Classic card of the week
Jose Mesa, 1996 Topps
Many people -- such as Phillies fans, or Indians fans, or baseball fans, or the rest of people on earth -- recognize Jose Mesa by his inability to properly execute a save. However, in 1995, Jose Mesa finished second in voting for the AL Cy Young Award, which included a then-record streak of 38 consecutive saves. Let’s, according to the back of this card, find out what Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove thought of this feat at the time:
I think it’s the most improbable thing anybody can imagine.
This really puts things in perspective. Not only does this statement include many amazing things that had already happened in reality -- like, for example, man walking on the moon, the emergence of Flava Flav, and the invention of the computer -- which were, according to Mike Hargrove, all trumped by Jose Mesa’s consecutive saves streak. This statement also includes anything that anybody can imagine. Let’s see…I just imagined that a rainbow-colored unicorn with candy canes for legs just converted 38 straight saves for a team of astronauts that plays on Jupiter's third ring, and yet…that is still not as improbable as what Jose Mesa accomplished. This means either one of two things: a) Mike Hargrove exaggerated this sentiment, or b) this was the best back-handed compliment in recorded baseball history.
I will also now lead you to Jose Mesa’s scintillating Wikipedia page, which includes this gem: He throws and pitches right-handed. Wait -- he throws AND pitches right-handed?! Jose Mesa, you are full of surprises! Oh, and this one: Jose Mesa is known for using two different colored baseball gloves, one for home games and a different one for away games. Really? Is that what Jose Mesa is known for, Wikipedia? That’s his legacy? It’s not blowing Game Seven of the 1997 World Series? It’s not accomplishing the most improbable thing anybody can imagine? It’s the color of his mitt?
Did you know?
Mike Hargrove described Eric Gagne’s streak of 84 consecutive saves as “aiiiiight.”