Welcome to the first installment of MLB Throwback Thursday here on the Dirty Turban. This is a weekly post that I’m pretty excited about. I’ll get to break out of my daily fantasy chains and discuss with you a player, game, or moment that’s been forever etched in my psyche. The format will be pretty straight forward, an intro, some stats, funny tidbits, and a where are they now when applicable.
In the summer of 1991 I was 9 years old and my friends and I had just finished our first season of organized baseball. We were hooked. We spent hours every afternoon playing 3 on 3 games of baseball with metal bats and tennis balls to spare us any flack over broken windows. Seeing our growing interest in the game he loved, my best friend’s dad thought it would be a good idea to grab a bunch of tickets to the local minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox in Pawtucket. So at least a dozen times that summer we piled into his family’s Maroon Plymouth Caravan and made the 20 minute drive down RT. 44 to McCoy Stadium.
Now at that time McCoy was a total pit. There were no outfield seats and I think the outfield walls were made of wood. None of us noticed or cared because we were too busy eating hot dogs, watching baseball, and collecting the souvenir cups that any large soda came in. These cups were a staple in all of houses for years. The cups celebrated the longest game in professional baseball history, a 33 inning battle between the PawSox and the Rochester Red Wings that ended in a 3-2 PawSox W. Now where am I going with all this and what the hell does it have to do with Phil Plantier? Well, I’m getting there! The team had three stars a third baseman that had a meh major league career by the name of Scott Cooper, a future All-Star by the name of Mo Vaughn (maybe you’ve heard of him), and our hero Phil Plantier.
Phil Plantier was a strange player and looked, hit, and fielded like no one we had ever seen. First and foremost his batting stance was a squat so pronounced it mirrored the form of an inebriated girl taking a piss at a keg party in the woods. He wore brandless black high top cleats, and had a rocket for an arm from left. The PawSox were good that year winning their division and making the Governor’s Cup final. Plantier was the catalyst of the offense putting up a line of .305/69/16/61 in 84 games. He made the International league all-star team and got a call up to the big club.
Our Hero made the most of his time in Boston hitting .331 with 11 homers and 35 RBI’s in 53 games. I can only imagine what kind of hype that sort of rookie production would have created in today’s stat driven environment. Regardless he played his way onto the big league roster for the 1992 season where he severely disappointed and was shipped off to the San Diego Padres the following off season.
In 1993 Plantier, went off hitting 34 homers with 100 RBI’s en route to a .843 OPS. Pretty gaudy numbers, but it was unfortunately the pinnacle of P-Dubs career as he bounced around the next four years playing for the Padres (twice), Blue Jays (twice), the Astros, A’s and Cardinals before disappearing from the majors for good.
So, Phil, we here at the Dirty Turban raise a Narragansett Tall Boy to you and your squat!
Best Season: 1993 .240/34/100/.843 – San Diego Padres
Known For: Squatty Potty batting stance
Teams Played For: Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland A’s, and St. Louis Cardinals.
Where Are They Now: Current Hitting Coach for the San Diego Padres
Contributing Writer: Ralph Lifshitz