One of the millions of things I love about the Cleveland Indians – and I do mean millions – is that you never know who’s going to be in the line up. Every day is a whole new experience, a whole new adventure.
Some nights they are rookies – young guys struggling to get a peak at the bigs. Sometimes they are journeymen who are just good enough to hang on and not bad enough to get tossed. And once in a while they are mysteries.
Last night, lost amidst the glitz and glamour of Danny Salazar’s return and Carlos Santana’s near perfect batting performance, Tito Francona offered up a spectacular surprise. In the seventh inning, as Minnesota’s dusty old pipe organ jazzed up the night with a little ragtime celebration, Scott Atchison took to the mound… again.
Initially signed with the Cleveland Naps in 1898, Atchison, or “the Ageless Wonder” as he is known by his teammates, is quickly approaching his 2,500th game as a professional ball player.
Nap Lajoie, who played with the Indians and managed the team from 1905 through 1909, recalls the early days with Scotty. “As I recollect, Scott was already a little long in the tooth when he joined Cleveland, but he had one hell of an arm,” Said Lajoie. “Like most Texans, he thought he was the biggest thing in the game. I remember one night he decided to introduce a new pitch – the half-seam, split-knuckle, eephus, screwball. He gave up three home runs in one inning. But he was durable, and that’s what we liked most about old Scotty.”
Did I mention lately that we are still kicking ass?
51 down, 43 to go… Beam me up, Scotty.