Saturday, February 21, 2009
#4: Dave Fleming - Star Rookie
As urban legend would have it, rookie Dave Fleming was the rookie perpetrator of an act of reverse clubhouse hazing against the club's breakout superstar, Ken Griffey, Jr. Junior, who became even more prone to injury in the latter years of his career, had just hit the Comiskey Park showers following a dramatic 11-inning, 10-8 victory in which he went 3 for 6 and hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the 11th. On that late September evening, Fleming, who has always claimed he was just "messing around," emptied an entire case of shaving cream on the path from Griffey's shower stall all the way to his locker. Griffey made an estimated 80% of the journey without incident, but faltered before reaching his destination. Griffey ended up tearing the medial collateral ligament in both knees, keeping him out of the lineup for the Mariners' 1992 and 1993 seasons. Experts estimate that had the injury not occurred, Griffey might have surpassed the unfathomable 900 home run mark, a record even the great Sadaharu Oh did not dream possible.