Now that the San Francisco Giants have swept the Detroit Tigers, it will be interesting to predict the most lasting impressions of the 2012 World Series.
Among the top memories will have to be the performance of Pablo Sandoval, the Giants' third baseman who was named as the Most Valuable Player of the Series. "Kung Fu Panda," as Sandoval has been nicknamed, became just the fourth player in baseball history to slug three home runs in a World Series game.
A player in the opposite dugout may share the Panda's size and lovability, but his lasting impression may not be so desirable. Detroit's Prince Fielder managed just one hit in his fourteen World Series at bats, hitting just .071 and getting thrown out at the plate in game two.
Both players were featured in an article in the New York Times called "Prince and the Panda." Columnist Bill Morris indicated that the 2012 World Series may best be remembered as the tale of two of the game's biggest men.
"The rotund Prince was pitted against an equally rotund Panda," Morris wrote. "In the very first inning of the very first game, the Panda hit a ball far over the outfield wall. He hit two more balls over the outfield wall during the game. "
Morris then described the misfortune of Fielder in game two.
"In the very first inning, he was hit on his large right arm by a fastball," Morris wrote. "The next Tiger batter hit the ball a long way, and the Prince ran as fast as he could around the bases. The ball got to home plate before the Prince did."
Even though the Reds missed out on the fall classic again, the 2012 Series did allow for Cincinnati to recognize some of its most lovable rotund players. Here is a lineup of memorable rotund Reds.
Catcher, Javier Valentin
Valentin was listed as a catcher, but was more valuable to the Reds as a pinch-hitter.
First Base, Ted Kluszewski
The larger-than-life slugger remains one of the all-time favorite Cincinnati players.
Second Base, Lenny Harris
Harris was an adequate second baseman, but it was as a pinch hitter that he established several club records.
Third Base, Dmitri Young
The older brother of Delmon, the 2012 ALCS Most Valuable Player, Young played 36 games at the hot corner between stints in the outfield and at first for the 2001 reds.
Shortstop, Kevin Mitchell
While he eventually became a full-time outfielder, Mitchell came up as a shortstop and logged 24 games there for the World Champion 1986 New York Mets.
Left Field, Dante Bichette
Bichette's Cincinnati career was brief, but he had an impressive talent for hitting for both power and average.
Center Field, Kal Daniels
With injury-prone Eric Davis as the starter, Daniels sometimes had to shift his Kirby Puckett-like frame from left to cover center field.
Right Field, Lloyd McClendon
The eventual manager of the Pirates and Cubs was primarily an outfielder in 1987-88, but he also filled in at first base and occasionally behind the plate.
Starting Pitcher, Wayne Simpson
The big hurler was one of the best in the Majors until slowed by injuries in the early 1970s.
Middle Reliever, Dennys Reyes
Reyes has played for a dozen teams during his long career, primarily as a left-handed specialist.
Closer, Jonathan Broxton
Acquired at the trade deadline in late July, Broxton became an integral part of the 2012 bullpen as both a set-up man and a closer.
Doug Poe once delivered newspapers to Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, and Tony Perez, three Hall of Famers who have made him a lifelong Reds fan.
The New York Times, 11/28/12
- Sports & Recreation
- San Francisco Giants
- Kung Fu Panda
- Prince Fielder
- 2012 World Series
- World Series
- Pablo Sandoval