June 01, 2007

Baseball Player Name of the Week

Normally I only consider active players for this honor... but Wayne Terwilliger, at age 81, is still the first-base coach for the Fort Worth Cats (also known as agent Scott Boras's favorite bargaining chip, per this interesting Times article). So I say that counts. As a bonus, his nickname is "Twig".

I knew I'd heard the name, but I couldn't remember where: it's in an awesome chapter from Annie Dillard's memoir, about her mother, who heard the phrase "Terwilliger bunts one" on the radio one day and became fascinated with it. Quite rightly too. Turns out he wasn't really much of a player, (career-high batting average: .257), but I think I love him anyway:
...“I learned one thing,” he says. “I’d get fried chicken, and eat it in my room. If I would go out some place for a few drinks, I would wrap the extra chicken in some moistened hotel towels, and then put it on top of the lamp. It would still be hot when I got back.”...

...“This trip we take to Pensacola [Fla.] now is just a shit-hole ride,” Twig says. “It’s 12 hours on the bus, and every time I have to take a piss, I have to climb over all these players to get to the bathroom in the back of the bus. They are all sleeping stretched across the aisles, so I have to climb back there on the armrests. I wish those guys could just sleep in their chairs without laying all over the place.”
So why keep doing this, especially at this lower level of baseball?
“Goddammit, it’s because I like it.”

Honorable mention: the resourceful Mr. Norris Hopper. Nice effort, but you have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat out Twig Terwilliger.

1 comment:

Nathaniel said...

Emma, in light of what occurred this weekend, what's your prognosis for the Yankees' road trip?