That Mike Hessman, He’s Got Some Stories To Tell

Before this season, I drafted Mike Hessman as a third base option in my fantasy baseball league.  It seemed worth it after he  hit five homers last September.  Hessman stuck around on my roster for awhile, but when Detroit shipped him down to the minor leagues, I figured it was time to cut him and see what else I could find (the answer: nothing.  I’m stuck in 24th place and my offense has been awful).

Maybe I’m in 24th place because I suck at reading up on players, which is why silly me didn’t realize that this Hessman kid, he’s done some stuff:

The former International League MVP has done about as much as a Minor Leaguer can over 14 seasons — a home run championship, an appearance at the Olympics and even a homer in his first Major League at-bat.

On Friday, the 31-year-old managed to add another chapter to his career.

“LP (manager Larry Parrish) came up to me and said, ‘Do you want to pull a Hoop?’ I didn’t know what he meant until he told me he wanted to know if I wanted to play all nine [positions],” Hessman told the Toledo Blade.

Four men have played all nine positions in a game in the major leagues (Bert Campaneris, Cesar Tovar, Scott Sheldon, and Shane Halter), but at the minor league level the feat has become sort of a fun thing that teams do to reward players when the playoffs are either clinched or out of reach. (I remember a few years ago, either 2003 or 2004, three Atlantic League players did it in the same game, and Adam Ricks did it last year for Winston-Salem after the team had already wrapped up a playoff spot.)

Hessman, though, was in a unique situation: when he came on to pitch the ninth, Toledo had a one-run lead.  He got the first two outs, but couldn’t seal the deal, giving up two runs and taking the loss.  In fact, it was sort of a forgettable day to remember for the veteran:

Hessman went 1-for-5 with a single and four strikeouts, was thrown out stealing, suffered his first blown save, took the loss and played all nine positions in the Mud Hens’ 12-11 loss to the Columbus Clippers.

That sort of describes his whole career in one sentence: a couple of really cool things mixed in with a bunch of stuff that just didn’t work out.

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