From Amazine; The Newsletter of The Association for Creative Mets Enthusiasts
By Evan Pritchard Friday, February 26th, 2009
Jose Reyes, Get Ready to be Compared with Mickey Mantle Other Great Three-Hole Hitters in Baseball History
Today, in a “Grapefruit league” game against the Florida Marlins, Jose Reyes, usually a batter who would do as well with a broomstick as a bat, batted in the “three-hole” for the first time. Immediately, he earned entry into the hallowed company of the great three-hole hitters of all time. He surprised us all by bashing a grand slam and a solo home run. One was hit left handed, one was hit right handed. The Mets won 9-0 in a game closely resembling a “laugher. ” So I thought a little over the top humor might be appropriate.
The Marlins stood in awe of his power which is not what they were prepared to stand in awe of. Last year Reyes slapped, stole, ran out, and scapped for over 200 hits, but hit only 16 homers all year. With Mets financial backer Citibank turning out to be a shaky pawn shop of a bank and with Manny Ramirez probably not signing with the Mets, Reyes is saying “Who needs Manny?” in a non-verbal way. Will Reyes be the new slugger for the 2009 Mets? Sluggers cost a lot of money and the Mets are short on cash, so it makes sense to get Reyes to fill two roles at once. Use it up wear it out make it do. Reyes is so fast he can probably bat leadoff and be home in time to bat cleanup.
As a player wearing the number 7, when we watch the new Reyes we immediately think of (at least me and five other Mets fans) powerhouse switch hitter Mickey Mantle, who often hit in the three-spot for the Yankees, wearing the number 7. Who else would hit multiple homers from both sides of the plate?
Both Reyes and this guy are pretty good players, and fast on their feet.
But also we have to compare Reyes to Babe Ruth who consistently batted in the three hole and hit a lot of grand slams. (I know, you’re saying, “but Babe Ruth wasn’t black!” And his uniform number was not 7. Well, look again at Ruth’s nose and lips. He was just a black man with a pigment deficiency.
Can you name these following great three-hole hitters?
Take a look at these faces and tell me which one is Jose Reyes….
This guy was known to steal alot of bases and he made a heck of alot of triples.
Is he Jose Reyes?
This guy never hit 200 basehits in a season, so he can’t be Jose Reyes,
Or can he? He did bat third and hit a number of grand slams as well, and was fast on his feet.
This “third man”is trying to look just like Jose Reyes, but is it really him? He batted in front of Boog Powell. Jose bats in front of Carlos Beltran.
This guy batted third alot and was pretty good with a glove.
Was he Jose Reyes?
This guy batted third alot and was a real team player who had a lot of fun on the field. Was he Jose Reyes?
He looks a little pale in comparison to the new Reyes.
This next guy batted third, and was a man of few words. He hit for high average when he was younger, and became a slugger over time. His team just missed winning the pennant several times. Is he Jose Reyes?
This guy (pictured left) was a scrappy player who batted third in the order. He would help his team any way he could. Was he Jose Reyes?
Now look below; who is that guy with Mantle? He batted third behind JFK and LBJ in 1963. He gave them lots of protection. That’s RFK; he was such a great player for the Senators they named a stadium after him in our Nation’s Capitol, and both the Senators and the Nationals played there for a few years. He was popular among black people. Is he Jose Reyes?
What about this guy? What is this “homey” doing on this webpage with all these giants of the diamond? Is this a grounds crew employee? Or the now legendary Jose Reyes? He too became a third hole man, as of February 26th, 2009. And the world will never be the same. Look out Hall of Fame!
Sluggers who habitually stood in the third position in the batting order are generally well rounded players who can hit for power or average, can run, field, and play situations. These icons include Al Kaline, Tedd Williams, Mickey Cochrane, Frank Robinson, Ty Cobb, Ryne Sandberg and Stan Musial. See if you can match these names to the pictures above. If Reyes continues to bat third and bash grand slams he may begin to remind us of these giants from the past.
Can he hit 40 homers a year like these other chaps? It remains to be seen. But knowing him, he’s probably going to have a lot of fun trying.
For more fun baseball commentary, buy the book The Boys of Shea, by Evan Pritchard. It is available at www.amazon.com and their website www.createspace.com/3353411. For autographed copies, make out a check for $18 and send it to Evan Pritchard, PO Box 1028 Woodstock NY 12498. Your perceptions of reality will never be the same!