There are certain things in life that just don’t seem right: mustard on a pretzel, lutefisk, snow before November and now John Smotz wearing a Red Sox cap.
Smoltz was the current MLB player with the longest tenure with just one team. When he pitched his first game for the Braves on July 23, 1988, Reagan was President, “Hold on to the Night” by Richard Marx was on top of the Top 40 chart and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was battling “Coming to America” for box office supremacy.
(While it may be true that Roger Rabbit helped usher in the American animation renaissance, its dialogue pales in comparison to the poetic genius that is Coming to America:
King Jaffe Joffer: So you see, my son, there is a very fine line between love and nausea.
Prince Akeem: Sir, did you happen to catch the professional football contest on television last night?
Cleo McDowell: No, I didn’t.
Prince Akeem: Oh sir, the Giants of New York took on the Packers of Green Bay. And in the end, the Giants triumphed by kicking an oblong ball made of pigskin through a big “H”. It was a most ripping victory.)
I was surprised to learn that it is another Brave that has the longest tenure with one team. Chipper has been playing for the Braves since 1993. Garret Anderson has the second longest tenure by taking the field for 15 years for the California Angels/Anaheim Angels/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Three Yankees from the class of 1995 round out the top five: Jeter, Posada and Rivera (while that Yankee class was impressive (Pettitte also debuted that year), the 1925 Philadelphia Athletics trio of Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Cochrane and Lefty Grove is hard to beat).