December 21, 2011

The Yountchise

Robin Yount, 1991 Score, "The Franchise"

Robin Yount was past his prime during the prime of my card-collecting days, a karmic circumstance that would prove unfortunate for Yount, as he never gained the proper respect he deserved from me, future Random Internet Blogger Who Makes Fun of His Old Baseball Cards. I think a lot of it also had to do with the fact that I only rarely saw Yount play baseball—I recall none of it—due to the fact that, when I was nine, we didn’t have the not-yet-invented MLB Package (thanks a lot, dad!), and the Milwaukee Brewers were a team that largely existed only in theory. But today, as the famous baseball saying goes, the chickens are coming home to roost re: Robin Yount.

Throw out Robin’s 1990 statistics;

Throw them out. Throw his statistics, acquired through a 162-game season, into the garbage can. You know what’s weird that I just realized? You can’t actually throw statistics into a garbage can because statistics are intangible, but I have a strong feeling that this card will serve as a Robin Yount apologist by highlighting his intangibles.

Also: Not a great idea for the lede of a card declaring him “The Franchise” to implore us all to ignore Robin Yount’s actual baseball statistics.

Also: I think we'd ALL like to throw out our 1990 statistics, no?

his worth to the Brewers goes far beyond numbers.

How far beyond? For the ’82 Harvey’s Wallbangers, Yount won the AL MVP, led the league in hits (210), doubles (46), slugging (.578), OPS+ (166!), and total bases (367). What exceeded those numbers to carry the Brewers to the AL Pennant? The only thing I can possibly think of is some form of exceptionally quiet leadership.

He is the Brewers quiet leader,

Considering Yount’s awesome ability to play baseball and fine personal character attributes, I believe his most important quality was his general quietness. It’s tough to win when things are loud and people are talking and stuff. In that respect, I think a modern-day Robin Yount would get along splendidly with Nyjer Morgan, or at the very least, they would make for a great buddy cop movie called, “Bat-man & Robin,” or “Bat($h*t-crazy)-man & Robin,” or, “Yount Guns.”

Robin is a manager’s dream; he never complains, never wants to sit out.

Manager: Had a dream last night. Guy walks into the clubhouse, he’s got a mustache. Doesn’t say anything. Then he uses sign language to tell me he wants to play in every game. I can’t read sign language, but in the dream I could. Also, the clubhouse was actually my grandmother’s dining room, but it was still the clubhouse, too, ya’ know? Anyway, I’m like, wow, this guy doesn’t complain, but he wants to play everyday. I wonder if he would complain if I told him he couldn’t play everyday. And I was just about to do that, but when I looked, the guy had turned into this girl Robin I went to grammar school with, and who I hadn’t thought about in years. And then get this—this morning, I get a friend request on Facebook … from Robin! So weird. She’s divorced, but she’s doing well.

“Robin is what the team stands for,” said team president Bud Selig. “He’s perfect for the franchise.”

I wonder if Selig was stating that Robin Yount was perfect for the Milwaukee Brewers franchise (in that he was white with facial hair) or if he was acknowledging that Yount was a perfect fit for the Score baseball card company’s new series of cards, “The Franchise.” Probably the latter.

Now, if I had to guess three of Robin Yount’s non-baseball passions, I would probably say … professional auto racing, definitely … umm, motorcycle racing, also, because, why not, and then … lemme think here … lemonade?


Since retiring from baseball, Yount has increased his participation in two of his other passions, professional motorcycle and auto racing. In June 2008, Yount announced the creation of a new lemonade drink, Robinade. A portion of the proceeds of the sales goes to charity.

I am very much looking forward to being involved in a conversation in which someone displays an unusual affection for Robin Yount’s playing career, at which point I will say, “Looks like someone’s been drinking the Robinade!” and everyone will laugh and then carry me off on their shoulders.


Insomniac #4 said...

Robin Yount was one of my idols growing up. I always thought that he played the game the way it was meant to be played-though I don't have any proof because I can barely recall watching him play. Regardless, I met him at a baseball card show last year. Seemed like a nice guy to me.

For some reason the show's promotional materials clearly stated that "Mr. Yount will not sign any autographs with "Rockin' Robin" or "The Kid" ...which I think is strange considering Ken Griffey Jr. was "The Kid" when I grew up. And Yount is, what, 55 years old now? Who still thinks of him as a "kid"?

mkenny59 said...

That is awesome. It seems like he was offended by anything that represented youthfulness, with "Rockin' Robin" being a rather juvenile song that evokes images of young Michael Jackson. Maybe because Yount came out of the womb as a 25-year-old veteran with a mustache. I wonder if he would have signed autographs as, "The Franchise," or even, "The Yountchise." The look he sports in this particular card says, "Probably not."

Jeff said...

I tend to think of Robin Yount in the same way I do Wade Boggs - I know there we good, Hall-worthy players, but damned if I've seen them play more than two or three times in my life.