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Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day is Here!!

Today is finally Opening Day. The Cubs play the Braves in just over three hours. I feel all tingley.

1989 Topps #721

Does anyone know much about Ron Tingley. He must really love baseball. He played professionally for 20 years, mostly in the minors. He lifetime minor league average was .261 but in 563 at bats in the majors he fell short of .200 by 5 points.

Here's a short article about Ron that appeared in the LA Times in 1993:

His Sit-Com Better Than Starting Role

MIKE PENNER

May 31, 1993|MIKE PENNER

Oh, yeah, life as a designated sitter is just a never-ending laugh riot.

Ron Tingley runs his at-batless streak to seven weeks and, in Chicago, out of exasperation, he tells reporters, "I feel like calling the American Embassy and saying, 'Let me out. I've been held hostage long enough.' "

Everyone laughs.

Ron Tingley makes his initial plate appearance of the 1993 season, on May 24, basically because the Angels and the Seattle Mariners are required to play 14 innings and need every spare part they can locate, and the next day, the wiseacre who types out the Angels pregame notes informs the media that Tingley "received a congratulatory phone call from the White House after last night's plate appearance."

Everyone laughs.

Ron Tingley delivers his first hit of the 1993 season, a second-inning single against Baltimore left-hander Jamie Moyer Sunday, and an Angels publicist tells the press box, "That hit by Tingley ends an 0-for-10 stretch."

"Is that months?" somebody yells back.

And everyone laughs again.

On his own, Ron Tingley is a funny enough guy. His viewfinder is a bit nicked and cracked after 16 years of knocking around the bushes--so long that five of his 13 minor league stops no longer have teams--and the result is a delightfully skewed take on a game he has spent a good while observing.

Add in his present circumstance--third-string catcher on a team that has chosen to subsist on John Orton and Greg Myers alone--and the fodder for punchlines runs from here to the handsome new lounge chair in the Angel bullpen, which, Tingley says, was a gift from the ever-thoughtful Anaheim Stadium grounds crew.

"It has my name on it," he says proudly.

Thus begins Tingley's stand-up routine about sitting down.

How does one occupy the time when one goes two months between at-bats?

Tingley: "You contemplate suicide."

Or you read. You have lots of time to read.

Tingley: "Just three weeks ago, my hometown paper was running a Tingley Watch--'When would that first at-bat come?' Eventually, it was down to me and a shortstop with Toronto (Alfredo Griffin). Who would go the longest before getting his first at-bat? Then, (Dick) Schofield went down and I was declared the winner. I was the sole survivor.

"Darn the luck. I was ready to battle all year."

The first at-bat came last Monday, followed by three more Sunday. So, after so many weeks, how does it feel, at last, to face live pitching?

1 comment:

  1. I have that card trying to sell it.

    ReplyDelete

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