Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Nicest Story You'll Hear All Year

Unless you are a die hard Los Angeles Dodger fan, you've probably never heard of John Lindsey. And that wouldn't be because you weren't a savvy baseball fan. You've never heard of John Lindsey because he has played in the minor leagues for sixteen seasons. Sixteen. Lindsey is 33 years old and after all those years, all those bus rides, all those small crowds all over the country, John Lindsey got a taste of the major leagues. To see a wonderful story, right click this link and open the video in a new window. And then come back and read the rest of the story.

Ned Colletti just became one of the Fan's favorite people. What a nice gesture, eh? His gesture showed the kind of respect for Lindsey that he deserves. And don't think the players are too cynical not to care either. When and if Lindsey gets his first major league hit, every player in the Dodgers' dugout will be shouting and hollering in happiness. They get where Lindsey has been and what he has endured to finally get called up to the big leagues.

John Lindsey made his minor league debut in 1995. Think about how long ago that was. Bill Clinton was president. Derek Jeter was just getting his feet wet as a Yankee. Indiana Jones' Temple of Doom was the big movie that year. Windows 95 just came out. That, friends, was a long time ago.

Since then, Lindsey has played two seasons of Rookie ball, one season at Single A-, two seasons at Single A, five seasons of Single A+, three seasons of Double A, four seasons of Triple A and throw in two seasons of Independent League ball for good measure. He's been released once and granted his free agency six times. Lindsey has made eight different organization changes, two of them repeats.

It's not like John Lindsey was a top prospect that couldn't make it work. He wasn't even drafted until the 13th round back in 1995. He's just worked and worked and hung in there and plugged away. After his long minor league career, he's got over 1500 professional hits. Lindsey has hit 219 minor league homers. He's driven in over a thousand runs. He has 600 minor league extra base hits. His career slash line in the minors is: .284/.361/.478. Yeah. This is a guy who has paid his dues.

Colletti seems to be in the reclamation business lately. His other feel-good story this year was bringing Jay Gibbons back to the majors after a couple of years away from the big leagues. Gibbons is making the most of his opportunity and is batting .333.

And what of John Lindsey? He got his second plate appearance on Friday night and struck out.


bobook said...

This is what makes the game great. The nicknames and the stories and the heartbreak and the triumphs. All in one blessed game.

Josh Borenstein said...

A well-deserved a long overdue call-up.