Thursday, February 05, 2009
Classic card of the week
Bruce Benedict, 1987 Topps
Bunting is a very underrated part of baseball. Not underrated as in players should do it more often. Because bunting is, nine times out of ten, completely pointless and counterproductive. (Shout out to FJM!) What I mean is that the physical act of bunting is underrated. It’s like, not an easy thing to do, to square up an 89 mph breaking ball and lay down a bunt in fair territory.
Bunting is made considerably more difficult when you are bunting old skool style, a.k.a. the Benedictian method, with hands exposed. Bunting old skool style is the athletic equivalent of placing the goal post at the front of the endzone, as your chances of hurting yourself badly increase by 8,000%.
So we know that Bruce Benedict bunted with reckless abandon. But what else?
Bruce’s off-season schedule includes speaking engagements and serving as a H.S. basketball referee.
Though not specified due to minimal space on the back of this card, among the wide array of topics discussed by Bruce Benedict during his many speaking engagements were the following: “The Benedictian Method: Moving Runners Over Whilst Protecting Thy Digits,” “That Wasn’t Blocking: When To Call An Offensive Foul,” and “Robert Frost: Poet or Pervert?”
As always, I’d be remiss if I did not consult Wikipedia on the subject of Bruce Benedict:
Whenever Benedict came to bat at home in Fulton County Stadium, the crowd would chant “BRUUUUUUUUUUCE” causing many opposing teams’ fans to believe that he was being booed.
I only included this to remind myself of the fabulous Simpsons episode when Mr. Burns is getting booed after his film premieres and Smithers tells him: “Uh, no, they’re saying, “Boo-urns, Boo-urns.” (By the way, this makes two consecutive "classic card" posts of FJM nods and Simpsons references. Fine by me.)
Bruce’s nickname is Eggs—as in Eggs Benedict.
If somebody can find me a sporting genre of fellows with more wit than that of our national pastime of baseball, then I would like to shake that person’s hand, for I presently deem such a feat impossible. Imagining the playful locker room banter of our revered heroes -- “Yo, Eggs. You suck” -- brings a certain joy to my heart.
It should also be mentioned that Bruce Benedict is currently a Division 1 college basketball referee. You may even see him in a matter of weeks during March Madness. Word on the street is that he referees with a false sense of confidence, as he deems the booing that follows any of his poor officiating calls as a sign of love and respect. If he so happens to make a bad call against your favorite team this year, I recommend the much simpler: Yo, Eggs. You suck.
Did you know?
When I was in Little League, the bunt sign was put on when our coach grabbed his belt. Also, our coach was my dad. One day he forgot his belt and we won 132-4.