Saturday, March 18, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Mex!

St. Patrick's Day-1985-Huggins-Stengal Field-St. Petersburg, Florida
The Huggins-Stengal Field Clubhouse just off Fouth Street in St. Petersburg was a lovely, homey little place. Everybody seemed to love it and didn't mind the little inconvenience of taking little city buses for games at Al Lang Stadium a few blocks away. We shared it with the Cardinals at the time.
Keith Hernandez arrived on St. Patricks Day morning sporting a green shirt he proudly announced to any and all it was the one he always wore on St. Patricks Day. Known as Mex-actually referring to himself as "Mex" in third person quite frequently when he poked fun at himself-Hernandez wasn't known for being a stylish dresser at the time. Even Davey Johnson once told him he needed to change the oil. He got alot better later when the club generally became more style conscious. But at the time, Mex dressed like he lived off, well, my trainer's salary. Nonetheless, Mex was quite proud of his Kelly green shirt.
After the afternoon game at Al Lang, Mex returned to discover someone had sabotaged his prized green shirt. The collar, one sleeve and the emblem had been surgically cut away by someone during the day. Hernandez loved this sort of clubhouse prank and good-naturedly put the shirt on and wore it out that night.
I never learned who did it. I suspect it was one and or any combination of the following: Jesse Orosco, Ron Darling, Rusty Staub, Ed Lynch or Danny Heep. Sorry, Folks. Roger McDowell was then a rookie and even he wouldn't have dared such a stunt just yet.


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