Classic card of the week

Al Pedrique, 1989 Score

Al, a slick-fielding shortstop who can hit the ball in the gap…

I love scouting reports. Al Pedrique can hit a baseball into the gap, which is to say that Al Pedrique can occasionally hit a baseball in the area of the outfield where the outfielders are not standing. This is a skill that is unique to Al Pedrique, and should be mentioned.

…spent time at both Triple-A Buffalo and the Pirates in 1988. At both, he provided a sure glove. In his Buffalo stay, he also gave the Bisons an active bat as he hit .307 in 61 games.

The Pirates, unfortunately, were not equal beneficiaries of that same hot, active, Bisonesque Pedrique bat. Although, it should be reiterated that his glove remained sure, and for that the Pittsburgh Pirates organization is forever grateful.

In ’87 he was a non-roster invitee to the Mets spring training camp. He made the team but was sent to the minors in May and then traded to the Pirates.

The timeline of this biographical tidbit is all over the place. After his brief stint with the Mets, Al Pedrique was born.

Before you knew it, Al was the starting shortstop and the top clutch hitter in baseball.

In a 1987 poll of major league players who were asked, “Who is the top clutch hitter in baseball?” 54% replied, without blinking, “Al Pedrique.” 12% replied “That dude on the Pirates who hits the ball in the gap. No -- not Barry Bonds. The other guy.” 18% replied, “Clutch is a vastly overused and largely irrelevant term. That said, Al Pedrique.” And 16% said, sarcastically, “Kirby Puckett.”

Believe it or not,

I’ll believe anything after you just told me that Al Pedrique is, without question, the best clutch hitter in Major League Baseball.

he led all major leaguers by batting .458 with runners in scoring position.

Not taking anything away from Al Pedrique, who went on to a long career of storied clutchitude, but this is silly, for many reasons that I am too lazy to delve into right now.

And at one point,

Whenever you are about to get a statistic within the timeline of “at one point,” you can rest assured that said statistic is going to be awesome. Awesomely arbitrary and stupid.

Al had eight straight hits against southpaw pitchers, the longest streak in the majors.

Amazing. A right-handed major league batter getting hits off of lefties? Unheard of. I am assuming all of those hits safely entered the gap. What else, Wikipedia, is Al Pedrique famous for?

Pedrique is perhaps most famous for his appearance in RBI Baseball (NES), where he plays shortstop for the National League All-Star team.

Allow me, if you will, to elaborate:

Al Pedrique, a Major League Baseball player, is perhaps most famous for appearing in a popular video game that featured Major League Baseball players.

Or, more accurately:

Al Pedrique was perhaps most famous for his strange inclusion on the National League All-Star team in the popular video game RBI Baseball. Pedrique's inclusion was strange because, when compared statistically with other National League shortstops at the time, he was simply not as accomplished. In his defense however, RBI Baseball -- though a data-inspired and graphic marvel in its time -- did not include criteria such as "clutchitude" and "sure-glovedness" in its appraisal of players. Wait -- that actually makes it stranger that he was on the All-Star team. Whatever. In conclusion, Al Pedrique is perhaps most famous for being undeservedly lauded with praise by a video game.

Did you know?
Italics called. It wants its relevance back.


MMayes said…
Al really could hit the ball in the gap. That is if he was allowed to stand at the plate and throw it up and hit it.
Bill said…
Al Pedrique was so great at hitting into gaps, that he once hit a baseball into a GAP clothing store from outside a mall.
Rashad said…
I know you're not talking bad about R.B.I baseball, that was one of my favorite games from back in the day.