… is one I’m really proud of. Not the writing, which is fine and all. But the process.
Over the past few days I’ve been intrigued by the storyline of Bengie Molina having caught for both the Giants and Rangers in 2010. Surely, in the history of the game, there had to be a handful of others who also played for both World Series teams in the same season.
With a little Google work, I found the list here. And it’s a tiny one. Five men have been on the rosters of both World Series teams:
• Jack Kramer pitched for both the Giants and Yankees in 1951 but did not appear in the World Series.
• Johnny Schmitz pitched for both the Dodgers and Yankees in 1952 but finished the season with the Reds.
• Sid Monge pitched for both the Padres and Tigers in 1984 but did not appear in the World Series.
• Lonnie Smith played for both Cardinals and Royals in 1985 and played in the World Series.
• Jim Bruske pitched for both the Padres and Yankees in 1998 but did not appear in the World Series.
I initially tried speaking with Smith, but by the time I tracked down a number it was 10:30 pm. He lives in Georgia, and I thought it’d be a tad too late. Then I looked up Bruske, a ballplayer I vaguely remembered from my time covering the game for Sports Illustrated. Googled his name, came up with his real estate agency page. Which included his cell number. Bingo!
Called, and Jim was delightful. Happy to talk, probably thrilled to get a little pub nine years after his final pitch. I love stories like this, because they combine a funky idea with rapid-fire reporting/research. Far from brain surgery, but cool.