Thursday, June 03, 2010
Classic card of the week
Mark Langston, 1990 Score “Dream Team”
Mark Langston was the Mona Lisa of left-handed pitchers, and so it is appropriate that only the most artistic rendition of his likeness would suffice as an introduction to the man himself. As we will soon discover upon flipping this card/painting over, Mark Langston was also an exclusive member of some sort of intangible “Dream Team,” and so if you have ever dreamed about left-handed pitcher Mark Langston -– which I most certainly have –- then you are aware that this is exactly what he looks like in dream form. Which is to say, dreamy.
But besides a breathtaking portrait, I think that any conversation about left-handed pitcher Mark Langston should begin with an anecdote that fully captures his brilliance and bravery on the field of battle:
Remember –- that is who we are talking about. Okay, here we go…
In his second start for the Expos,
So many heroic stories have started in this way…
Mark loaded the bases with no one out in the eighth inning of a 1-1 game.
Disaster. No way out. Game over. Everybody go home. But here’s the thing –- and this is just something I have always believed –- they don’t make portraits of people who give up.
Manager Buck Rodgers looked to the bullpen for a strikeout pitcher and realized his best SO man was on the mound.
Not abbreviating “strikeout “ and then abbreviating “strikeout” makes this sentence very weird. Nevertheless, when Buck Rodgers is your manager you can rest assured that proper realizations will be met, and swashbuckling adventures will ensue. Also, do you want to know who was not on the Dream Team? The Expos bullpen.
Langston went on to strike out the side. The Expos eventually won the game.
Roll credits. I hope you have a much greater appreciation for what left-handed pitcher Mark Langston means to America. Or, in this case, Canada.
Besides superlative strikeout statistics
Art on the front and alliteration in the rear should be the goal of all aspiring great baseball cards.
and invaluable innings pitched,
Mark supplied a winning presence, which close followers of the Expos had rarely seen in the team’s 21 years.
Hmmm, winning presence you say? I am interested to see how this winning presence manifested itself into wins.
The Expos were 23-23 when Mark was acquired from the Mariners on May 25, 1989.
For Randy Johnson, btw, who winning presence’d himself right into the Hall of Fame.
They were 63-44 on August 3.
From this information I can infer that during that span, Mark Langston won all of his starts, and in the other games that he did not participate in –- which would be about 80 percent of them –- used his winning presence to influence his team to win. Except for the 21 games that the team lost during this stretch.
The Montreal Expos were so impressed with left-handed pitcher Mark Langston’s winning presence that they allowed him to depart for the California Angels following the 1989 season. Apparently there was, after all, a value on his invaluable innings pitched. But Expos fans will always have this portrait of Mark Langston, which is nice, because they no longer have the Expos.
Did you know?
The Mark Langston wing of The Guggenheim was briefly closed for repairs following a 2002 scaffold accident.