Dave Cherman’s Fictional Player Draft Review
As a good baseball fan, I’ve seen my fair share of fiction featuring America’s pastime. When Travis Sherer recommended this draft, I thought long and hard about how to approach such a draft. Should I go with baseball movie players? I examined Travis’ rules, then I realized it totally left open the concept of a non-baseball piece of fiction that merely featured baseball, if only for one episode. My mind started racing. Even more so when he told me I won the lottery for the first overall pick. When considering it, there was really only one choice:
Round 1 — Steve Nebraska, SP
Anyone who has seen The Scout knows it is an absolutely awful movie. I’m not a fan of Brendan Fraser or his acting in this one. But the man plays a god among men. He throws 100-plus mph fastballs (back in the day when nobody could really do that) and hit 500-plus-foot home runs. In the finale of the film (SPOILER ALERT) we see Steve Nebraska pitch Game 1 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium and throw a perfect game, striking out all 27 batters on a total of 81 pitches. Yes, he struck out ALL 27 batters on three pitches each. That’s not human. I needed that first overall.
Round 2 — Gohan, OF
Once David Fenko took Buck Bokai in the first round, I knew I had permission to go completely off the wall with my remaining picks. So that’s exactly what I did. I started taking players who are not just unbelievable baseball players — such as Steve Nebraska — I took literal superhumans. Gohan is a Super Saiyan from Dragon Ball Z who can literally fly and who consciously tries to not hit the ball a billion miles so as to hide his powers from his classmates. I’ll urge him to set his powers free, and he’d put up comically great fantasy stats for my club.
Round 3 — Jimmy Neutron, P
LET’S GET WEIRD WITH IT. While other people are taking guys like Willie Mays Hayes, an above average outfielder, and Jack Parkman, a very good hitter, I took a player who defies the laws of physics with straight-up unfair equipment. For those who never watched the animated kids show, you can see the episode here. Jimmy Neutron uses his brain to create automatic home run hitting bats and gloves that are basically magnetized to catch every ball hit into the field. What’s funny is he uses the talents of Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, and Mark McGwire to make this equipment, but none of them were great fielders. Who cares, though? It’s a cartoon. Jimmy himself isn’t the best pitcher, but if he gives his whole defense those gloves, he’ll put up straight zeroes in the ERA and WHIP columns while Nebraska pads my K’s.
Round 4 — Goku, OF
One Super Saiyan was not enough. I needed MORE. Goku is Gohan’s father and learns baseball in Dragonball Super. And he’s just as talented as his son because he’s similarly super powered. He will hit a home run on virtually every at bat, not to mention earn the admiration of the pitcher by keeping every home run in the yard by literally flying up to catch it.
Round 5 — Chester McBadbat, 3B
In Round 5, I went back to my childhood for another superhuman. In The Fairly Odd Parents, Timmy Turner wishes for his friend Chester McBadbat to be “the best baseball player ever.” And that’s exactly who I drafted. You can see his feats here. A true five-category stud in the fifth round is not bad. But I started to run out of comically good cartoon characters.
Round 6 — Willie Mays, OF
It got somewhat tiring drafting all baseball gods, so I decided to return to the realm of the believable with one of the greatest baseball players ever. Willie Mays starred in a cartoon about his life called Willie Mays and the Say-Hey Kid, which not only shows him as an amazing ball player but also gives him some cartoon feats. I’ll take it.
Round 7 — Yogi Berra, C
In the movie 61*, veteran Yogi Berra helps guide his teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle on their quest to best Ruth’s single-season home run record. He’s in the twilight of his career at this point, but he’s still elite. I’ll take that at the backstop.
Round 8 — Peter Parker, 2B
Two picks of normal people got boring, and I decided to have fun with the superhuman again. In the 1967 TV series Spider-Man, Peter Parker tries out for his school baseball team, playing second base and relief pitcher. He quits because he doesn’t want to abuse his powers for personal gain. However, in this fictional league, he can fully utilize his spider powers for my gain. Sure, he’d be a glove-first player, but he would also be lightning fast. His spidey-sense would help with hitting too.
Round 9 — Mark McGwire, 1B
In an old episode of The Simpsons, McGwire is used as a distraction to prevent the residents of Springfield from learning about Major League Baseball spying on them. He does so by “socking dingers,” and when he does so, he hits them straight out of sight. I want that kind of cartoon power on this squad.
Round 10 — Vince LaSalle, SS
This is by far my worst player, but I have so much love for the show Recess that I had to take my boy Vince LaSalle. He’s the best in the school at every sport and is a pretty great hitter against the other kids of Third Street School. Maybe his talents would translate to the next level? And by next level, I mean a lot of next levels because he’s in fourth grade.
Round 11 — Henry ‘Author’ Wiggen, P
Author Wiggen is the star pitcher for the New York Mammoths in Bang the Drum Slowly. There’s nothing all that special or superhuman about him; he’s just a really, really good pitcher, and that works for me in the 11th round. Certainly when compared with Chet Stedman.
Round 12 — Charlie Kelly, DH
In the 12th round, I had the Mr. Irrelevant pick, so I thought of who would be the most fun to draft. The answer was clear. In It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie and the Gang attempt to “beat Boggs” by drinking more than 70 beers on a cross-country flight. Charlie is the only one left standing, and he then has to go at least 2-for-5 with his friend Mac pitching to him. Charlie socks the first pitch to the fence in left, and Mac, unwilling to get another ball or fetch that one, deems Charlie the winner. He bats 1.000, making him BETTER than Wade Boggs, may he rest in peace.
I feel that without a doubt I have put together the best team in this draft. My first five picks all have superhuman ability, as do my eighth and ninth picks. On top of that, I added one of the greatest players ever in Mays and a Hall of Fame catcher in Berra to give some experience to this team. Hopefully the rest of the team can teach LaSalle a thing or two to help him keep up (or maybe Neutron can give him a bat to use).
Everyone else in the fictional fantasy league is competing for second place here.
(Graphics by Justin Paradis @freshmeatcomm)