Those fascists at the National Football League would have you believe that Thanksgiving is a day specifically reserved for the sport of football, but we here at the Outside Corner know better. The Major League Baseball season may be over, but baseball can be enjoyed and appreciated any time of year, Thanksgiving Day included.
To prove this to you, we’ve spent all day slaving away in the kitchen to cook up our all-time All-Thanksgiving Team. Hopefully this squad will whet your appetite for the real feast tomorrow or at least hold over your hunger for baseball until the season starts up again in the spring.
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, C – Sure, there is nothing particularly festive about the nickname “Pudge”, but we all end up feeling a bit pudgy after consuming massive amounts of turkey and various side dishes, so if you think about it, his selection for this team really couldn’t be more appropriate. As for why we chose Ivan Rodriguez over the original Pugde, Carlton Fisk, Rodriguez gets the nod because his birthday falls on November 27th, which actually is Thanksgiving Day on some years.
Lou Gehrig, 1B – A lot of people know that Lou Gehrig was called “The Iron Horse.” What isn’t quite as common knowledge is that he was also called “Biscuit Pants.” Hey, I eat biscuits on Thanksgiving! Not too shabby to get one of the greatest players of all-time as our official Thanksgiving team first baseman, eh? Just try not to think about the fact that his “Biscuit Pants” nickname originated because, how can I put this delicately, his buttocks looked like two large biscuits in his pants. Gross. Enjoy your dinner.
Manuel “Potato” Cueto, 2B – As a Cuban, “Potato” Cueto probably didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving too much, but you just can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without a side of potatoes. Be they mashed or sweet, you simply have to have them. Although if you choose sweet over mashed, you are probably a communist. Wait… Cuba is a communist country and Cueto is Cuban! Sweet potatoes won, no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sean Berry, 3B – You have to have cranberry sauce with your turkey. I don’t know why, but you have to. I think it is the 17th Amendment or something. So, to represent this most forgettable of Thanksgiving condiments, I give you forgettable MLB third baseman Sean Berry. The berry is obvioulsy covered, but the “cran” comes from Sean’s red hair. Yeah, I know, it is a stretch.
Turkey Gross, SS – He was almost banned from this team for inadvertenty suggesting that turkey is gross, but we’re going to let it slide. Why, you ask? First, his real first name is Ewell, which is just terrible, so Turkey Gross is actually an upgrade. Second, you try fielding an entire team of Thanksgiving-themed player names. It’s not like I am leaving out scores of players here. I would give my left arm for there to have been a Gravy Gonzalez or Mike Cornucopia or Jimmy Trytophan, but no, Turkey Gross is as good as it gets here.
Indian Bob Johnson, OF – At the risk of starting another race war in our comment section, Indian Bob Johnson and his not-at-all-racially-insensitive-at-the-time nickname was a must for our Thanksgiving team. After all, Thanksgiving was originally all about the natives sharing a meal with the Pilgrims, and I think we’ve already got enough white guys on the squad to represent the Pilgrims.
Willie Mays, OF – Mays? Not so Thanksgivingy. But maize, as in corn, as in a staple of the very first Thanksigiving meal. Plus, if we really want to stretch this already thin premise for inclusion, Mays’ teammates gave him lots of thanks for being so great. Get it? Yeah, you get it.
Turkey Stearnes, OF – A little too on the nose perhaps, but Stearnes is a Hall of Famer, plus he didn’t call turkey gross. Stern turkey sounds much more appetizing than gross turkey.
Chief Bender, Right-Handed Staring Pitcher – The number of Hall of Famers on this team is getting out of control, but we can’t possibly have the Pilgrims break bread with the native tribe without the tribe having its chief present.
Bobby Madritsch, Left-Handed Staring Pitcher – A Hall of Famer he is most certainly not, but as a proud member of the Lakota tribe, he most certainly earns a spot on out All-Thanksgiving team.
Turk Wendell, Right-Handed Reliever - Don’t for one second think that Turk Wendell is on this list because he went by the name Turk. I mean, it didn’t hurt, but the real reason he gets the nod is because of his “eccentric” behavior. His politically incorrect statements, bizarre behavior and the frightening necklace of claws and teeth he wore were the real reason. Yep, what would Thanksgiving dinner be without having the crazy uncle, right?
Jimmy Gobble, Left-Handed Reliever - Gobble, gobble. Enjoy your Turkey Day, folks.