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How to play first base: Kent Hrbek-style

Mar 25, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

It’s been over 22 years since Kent Hrbek blatantly and brutally assaulted Ron Gant at first base in the World Series and got away with it. Now, despite the Son-of-Sam laws which prevent criminals from profiting from the publicity of their crimes, Hrbek appears in this “humorous” ad to promote the criminal-accomplice organization, the Twins:

What, me? Not over it? Perish the thought. I am merely pointing out an legal/ethical issues involved. I am approaching this totally objectively and without any personal feelings whatsoever.

  1. renaado - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Well, At Least The Mascot got some Exercise.

  2. themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Its nostalgia day here at HBT I see. I’m not going to get any work done at this rate. I remember this, too. Oy vey do I remember it! I think my blood pressure approached stroke level as I saw it unfold. From the ump’s view it looked ambiguous. From the other side? Kent (Buy Me a Vowel) Hrbek pulled Gant off that bag. If there was ever a play that needed review it was that one.

    I’m glad Hrbek’s laughing about it. I wonder what Ron Gant has to say on the subject? I doubt its printable.

    • kevinbnyc - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      I was just a kid when this happened. I may or may not have cried. Easily one of the worst calls in postseason history.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        I was shouting at my TV. Scared the dog, the cat and the neighbors. My visiting inlaws were appalled and amused.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:02 AM


        that’s every day for you. what’s the difference.


    • apkyletexas - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      I like the fact that Craig is in the video, at the 22 second mark. Didn’t know he had a head full of curly hair back then, though.

  3. happytwinsfan - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    thank you for the post. this is the first thing i’ve been able to smugly gloat about in three years. enjoy your pain.

    • azvikefan - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      I saw it live. I thought it was clean. I’m also a Twins fan.

  4. paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    The only think better would have been if the mascot took off his head, and it was Ron Gant.

    • renaado - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      LOL if that’d happen you can tell the Badblood between the Two is long gone.

  5. hep3 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Would replay review been able to overturn that play?

    • renaado - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      No. Cause i’m sure Kent wouldn’t allow it. Nor the Bear Mascot too.

  6. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    I have to admit this commercial was pretty great. Usually the jokes are killed by terrible acting, but Hrbek nailed it. What’s next? How to cover right field by Jeffrey Maier?

    (And yes, I still hate that guy, and no I will never get over it.)

    • ricardorobertasq - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Me either. I just wish MLB and/or the umpires would just admit a mitake was made.

  7. georgewashingtonsghost - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    I recognize Hebek and Mauer, but who’s the third guy?

    • pmcenroe - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      looks like Brian Dozier

  8. bravojawja - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    If by “gray area” you mean “road gray,” then sure. Nice to have an AL umpire making that call in an AL park.

  9. josephlindstrom - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Again, and as always, Ron Gant’s own momentum carried him over the bag into where Hrbek was standing. Any replay would have shown that Ron Gant would not have been able to stay on the bag without colliding with the first baseman. Hrbek simply backed up and let Gant fall.

    Incidentally, this is why we teach 8-year-olds how to slide into bases. Not sure how Ron Gant forgot that trick.

    Go Twins!

    • js20011041 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      How much do hallucinogenic mushrooms go for in Minnesota?

    • twinfan24 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      You can like it or not Braves fans, but if Gant would have just slid instead of lollygagging, there isn’t a play to be made. Best World Series ever.

      Same can be said of Jeremy Giambi on Jeter’s signature flip to home. If he slides, he’s safe, and the Jeter mystique doesn’t grow as far.

    • raysfan1 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      I have no dog in the fight, but watching the replay (which Craig helpfully linked in the post above), it’s pretty obvious that;
      1) Gant stopped on the bag
      2) Hrbek stepped into Gant
      3) Hrbek put his glove with the ball behind Gant’s right calf and pulled the leg up and off the bag toward himself.

      • josephlindstrom - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Yeah. I just watched it again. For like the 1,000th time. And somehow you really are wrong about observations 1 and 3. Not sure why. Maybe try to imagine it if Hrbek hadn’t been there; just an empty base. Maybe if you try that you’ll see it’s pretty clear that Gant would have run past the base all by himself.

        I’m a Twins fan and everything, but I feel pretty confident about the fact that Hrbek was just a guy standing there applying a tag.

      • raysfan1 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        I believe that is how you see it, but disagree with your interpretation. I’m neither a Brave nor Twins fan, so the above is just how I see it. I think it’s pretty clear, though.

      • raysfan1 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:45 PM

        Oh, and I agree with your point about sliding.

    • moogro - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      I remember saying “wow. I’ll take that.” Ron didn’t help himself with the umpire with that weird unnecessary shift from left foot to right foot.

  10. dluxxx - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    “It’s like getting painting lessons from Michelangelo himself.”

    That there is a pretty neat deal.

    • dluxxx - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      This is also a pretty neat deal.

  11. tklind - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Great commercial for Twins baseball. After 3 seasons of losing an average of 96 games, we need something to laugh about. ’91 World Series–one of the all time great Series.

  12. stackers1 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    I know I watched that World Series, but considering I didn’t sober up until 93, I don’t remember that play. The ump could have called it either way.

  13. Joe Vecchio - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    I don’t blame Hrbek, I blame the ump.

  14. coachbrew - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    I love how hard the Twins still troll the Braves about it. I still proudly display the bobblehead of that play, and I think this one of the best commercials they’ve ever done. Hrbek’s cackle at the end is perfect.

  15. canadatude - Mar 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    I want Canseco to make an add where the ball bounces off his head over the fence. Classic OF defence!

  16. Bryz - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    As a Twins fan, I’m not afraid to admit that Hrbek pulled Gant off the bag.

    Speaking of trolling, don’t forget also that the Twins turned that play into a bobblehead recently.

  17. dsmaxsucks - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    The memory of this play just makes me want to utter some sort of chant and move my arms in a manner that mimics the actions of a group that never actually undertook that action. Anybody know one that would fit my desires?

  18. jonmarkbarre - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    THIS tore up my heart when i was a kid…man i hate to think about that man at all

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