo Vaughn Goes Into The Red Sox Hall Of Fame...Deservedly...SPACEMAN, GATOR,Too!

First baseman deluxe Mo Vaughn will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame at the ceremonial Hall of Fame dinner at the Marriott Copley Square. It's quite an honor and he deserves it immensely. Do you remember the power numbers he put up
in the 90s? If not, I'll remind you...he hit .300 or better his last five years with the Red Sox. In his last three seasons, his on-base percentages were .420 (1996), .420 (1997) and .402 (1998). He was MVP of the American League in 1995, hitting .300 with 39 home runs and 126 RBI, and then followed it up with a gargantuan 1996: .326 batting average, 44 home runs, 143 RBI. I remember that bashingly tremendous 1996 quite well. His home runs were lauched magestically into the stratosphere on a regular basis, as if fueled by a mini rocket engine, unseen but powerful, and the dents in the Green Monster are still there, pristine, as if they were made yesterday. His best years were spent at the Fens. Here's what he had to say about his Fenway "Glory Days"...

“I knew Fenway Park very well. I knew my way all around that place. I had all my good years there and I was never the same after I left. Yeah, I was on my way,” he said, referring to Cooperstown. “But you look back and you wonder why things happened and how things happened and what could have been, but I’m doing good in my life and doing things the way I would like to do them, and you move on. "He paused and then said, “But I was putting together some pretty good years there.”

Peter here, and "pretty good' just doesn't describe the way he could change the pace and outcome of a baseball game with one flick of his wrist. After his MVP year in '95 and his off the wall amazing '96, his weight started to catch up with him, decreasing his mobility in the field and on the basepaths. He left Boston and followed the money trail to California, Angels land. But he was never the same after that 1996 superhuman season. Muscle problems of one kind or another eventually snuffed out the rest of his baseball career, but we'll all remember his infectious smile, his clubhouse demeanor, and, most important of all, his generous charitable work, a cause that was, and probably still is, close to his big heart. I loved the man. Good luck to you in life, Maurice. Live long and prosper. You made so many of us SO happy, and for that, every one of us thanks you.

Don't forget that "the Spaceman," lefty Bill Lee, will also be inducted this weekend. I remember seeing him in game #2 of the 1975 World Series, in person, a game in which the Sox could have put a stranglehold on the mighty Big Red Machine. But, as I remember it, rain delayed the game in the seventh inning with Boston holding a slim lead. After the rain delay, it was all Reds, and Cincy managed to limp home with a 1-1 series tie. The rest is games and out, just like 1967. SO PROUD, but out. Also inducted was Boston leftfielder Mike "Gator" Greenwell. He provided many great baseball moments for all of us with his clutch hitting and stellar defense.

Thanks for stopping in on this early Saturday morning. I wish you the best of all weekends. The weather here in the northeast has been unseasonably warm for the last ten days or so, but a cold front that will be coming through later today should SLOWLY bring the temperatures back to normal levels. The key word is slowly. Right now as I type this, it's 57.4 degrees F. at 5:06am EST...warm and toasty, I guess, with a touch of humidity. I know one thing for certain...we've ALL been saving money on heat. Mother Nature is Mother Nature, however, fickle with a great memory. It'll all even out by the end of the winter, so sometime in late December, January or February, we'll pay for this blissful interlude with blasts of ice cold Canadian air. Hey, I love the snow...I love watching the white flakes pile up as I'm sitting in my living room, fireplace roaring while the snow piles up over the living room sliding glass door. Those warm and cozy inside days are coming...soon. And I can't wait!

Click on the title of this post, if you wish, for more on Mo and the Sox themselves. There is no big breaking Sox news, but I'm sure we'll have a boatload of exactly that later in this postseason. If you want to share any of your Mo memories, please leave a comment. I'll get back to you...that's a promise. As always, BE WELL.


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