Saturday, December 24, 2011

DAHOF Top 100 -- #80 Roberto Alomar

Believe it or not, I was in Toronto and at Skydome (notice the lack of "the"... Eh?) on September 27th, 1996 when Roberto Alomar spit in umpire John Hirschbeck's face. It all happened so quickly, Alomar was the second batter of the game and got called out on strikes - from my seat at the Hard Rock Cafe it just looked like any other ball player ejected for arguing. It wasn't until later that I discovered what had actually happened. That was also the same game Brady Anderson hit the 49th of his magic bean induced 50 HRs that season.

There are only two people in the world that know the real truth of the spitting incident. After watching what happened on video, there was no doubt in my mind Hirschbeck said something derogatory to Alomar to evoke such a strong response. To me the most important thing to come from the incident was the public display of "peace" the two men displayed the next season.

I never thought about it before I started doing this Top 100 list, but I had the strange luck to have follow Roberto throughout most of his entire hall of fame career. I was a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton when he played with the Padres. I was working in Buffalo when he won two World Series rings in Toronto. I was in Washington DC during his time with the Baltimore Orioles. It wasn't until he signed with the Cleveland Indians that our moving vans stopped heading the same direction.

My most vivid memory of Roberto Alomar is the clutch 2 run blast he delivered in Oakland off of Dennis Eckersley in the ninth inning of Game #4 the 1992 ALCS. The home run was the turning point of the series and sent the game into extra innings and enabled the Blue Jays to win it in the 11th inning. More than any one moment, it signaled the end of the Oakland A's Bash-Brothers Dynasty of the late '80s & early '90s.


Post a Comment