June 23, 2010

Al Rosen to Gregg Jefferies: I heart your stink

Hi everyone. I’m Mike. Happy to be here. I’d like to talk to you, if I may, about Gregg Jefferies.

Gregg Jefferies, 1991 Score

Gregg Jefferies –- the extra “g” is for gregarious –- holds a special place in my baseball card-loving heart. You see, I grew up in central New Jersey, and the arrival of Jefferies coincided with the apex of my card-trading days, which meant that I took full advantage of the unbridled enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations of the Mets fans in the local neighborhood. Not that I myself wasn’t interested in obtaining the cards of a can’t-miss prospect, but as a Yankee fan I was content with my expanding card-collection of one future-Hall-of-Famer named Kevin Maas.

Speaking of enthusiasm, we all know that Gregg Jefferies was a talented player, but what I really want to know is: Was he enthusiastic? Let’s check the back of this card and find out:

“Everything he does, he does with great enthusiasm,” said Giants’ GM Al Rosen.

Awesome! I love enthusiasm! But, wait…everything? Not that I would ever in a million years doubt the input of Giants’ GM Al Rosen, but could it really be that Gregg Jefferies displayed noticeable enthusiasm for all of his endeavors? Spring training bunting drills? Furniture shopping? Putting his mail on hold at the post office because he needed to make an impromptu trip back to California because his great aunt fell down a flight of stairs? Hmmm. It’s also interesting to me that San Francisco Giants general manager Al Rosen has seemingly obtained exclusive knowledge regarding the enthusiastic nature of Mets’ third baseman Gregg Jefferies, but whatever. The point is that Gregg Jefferies is one enthusiastic mo fo. Also, not to change the subject but do you guys smell something? Al?

“You can almost smell the love of the game reeking all over him.”

Almost? It’s been twenty years since the release of this card and the smell that emanates from Gregg Jefferies’ love of the game still wafts over certain parts of the metropolitan area, most notably Staten Island and South River, NJ. Unfortunately, Gregg Jefferies’ love of the game smells like scrambled eggs and exhaust fumes.

Anyway, one thing you all will soon discover about me is that, when I am nostalgically searching for information on a baseball player of my youth, I have two and only two sources for reliable information: 1) Al Rosen. And 2) Wikipedia.

In response to criticism from teammates, on May 24, 1991, Jefferies pleaded his case in an open letter read on WFAN, New York's sports radio station. In the letter, Jefferies wrote: "When a pitcher is having trouble getting players out, when a hitter is having trouble hitting, or when a player makes an error, I try to support them in whatever way I can. I don't run to the media to belittle them or to draw more attention to their difficult times…”

I honestly don’t remember this, and Wikipedia surprisingly makes no mention of why Gregg Jefferies was forced to plead his case. We can only assume, via context, that Gregg Jefferies had been criticized by numerous teammates for his extreme enthusiasm -- "Slow down, honky," was the mantra of both Dwight Gooden and Kevin Elster -- and also because he smelled. Nevertheless, I do thoroughly enjoy how he maintains that he does not run to the media in an open letter to the media. One other thing:

Also in 2000, Lisa Kesner who was a flight attendant at Olympia Aviation, which provided flights to both the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings, alleged that many players were sexually harassing her, and it was also alleged that Doug Brocail and Jeffries, who were with the Tigers at the time, asked her if she could perform sexual acts with her husband, "in a van".[citation needed]

For his career, Jefferies had a career .289 batting average with 126 home runs, 663 RBIs and 196 stolen bases.

Nice transition there from alleged sex requests “in a van” to career stats. I call that a transwikition. And I obviously have no idea if something like this ever happened or not –- Wikipedia has failed me before and Al Rosen could not be reached for comment. All I’m saying is: Kevin Maas would never do that.

Did you know?
In 2002 Gregg Jefferies was forced to go on "Larry King Live" in order to reiterate his anti-media stance and also to inform people about what to do when this van's a' rockin'.


SpastikMooss said...

Down by the river?

Your stuff reads as great here as it did on your own blog Mike...keep up the good stuff!

Bill said...

Mooss beat me to both the kudos and a van joke, but let me say both regardless:

1) Great to see your same hilarious stuff in an exciting new place...


2) Once, Gregg Jeffries approached my van, knocked on the window, and began yelling something...I thought he was saying "son of Sam."

mkenny59 said...

Spastik: was trying to work in "down by the river" but gave up. And thank you very much! Means a lot.

Ditto to Bill. Loved the "son of Sam" line!

Jayson Sargent said...

My apex of interest in collecting was, also, right around the appearance of Gregg Jefferies's rookie card and all the high hopes the Mets had for him. I think I had a magazine at the time that said Gregg liked to swing his bat under water (in his pool, I think)to increase his strength and bat speed. I guess sometimes enthusiasm isn't enough :(