February 22, 2012

El Pupo

Bernardo Brito, 1993 Pinnacle, Rookie Prospects

Let us check on the prospects of rookie prospect Bernardo Brito.

Talk about paying your dues!

I know, right! What are we talking about?

Bernardo spent 12 seasons in the minors before finally getting the call from Minnesota mid-September last season.

Oh, I see. I do wonder if Bernardo would have been required to pay off such extensive dues had he been able to hit the ol’ breaking ball. I do think, however, we—and by “we” I mean, you: Pinnacle—must distinguish between a rookie and a rookie prospect. Certainly, upon getting called up to the majors Brito qualified as a rookie, similar to when Randy Quaid’s brother played a 70-year old baseball rookie in that movie called … I forget the name. But was he a “prospect” in that scouts were licking their chops, and organizations were investing their future in him, and impressionable kids such as myself were stocking up on his baseball cards with the hopes that like the three years he had remaining in professional ball, if he could even stay in the bigs, might lead to the Hall of Fame and drive up our investment portfolio?

Considering that B.B. hailed from the D.R., where many a player has fibbed about his age upon reaching the land of milk and hardball, it could be that Bernardo had several factors working against his favor.

1981, Twins public tryouts

Calvin Griffith, Twins GM: Alright, son. How about you? What’s your name?

Brito: My name? Is uh, Bernard … o Burrito.

Griffith: Bernardo Burrito?

Brito: Um, no. Try, Bernardo Brito.

Griffith: What’s your middle name?

Brito: Ummm, Gerard …o.

Griffith: Your name is Bernardo Gerardo Brito?

Brito: Yes, I am Spanish.

Griffith: What position do you play?

Brito: I don’t care, the grass? Wherever. I will hit mucho home runs.

Griffith: How old are you?

Brito: I am, how you say, 16.

Griffith: Sixteen?


Griffith: We’re gonna start you in Single A, see what you got.

According to this awesome Michael Rand RandBall page, Brito was known as El Pupo, Spanish for “the Pupo” (literally, as Rand points out). Also, he hit 299 career minor league home runs before taking his talents to the Pacific Rim. He eventually returned to America in order to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming the designated hitter and then hitting coach for the Sioux Falls Canaries. The best part about the Canaries, besides their penchant for intimidating the opposition by singing lightly and pleasantly in their general direction, is that they issue baseball cards:

I forgot to mention that these canaries are giant canaries and they will celebrate victory on your field of baseball without remorse. The city of Sioux Falls is most famous for its corn and also its canaries.


Jason said...

It must have been very disappointing for Brito not to have been picked up in the expansion draft in 1993. He probably could have been every bit the cleanup hitter for the Marlins that Orestes Destrade was. At least Hensley Meulens was given a chance, he just didn't pan out. Brito was never really given a legitimate shot at the big leagues. Maybe I'm just somewhat biased, being probably the world's only Bernardo Brito player collector....

Anonymous said...

psst.. The first time you mentioned the Canaries, you said Sioux City. For confusing their home with their lesser neighbor, the Canaries will come for you next.

mkenny59 said...

Jason, based on my admittedly limited research, it seems like Brito could mash. I agree that it never seemed like he got a legit shot. I also love that you're a Brito player collector, and that the Internet brought us together. Do have that Canaries card? If so, you own the greatest card ever, so there's that. Thanks for the comment!

mkenny59 said...

Oh, no, anonymous! My bad ... lemme fix that ...

Jason said...

I do indeed own that Canaries card! It was one of the last I dug up. There are only two more cards of his that I know exist that I do not have. One is his 1987 Cleveland Indians photo card/postcard. From what I hear it is black & white and is practically identical to the 1986 version. So while the Tribe never gave him a shot, they did put him on the 40-man roster twice, which I guess is worth a team issue photo card.

The other is his 1993 Lime Rock Dominican Winter Baseball Diamond Star card. They came one per pack and were identical to the base cards except for a gold foil "Lime Rock" logo stamped on the back (making them practically indistinguishable from the base cards for casual shufflers). I've busted 5 or 6 boxes of that set and always came up short on that one card.

Commons4Kids.org said...

I ise to play the grass position in little league...but sadly, never hit mucho home runs ;(