Monday, July 27, 2015

Just Call Me Mister

My parents call me Mark.  My friends call me Fuji.  And I ask my students to call me Mr. Fujimoto.  However... every now and then, they'll call me Mr. Fuji, because that's what they hear my colleagues call me.

Personally... as long as they add the title, Mister... I can live with that.  I'm sort of an old school kind of guy and that's how I was raised.  I have always added a title to my teachers' names and most of the elders in my life as a sign of courtesy or respect unless told otherwise.

To a greater extent... look at baseball nicknames.  It's one of the highest honors in the game to be your team's, Mr. Franchise.

Just look at these guys...

Mr.  Padre
1996 Leaf Signatures Extended #67

Tony Gwynn is the most iconic player to suit up for the San Diego Padres and there's not another player close.  He spent his entire career with the team that drafted him and played more than 1,100 games more than any other Padres player.  He leads the franchise in just about every single category including:  hits, total bases, runs scored, doubles, triples, stolen bases, RBI's, and walks.

Shoot.  He even has the 5th most home runs in franchise history.  My guess is he'll still be the greatest San Diego Padre a few centuries down the road.


Mr. Cub
1999 UD Century Legends Epic Signatures #EB

Like the San Diego Padres... there's only one player that comes to mind when I think of the Chicago Cubs' face of the franchise and that's Ernie Banks.  Like Gwynn... he spent his entire career with the same club and his name is synonymous with that team.


Mr. Tiger
2003 Diamond Kings Recollection Autograph #40

The average MLB player's career lasts five to six seasons and the majority who last longer than ten seasons will spend their time playing for multiple teams.

Al Kaline played twenty-two seasons in the MLB... all of them with the Detroit Tigers.  And if it weren't for some guy named Tyrus Raymond Cobb, Kaline would hold just about every important offensive record for the franchise.


Mr. Red Sox

Johnny Pesky lived to be ninety-three years old.  Seventy-three of those years, he was involved with Major League Baseball (or MiLB) in one form or another.  Sixty-one of those years were spent affiliated with the Boston Red Sox.

He was a player, manager, minor league manager, first base coach, bench coach, batting coach, honorary coach, radio analyst, color commentator, and a special instructor and assistant to the general manager.

No wonder he's called Mr. Red Sox.  He's the only person not in the hall of fame to have his jersey number retired by the Boston Red Sox.  And to top things off... the right field foul pole at Fenway is named after him.


Mr. Angel
1996 Leaf Signature #201

Tim Salmon was the 1993 American League Rookie of the Year.  In 1995 he won his first and only Silver Slugger Award.  He also managed to win a few American League Player of the Week Awards and one American League Player of the Month Award.  Outside of that, he never won a batting title or a home run crown.  Hell.  During his fourteen seasons in the MLB, he never played in an all-star game.  In fact, he holds the MLB record for most home runs by an individual to not have appeared in an all-star game.

With that being said... he's widely considered one of the greatest players in franchise history... hence the nickname:  Mr. Angel.  He ranks among the Top 10 in nearly every major offensive category for the California Angels.  Or should I say Anaheim Angels?  I mean... Los Angeles Angels.  Oh... whatever you want to call them.


Mr. Marlin
2015 Archives Fan Favorites Autograph #JCO

Jeff Conine played on six different teams during an MLB career that spanned seventeen seasons.  During that time... he was a two-time National League All-Star, a two-time World Series Champion, and the 1995 All-Star Game MVP.

All of these feats occurred while wearing a Florida Marlins uniform.  In fact... according to Wikipedia, Conine is the only Marlin's player to appear in the opener of the Marlins' inaugural season, be a part of the 1997 World Series team, and the 2003 World Series team.  Since those are accomplishments that no other Marlin will ever be able to claim... it's understandable why he's known as Mr. Marlin.


Mr. Ranger
1974 Topps #268

Rounding out my collection of Misters... is Ben Grieve's father.  And honestly... before a few weeks ago, I really didn't know much about Mr. Ranger.  I sincerely apologize to Play at the Plate and all of the other Texas Rangers fans out there for my lack of Mr. Ranger's knowledge.

But the good news is that this post required me to do some research... and I discovered that he spent most of his career playing in Texas.  However... I'm pretty sure he's more known for his work as a general manager and color commentator for the Rangers.

Well... that's all that I have for now.  I'm still trying to track down a reasonably priced autographed card of Alvin Davis (a.k.a. Mr. Mariner).  In the meantime...

Am I missing anybody else who is known for being the Mister of their franchise?

If so... let me know in the comments below and I'll start to hunt them down too.  I've already started picking up autographs of guys who I consider to be the "face" of each franchise.  This will definitely be a challenge, but fun nonetheless.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

P.S.  I'm giving away a set of 1987 Leaf Special Olympics, which is an oddball issue that features the likes of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, and Hank Aaron.  If you're interested in entering... click here... and leave a comment on that post.

10 comments:

  1. Mr. Rogers was the mister of the neighborhood. Other than that the only Mr. I know is Mr. Met who is the Mets' mascot.

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  2. I would say that George Brett would be Mr. Royal without a doubt. It's likely many would call Stan Musial Mr. Cardinal as well.

    That's all I can come up with.

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    1. I concur Mr. Cardinal, and then there is Mr Mr

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  3. Zippy - Definitely down with Mr. Rodgers. We're talking about Aaron, right?

    Red Cardboard - Hmmm... does he have any certified autographs? If so, I'll have to chase him and Mr. Met down.

    Jupiterhill - Can't find any documentation that George Brett actually goes by that nickname, but he definitely should get the nod as Mr. Royal. The same goes for Musial. Although I don't think he'll be dropping the nickname "The Man" for "Mr. Cardinal" anytime soon.

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  4. I think you got them. That Kaline auto is really nice.

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  5. I don't think anyone has called Robin Yount "Mr. Brewer", but you did neglect Mr. Baseball, Bob Uecker!

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  6. What's the story on Mr. Red Sox's check?

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  7. In Japan, Shigeo Nagashima is Mr. Giants and both Masayuki Kakefu and Fumio Fujimura were Mr. Tigers.

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  8. Matthew - Thanks

    Tony - Get the Yount campaign started and as soon as it's official, I'll add him to the list. Actually... I don't think I have a Yount autograph. Maybe I should pick one up anyways.

    Kaiser - The Pesky was originally part of a larger group of checks offered by Hunt Auctions. Whoever bought that lot must have decided to break it up, because they listed it on eBay. I won it for $5.50 (+ $3.99) shipping. As for why he was paying the Red Sox... I'm not sure.

    NPB - Thanks! That's pretty cool. Not sure if I'll be able to find autographs of those guys, but I'll look.

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