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Hard Hittin' Mark Whiten does it again

Jun 21, 2010, 9:43 AM EDT

I watched Mark Whiten hit four homers against the Reds in 1993 and thought it was really something.  Yesterday Whiten played in the Hall of Fame Classic and hit two out, winning the game’s MVP honors. He also won the pre-game home run derby.

It’s a different game now that active major leaguers don’t play in it.  Instead it’s an all-star old timers affair. This year it was Team Harmon Killebrew against Team Bob Feller. The Fellers beat the Killers 9-0. 9-0 is also the score that is officially applied to forfeits, so without looking I’m going to assume that the game was suspended after Killebrew threw 22 bats on the field, swore a blue streak at everyone and then got into a fistfight, because that’s just the kind of guy he is.  The game story is in the first link above if you want to see what really happened. Don’t ruin it for me, though.

Anyway, among the players taking part were Whiten, Gary Carter, Goose Gossage, Rollie Fingers, Phil Niekro, Ozzie Smith, Paul Blair, Bill Madlock, Mike Pagliarulo and Jeff Kent.

Kent’s inclusion almost doesn’t seem fair given how recent it was that he retired. He played last year too and won the home run derby. Not a surprise considering he probably could have started for a dozen or two major league teams if he were so inclined. The fact that he got beat by Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten this year made me smile a bit.

I know a lot of people raised a ruckus when they changed the Classic from a real game with major leaguers to an old timers thing a couple of years ago, but really, I think I would enjoy the old timer thing much more.

Note: an earlier version of this post referred to Mark Whiten as merely “hittin’ Mark Whiten” and not “Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten.”  I apologize for the massive and inexcusable gaffe. I don’t bring a hell of a lot to this party, but one thing I do bring is a pretty insanely detailed knowledge of trivia relating to players whose prime fell roughly in the 1970-1995 period.  For me to whiff like that on one of those players borders on the criminal.  I’ll try to regain your trust, but I understand if this oversight was the last straw.

  1. The Common Man - Jun 21, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    Gotta love Hard-Hittin’ Mark Whiten. The only guy I know who actually homered off of the old curtains in the Metrodome RF upper deck.

  2. aleskel - Jun 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    I always thought his nickname was Hard-Hittin’ Mark Whitten, which I like better for its rhythm.

  3. Al - Jun 21, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Whiten had the best post-homer bat flip I’ve ever seen. Had the best OF arm, too, until I saw Andrew McCutchen fire one from deep center to 3rd base on the fly at Huntington Park last year.

  4. Bill@TDS - Jun 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    I was at that game, and was actually standing right in front of the curtain when it happened (waiting to sing the 7th inning stretch with my high school barbershop group because I’m that awesome). It went high off the curtain, deep in right-center field. Hardest hit ball I’ve ever seen, by a whole lot and a half. Ran over and got there just after it bounded back down onto the field.

  5. aleskel - Jun 21, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Ah, I see the correction. Thank you, Craig. You are a gentleman and a scholar.

  6. The Common Man - Jun 21, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Between Whiten-gate the redesign, I’m gone Craig.

  7. mattingly_fan_23 - Jun 21, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    I was at the game yesterday, it’s a great time. Goose got the “save.” The best part was Kent’s attempt to turn himself into a much kinder and gentler version of himself to please the Hall voters. Last year was great too, Feller actually pitched an inning.

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