Wednesday, July 12, 2006

July 12th, 1992

Andy Van Slyke Singles

That was one of Van Slyke's league leading 199 hits that year, he also led in doubles with forty-five. Despite those accomplishments, and being a five-time Gold Glove winner (all as an outfielder, although he also saw time at the corners in his youth) and top five finisher in the MVP voting two times, Van Slyke will probably—and deservingly—be best remembered for his wit. About Mitch Williams and his sometime erratic control, Van Slyke said that if “everyone were like him I wouldn't play. I'd find a safer way to make a living." Contrasting his days with the Cardinals to those with the Pirates he remarked that in St. Louis “everybody would be reading the business section to see what their stocks were doing. You get to this [Pittsburgh] locker room in the morning and everybody is looking at the sports page to see if Hulk Hogan won." My personal favorite though is Andy complaining "my biggest problem in the big leagues is that I can't figure out how to spend forty-three dollars [a day] in meal money." I could go on and on with these.

It is a terrible shame then that Donruss Triple Play choose to use this gem for the back of Andy’s card pictured above: “Don’t ever try to be something you’re not. The real you is the one people will like.” As corny as that is, it does rather prove its own point, the real Van Slyke was quotable, funny and well-liked. The preachy Van Slyke of the card? Probably not so well-liked.

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