Monday, January 27, 2014
#149 Rheal Cormier
Steve Wilson's love of hockey, it seems like Topps was seeking out the most stereotypical tidbits it could find for Canadian-born players.
1. Cormier had a career year as a lefty reliever with the Phillies in 2003, totaling 84.2 innings in 65 appearances with a scant 1.70 ERA and 0.93 WHIP and vulturing a few wins to finish 8-0.
2. After making his last big league appearance with the Reds on April 18, 2007, Rheal came back to pitch for the Canadian team in the 2008 Summer Olympics. He had also pitched for Canada in the 1988 Olympics, back when baseball was a demonstration sport. At 41, he was oldest Olympic baseball player in 2008.
3. He was selected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I don't remember exactly when I learned that "Rheal" was a two-syllable name (think Real Madrid rather than Real Housewives), but it was another example of baseball exposing me to foreign cultures.
Bill James Said: "He's had trouble staying 100% healthy and hasn't pitched well when he's not 100%, but I like him."
On This Date in 1993: January 27. American-born Akebono Taro becomes the first non-Japanese sumo wrestler to achieve the sport's top rank of yokozuna.