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…)


About Scott Fendley

By day, Scott Fendley works as the Director of Data Analysis for Central Washington University's Foundation. At The Spitter, he's the guy sitting in the corner telling you young whippersnappers about what had happened long ago (or in 2015, whatever). His passion for baseball and statistical analysis began in 1972, when he opened his first pack of baseball cards and was dazzled by the numbers on the back for players such as Joe Grzenda, Glenn Beckert, Ted Kubiak and Mike Hedlund. Fendley is a native of Crawfordsville, Indiana and a graduate of Wabash College and Indiana University. He's been in the fundraising business since 2000, and has worked in operations, as a consultant in Minnesota and at a software company in Florida before migrating to Washington State to work at CWU. He also has had careers in printing, publishing, and catalog operations, but they were not as fulfilling as philanthropy. He has given numerous presentations on fundraising operations (including one involving baseball cards in regards to data sets), and has written articles published in two books by CASE about Advancement Services. For a number of years, he was a free-lance sports writer covering high school sports in his hometown. He also has blogged for several years on several blogs and currently, besides the Spitter, he is embarking on a large music review project called But Is It Any Good (isitanygoodsite,wordpress.com). Fendley lives in Ellensburg, WA with Krissy, his fiance, and their dog Maeby Lancaster von Funkenstein. He has two children, Katie and Kristin, who find his interest in baseball amusingly old fashioned.

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