Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Jim McAndrew and unforeseen opportunities

As a reporter, I write a lot of stories about unfortunate folks who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Jim McAndrew, I submit to you, is someone who can say they were in the right place at the right time, at least as far as our Mets-centric world is concerned.

The pitcher had a tidy little career, coming up to the Mets in 1968 and leaving at the end of the 1973 season, playing just 15 games for the Padres the next year before hanging them up.

His best year was 1972, when he posted 11 wins and 8 losses with a spiffy 2.80 ERA, and he finished 37-53 with a 3.60 ERA.

More importantly, he came up in time to earn a championship ring in 1969 and held on long enough to be a part of the National League champs in 1973. Had he been on the team a few years prior or a couple seasons later, well, the scene would not have been as pretty.

Why, you might ask, are we putting a nice happy face on Jim McAndrew?

Two years ago on this day we celebrated the Tom Seaver birthday. Last year was the Jackie Robinson Birthday. And today, according to the friends at Mets By The Numbers, we just don’t have a lot to choose from.

McAndrew, as I’m sure you have guessed, wore uniform No. 43.

Other Mets to wear it were Ted Schreiber (1963); Bill Wakefield (1964); Darrell Sutherland (1964-66); Dick Rusteck (1966); Joe Grzenda (1967); Paul Siebert (1977-78); Juan Berenguer (1978-80); Terry Leach (1981-82); Billy Beane (1984); John Mitchell (1986-89); Kevin Brown (1990); Dan Schatzeder (1990); Doug Simons (1991); Mark Dewey (1992); Mickey Weston (1993); Mike Remlinger (1994-95); Paul Byrd (1995-96); Toby Borland (1997); Todd Pratt (1997); John Hudek (1998), Rigo Beltran (1998-99); Pete Walker (2001-02); and Jaime Cerda (2002-03) and Shane Spencer (2004). Jason Vargas apparently has this number should be called up from New Orleans this season.

I’ve had the pleasure of writing about Weston multiple times over the years, and he is a first-rate person. And Terry Leach sure had moments of glory.

But McAndrew seems to be the best of that lot. And he will be our example for the year to look for good around us, take advantage of the opportunities the Lord has blessed us with even if they don’t seem all that exciting at the time. Remember, the Mets were still somewhat stinky when McAndrew came up in 1968.

Sometimes He sends us into places we don't expect to be, or don't want to be. We don't know what might be around the corner. And sometimes it might be wonderful -- though not always a World Series ring, as in McAndrew's case.

My goal for this year is to trust Him more, confident that He has a plan for me and that I don't get to see it in advance.

Glories of Opening Day

We celebrated the traditional Opening Day on Monday in style in the newsroom .

Folks here are still geeked about the Tigers, and the business writers prepared a feast of hot dogs, Cracker Jack, root beer, Big League Chew and other ballpark-themed snacks.

I contributed my famous chocolate chip cookies — making their second blog appearance of the day — baked while celebrating the real Opening Day the night before as our boys taught the Cards a lesson they won’t soon forget.

It was pretty exciting Monday when the Tigers were tied and Scott Kazmir drilled Derek F. Jeter, proving that deep down he’s still a Met.

Alas, after both the Tigers pen and Devil Rays backdraft bullpen gave away their games, I was the only one still bouncing around happily.


G-Fafif said...

Happy McAndrew to you!

43 on 4/3. Talk about birthdays by the numbers.

Sunshine Sis said...

And happy birthday to you too Dave

Toasty Joe said...

Dave - didn't know you were a reporter. Interesting. Stop on by Toasty Joe when you get a chance, haven't seen much of you lately.

By the way, how about those Mets?

Bill said...

The thing I remember most about McAndrew was Bob Murphy's love of saying his home town: 'Jim McAndrew from Lost Nation, Iowa'.
Murph always seemed to only half-believe that such an exotic sounding place really existed.
Well it does (though barely). I actually passed through the town about 10 years back. A farming town at the intersection of a couple of dirt roads. The locals there know the story of how it got it's name which I unfortunately no longer remember.