Sunday, January 10, 2010
Are Glasses Performance Enhancement?
Oh, Days of Wine and Roses....
Now that we have entered the Hall of Fame season, it is time to announce the newly elected members of the Glasses Hall of Fame, where performance enhancers are a requirement. But first, a look back at another established member- Cookie Rojas.
As has already been mentioned, the only cross-over member of our Hall of Fame as well as the one in Cooperstown is Chick Hafey (though Reggie and some other sun-glassed greats are on the periphery). However, we do have an additional dual-membership, not in Cooperstown, but in Cuberstown:
Octavio Rojas, who was a 1982 inductee to the (phase 2 of the post-revolucion) Federacion de Peloteros Professionales Cubanos, or the Hall de la Fama for Cuban born baseball stars. With Cienfuegos Cookie was part of a stellar double play combo (along with Chico Cardenas), but it was with Bobby Wine in the Phillies infield that we witnessed the "plays of Wine and Rojas", or, according to the 1966 Baseball Digest "greatest plays", the "daze of Wine and Rojas".
A second baseman who hit over .300 twice in his career, he was primarily known for his glove. In his best years he was competing with either Bill Mazeroski or Bobby Grich for the gold glove- stiff competition that reasonably resulted in a gold-less career. He did turn 953 double plays in his career, not so far behind Mazeroski (1706 ) and Grich (1302), but he must get credit for turning-two with four eyes: Multiplied by two, he had 1906, by far the most - did he have an unfair advantage because of his glasses? Definitely- those performance enhancing frames were built for nothing but speed. Why else was he named, in 1969, as the greatest Phillies second basemen EVER?
Our newest inductee is Pepperdine alum Mark Lee, who obviously spent a bit too much time in the Malibu sun. Is there a Bloomingdales in Malibu?- if not, I am guessing that the Padres, nervous that the harsh landscape of San Diego would scare those fragile eyes, softened from years of beach-squinting, outfitted him with performance-enhancing dazzle. However, the only performence enhanced was his modeling career:
He had one winning season, for the '78 Pad's, aided by the runner up for Rookie of the Year Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield and, of course, Oscar Gamble, who must have been into Mark's frames more than anyone. Congratulations to Mark and his super powered hydro-vision.