Monday, January 27, 2014

#149 Rheal Cormier

About the Front: Believe it or not, Rheal Cormier is the only "Rheal" in MLB history.

About the Back: "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay..." Between this and Steve Wilson's love of hockey, it seems like Topps was seeking out the most stereotypical tidbits it could find for Canadian-born players.

Triple Play:

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.


  1. I don't remember what year (years?) it was and I'm too lazy to look it up but I saw this guy get just lit up by the Astros twice. I only remember because on both occasions I in the company of an obnoxiously hardcore St. Louis-born Cardinals fan who happens to be my best friend. He was so pissed. Ah, good times.

  2. Bob - It's funny how those things stick with you. Eric O'Flaherty's been one of the best setup men in the NL since he got to Atlanta, but I still remember a random April series from his Seattle days when the Orioles touched him up in multiple games.