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Yuni vs. his predecessors, part 1 March 6, 2008

Posted by Brad in commentary, stats.
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How does Yuniesky Betancourt stack up against previous Mariners’ shortstops? Well, he has the longest name, but not the best nickname nor the best game of them all. Over the next week month or so, I’ll write up a brief rundown of the ghost of Mariners shortstops past, using three categories: on-field achievements (y’know, stats), place in Mariners’ fandom, and semi-interesting stuff I could find about them on Wikipedia and Google. My main sources are Baseball Reference and Sean Lahman’s tidy spreadsheet. Some color comes from Kirby Arnold’s excellent Tales from the Seattle Mariners Dugout.

1977-1978 Craig Reynolds
Stats: .273/.311/.353 (BA/OBP/SLG) in 968 at bats in 2 years. Went to the All-Star game in 1978, though he didn’t get off the bench. Slightly above average range factor.  Reynolds set the standard for M’s shortstops for the next decade. This is damning praise.
Place in M’s fandom: Ask an M’s fan to name an all-star middle infielder named “Reynolds,” and they’ll say Harold. Even worse, Harold Reynolds’ middle name is Craig.
Wikipedia/Google: Reynolds was named “Houston (TX)’s Top High School Athlete” in 1971. Isn’t there a nickname for that award? The Houstie?
After he retired, Reynolds became an associate pastor at the Second Baptist Church in Houston. He says (on TheGoal.com) that choosing to play professional baseball wasn’t such a huge deal:

It was not the most important decision in my life. A few years earlier I made a decision that all of us must make on the ultimate issue of life. It was a decision that had a positive impact on every area of my life, and it made me a guaranteed winner forever!

This probably wouldn’t play so well in mostly-heathen Seattle. But, it does lead to good Christian activities, like signing baseballs for kids.
Craig Reynolds
(Photo by Dana Graves on Flickr, using the Creative Commons license).

It’s nice that Reynolds got to play in his hometown Houston, Willie Bloomquist-style. Still, he’s no competition for Yuni.

Tomorrow: The Mendoza Line.

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