Sunday, December 10, 2006
Bots Nekola Born
One point I return to here a lot--probably too much, but that's another issue--is the idea that every player is notable, even if there's nothing about them worth remembering at first glance. Besides the name--his real first name is Francis which might be one of the only names for which 'Bots' represents a legitimate improvement--there is nothing in Nekola's statistics to make him especially notable. He pitched exactly twenty innings in the Major Leagues, almost all for the Yankees in 1929. He never appeared in the post season and his lifetime record is a mighty 0-0, 5.85 ERA.
However, it is Nekola's post playing career that makes him worth remembering. For many years, Nekola was to the Boston Red Sox what Paul Krichell was to the Yankees. Nekola scouted for the BoSox for twenty-seven years and signed or discovered players like Ben Oglivie (1980 AL home run champion), Rico Petrocelli and greatest of all, Carl Yastrzemski. That might not be quite as impressive a list as Krichell's, but of course, the Red Sox were never quite as impressive a franchise as the Yankees.
Like I said, I harp on this point a lot because I think it one worth discussing, but Bots Nekola is yet another example of a player worth more than a brief look.