Poor Ron Witmeyer, the first emo baseball player.
Can you not look into this card, and feel the pain.
The pain of going 1-19 in your only big league season.
The anguish of never slugging over .400 in A ball.
The regret of being -0.5 WAR in your career in just 11 games.
It’s almost like he nailed his heart to the floor to keep it from breaking.
And this, this picture good have been taken on the day he got his only big league hit. It was September 7 in Detroit, and Witmeyer got the start at first. The A’s were in third, 9 1/2 games back, and realistically out of the running for their fourth straight pennant.
Batting sixth in the lineup, Witmeyer was 0-1 on the day when he strode to the plate in the 4th against Mark Leiter with two out, nobody on and the A’s up 2-0.
On a 2-2 pitch, Witmeyer took a hack at a pitch from Leiter and popped it into no-mans land between the outfield and infield for a single. Where the ball landed, Retrosheet doesn’t say. You can imagine the ball softly arcing over the infield and landing between Lou Whitaker, Cecil Fielder and Rob Deer.
They say it’s a line drive in the box store, and they may be right. But the emo player knows that slow, hapless defenders were the only reason he didn’t go o-fer in his career. So much for the non-relevance of BABIP. (Batting average of balls in play…)