The thing I'll most remember about Ventura was post-White Sox fire sale, when Reinsdorf said, "If anyone thinks this team can win the division, they're crazy." Ventura shows up the next day with a shirt that says, "I'M CRAZY."
Good guy, fine player for a number of years. He'll be hanging out with the Brady Andersons and Travis Frymen of the world in that "you had to be a fan of the team" area of fond rememberance.
The guy had something like 13 career grand slams! That's sick.
I officially feel old (once again). The first year I got into baseball was 1990, and Ventura was one of the "hot rookie cards" I had to pick up. Same thing for the recently retired Todd Zeile.
The speedbag incident with Ryan will always be a punchline. I was at one of those overly priced "memorabilia" stores a few years ago...they had a huge framed portrait of that image. Ryan had autographed it and the store was hoping to get Ventura to sign it in the future. I could almost justify forking over some cash for that. Now I'm hoping to bump into either guy at separate Spring Training games and slyly get their signatures on the same ball.
(edited by estragand on 12.10.04 1548) -ES Visit ES online- it's "Internet Entertainment"!
Ventura had 18 career grand slams, tied for 3rd all time with Willie McCovey.
One of my favorite players ever. A true class act guy who just wanted to win and play his ass off every day, and hell, if the Sox had kept him around maybe they don't get swept 3-0 in the 2000 playoffs by Seattle.
And in an interview in the Sun-Times this week (that for some reason they don't seem to have a link to) I love what he says about that moment in Texas. As best as I remember it he said "All the rest of that year guys came up to me thanking me for charging him telling me how he's been going after guys and hurting guys on purpose forever and no one does anything about it because he's Nolan Ryan." Well screw Nolan Ryan, that headhunting overrated bastard who never threw at anyone who might have come out and kicked his ass. Would have loved to see him headhunt Frank Thomas, the guy behind Ventura in the order that year.
HELP IS ON THE WAY! "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - George W. Bush 8/5/04
Thanks for putting up the picture, Kawshen! I was listening to the radio this morning as Mike & Mike (ESPN) were talking about Bronson Arroyo and Pedro Martinez pitching inside and the possibilities of batters charging the mound. That made me think of the Ventura/Ryan episode, which made me think of this thread. So then to actually open the thread and see the picture right off the bat was priceless.
"Lita holds a Stone Cold Steve Austin home pregnancy test. What will the Bottom Line say? “Hell Yeah” or “Eh-EH”?" - Raw Satire, 6/15/04
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - George W. Bush
Obviously one of the all-time greats of the baseball booth. Even in his later years when he would pinch-hit in network radio games he always had the goods. A man of many words who knew how and when to use them, and an artist of the art.