I will quote this one in full.TINY LITTLE ECKSTEIN ACTUALLY BIG AND GRITTY
Small Eck Comes Up Big Vs. Tigers
Diminutive Star Big at Heart
by Ken Tremendous
Picture it: Joel Zumaya, the Detroit Tigers’ flamethrowing righty, stands on the mound. He is capable of throwing a baseball 120 miles per hour with wicked movement.
Sixty feet away, gritty and determined David Eckstein, all 5-foot, 7-inches and 165 pounds of him, stands at the plate. Or, rather, he buzzes around the plate, like a gnat around a pitcher’s head.
“He’s the grittiest player I have ever seen,” says Everyone. “You think he’s too small, you think his arm is too weak, you think he is not that good at baseball, you think he is a small, small boy who is very small, you think he can’t hurt you. And you are right. But god damn, is that small boy gritty and determined.”
And gritty. In college – the same age at which Angels’ first baseman Darin Erstad was busy being a hard-nosed punter -- David Eckstein was told that he was just too small. So instead of riding the roller coaster at the amusement park where someone told him that, he tried out for the baseball team. The 5-foot 5-inch 128 pound Eckstein quickly demonstrated that he belonged.
Also, he is tough. The 5-foot 1-inch, 102 pound Eckstein – this year alone – has broken three fingers, shattered an elbow, slammed his other fingers in a door, dislocated his shoulder, had his eyes gouged when one of the older boys took his lunchbox, stuck a knife into his side on a dare, broke his own neck intentionally, ate his own ankle, and allowed teammate Jeff Suppan to open the top of his head with a corkscrew. That’s a lot of abuse for one 4-foot 2-inch frame to take.
But did he miss even one game in 2006? Yes. He missed 39, actually. But holy fuck, is he tough.
And did these injuries affect his performance? I don’t think so, friend.
He hit like .350 and always came up clutch every single time and tore it up all through the playoffs and basically out-hustled everyone to the tune of 50 doubles and like a thousand runs. I haven’t checked to make sure that stuff is true, but I don’t need to. Because even if Eck didn’t do any of that, he at least was always gritty, which is what counts more than anything in baseball. Also there are home runs.
“The thing that makes David Eckstein so great,” says a person with a computer, “is nothing. His offense is worth 9 more runs over the course of the entire season than the average AAA call-up. So. That’s…something, I guess.”
Something indeed. Something gritty, determined, and detertty – a word I just made up that means determined/gritty.
So when David Eckstein -- 2-foot-1 in bare feet, topping the scales at barely 40 pounds soaking wet, and appearing in the game only thanks to an MLB Outreach Program to give malnourished young mole people a chance to fulfill a dream of playing in the big leagues – stands in against 8-foot-11 Joel Zumaya, who can throw a weighted leather exercise ball 200 MPH with his penis, you might think Zumaya has the advantage.
But he didn’t count on the heart, or the determinittyness, or the sheer heartitude, or the gnatosity, or the dirtheart, or the toughgrit, or the dirtdirtdirt, of an 11-inch tall, 2-pound foetus named Dirtid Gritstein.
Eckstein hit a soft liner to left that Craig Monroe kind of misplayed on a wet track, and it fell in for a double.
So, yeah, he’s kind of the best ever.
Ken Tremendous is about six feet tall, relatively big at heart, and mildly gritty.
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