Monday, November 3, 2014

Try Something Else, Mike

Really. You’re only going to be up in the bigs for a couple of years. Yes, yes, I know you play first base. Perhaps you also get up to bat occasionally. Or catch a pop fly, or a grounder. C’mon, give it a try. 


This has to be about the most lifeless pose I’ve ever seen in my life.

1969. Mike’s best year. He gets over 300 at bats, hits 12 homers, and bats .274.


Sorry, this is about as animated as Mike’s gonna get. And, yes, it is the pick-off pose all over again.

1970. The last year Mike gets over 100 at bats. And that’s to go with a .164 average and exactly zero dingers.
  

What I really like about these shots is not that Mike has the same pose in each one, but that he also has the same lifeless, couldn’t-be-bothered, am-I-done-now expression.

1972. The last year Mike will hit a homer (and actually gets just the one on the year).He’ll also hit .177.

Mike will play just one more year – but without any card to memorialize the fact. And that will involve two additional teams, 16 at bats, and one hit.


Ohmigod! Is that a smile? 

You just know he’s holding that glove out down there though, don’t you?

1968. I’m not sure what made the Royals think this guy was going to be a “rookie star.” For ’68, he was up for six games, and got one hit in 17 at bats.

Which, if you think about it, is strikingly similar to Mike's last year. Yup, we've pretty much come full circle here.



If you’re like me, you probably just can’t get enough of this guy. So, here’s some additional Fioriana you might enjoy:
  • Mike actually had four names – Michael Gary Joseph Fiore
  • His last name means “flower” in Italian
  • He hit the first homer in Royals history
  • Similar players include Frank Mountain, Gordon Goldsberry, and Bunny Brief
  • If you try to Google him, you’re much more likely to get hits to a speedboat driver who died in a crash this summer
  • If you try to Google “mike fiore baseball,” you’re much more likely to get hits to a college and Olympic star who played in the ‘80s (and never even made it to the majors)

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