A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fred McGriff and Pluto

This is my entry into the Blogger Bracket Challenge.  If you are entertained by me making up lies about Fred McGriff and the destruction of the Earth, please consider voting for this post at 


On December 5, 1990, the Padres made a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, sending away a future Hall of Fame second baseman and a soon-to-be World Series hero.  In return, they landed themselves an All-Star second baseman named Tony Fernandez and an eventual should-be Hall of Fame first baseman Fred McGriff.

Unbeknownst to the Padre faithful, McGriff was a big-time player.  I'm not talking about metaphorically or in the "he's a clutch guy" kinda way.  I mean literally "big".

Here is an artists rendering of McGriff's first trip to Jack Murphy Stadium.  Like a modern-day Paul Bunyan, Fred towered high above the upper deck.  It took factory workers in China weeks to make his uniforms, and his helmet was carried to San Diego by a fleet of cargo jets.  He chose his bats by ripping out redwood from Sequoia National Park

The fans loved him.  This being the days before inter league play, they had never seen the "Crime Dog" in action before.  Most were surprised to know that there were baseball teams in Canada.  They couldn't believe their fortune to be able to watch him play everyday.

Fred tore up the league, dominating opposing pitching and wreaking chaos on the traffic on I-5, as his home runs would frequently total cars stopped in traffic between Del Mar and Solana Beach.  Things couldn't have been better or easier for McGriff and the Padres.  I mean really, who could even challenge him?

Enter Randy Johnson.

For most regular sized players, Johnson was extremely intimidating (just ask John Kruk).  Many believed that Johnson would have to mix up his strategy when pitching to McGriff.  But during the All-Star game, Johnson, undeterred by the obvious hight difference, began taunting Fred, wagging his finger at him and daring him to hit his fastball.

What happened next is the stuff of legend.  The most intense exchange of leather and lumber ever recorded occurred between these two greats of the game.  Johnson's overpowering fastball would blow by McGriff and tear down buildings, while McGriff would answer back with screaming line drives that would level entire cities.  In the heat of pure competition, the game melted away these two gladiators duked it out in the name of pride.

The gentleman's match lasted long into the night, until the Earth was reduced to rubble and the men stood alone on tattered remains of the playing field.  Sensing that it was time to end this once and for all, Johnson reared back and fired not a baseball, but a savage piece of earth and metal.

Ready for the challenge, and wanting to prove his baseball superiority, McGriff took a mighty swing, as the remnants of earth burned to the ground...

The pink and yellow explosion startled both athletes, and McGriff quickly recoiled back to attack position.  Had he looked up, he would've seen the chunk of earth that he had struck had been launched into orbit.  While it heated up leaving the Earth's atmosphere, it cooled and began to freeze as it got further out to the edge of the Milky Way galaxy, far from our Sun.

McGriff looked over at Johnson, and the two nodded simultaneously.  The duel was over.  It was time to rebuild civilization.

Piece by piece, Earth as we know it was reconstructed.  When the dust had settled, astronomers noticed a new celestial body appeared on their maps.  McGriff and Johnson were brought in and confirmed that they were the ones who put it there, and they felt proud knowing that their intense spirit of competition had made a lasting impression on the galaxy.

Of course, it's size, shape, and irregular orbit later would lead to is re-classification as a planet to a lowly dwarf planet.  This would greatly disappoint both Fred and Randy, as they saw it as a slight to their achievement.

Of course, by the time the reclassification took place, McGriff had been out of the game for two years, and he was physically unable to repeat the feat that he had taken so much pride in.

But it was not too late to begin training with his son.  Get ready, Crime Pup!


  1. Incredible. Best entry in the tournament so far.

  2. Looks like we're facing off against each other and we're not too far apart on our entries....I postted about Barry Bonds and an "out of this world" homer. Best of luck!