Monday, December 20, 2010

Former Nats Greats - #4

What if I told you that we once had a player that hit .400 and had an OPS of 1.404? Would that be something you would be interested in?

Granted this player only had 15 at bats...

But anyway, the owner of these stats is the latest member of the Former Nats Greats.

Drumroll please...

Crash Davis! err.... Rick Short!

I kid, I kid. But seriously, this guy spent 11 years toiling away in the minors playing for the Bluefield Orioles, the High Desert Mavericks, the Frederick Keys, the Bowie Baysox, the Rochester Red Wings, the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, the Iowa Cubs, the Salt Lake Stingers, the Omaha Royals, the Edmonton Trappers, and the New Orleans Zephyrs. 11 years. 11 whole years without a single call up to the major leagues. All this despite putting up fantastic career numbers; .319 AVG, 109 HR, 760 RBI, .339 OBP, in 1,473 games.

That is until the Nationals came calling.

I was at the game. I was sitting in the stands at RFK on June 10, 2005. And from my seat in Section 471, Row 5, and Seat 9, I saw a man who waited 11 long, painful, bus-filled years achieve his dream. It was the bottom of the 5th and Short came up to bat for Sun-Woo Kim and proceeded to hit an RBI single to left, scoring Brian Schneider. His first Big-League at-bat resulted in not only his 1st hit, but his 1st RBI as well. Just a great story.

The moment was short-lived, as he was sent back to the Zephyrs the next day. He came back up for a few days in July and then permanently in September.

His game log is to follow.
June 10 - 1-1, 1B, 1 RBI
July 2 - 0-1
July 3 - 0-0, BB
September 2 - 0-1
September 3 - 0-1
September 7 - 1-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI (the Nats lone run in a 12-1 shellacking by the Fish)
September 11 - 1-3, 2 BB, 1 HR, 1 RBI
September 13 - 1-1, 1B
September 21 - 0-0
September 22 - 2-3, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R
September 23 - 0-2
September 24 - Career Over.

Career Line is as follows. .400 AVG, .933 Slug, 1.404 OPS, 4 Runs, 4 RBI, 2 HR. But what I love is that his WAR is a 0.2, in just 17 plate appearances! His value was rated by Fangraphs as $800,000; in just 11 games!!!

Rick Short went 6-15 in a Nationals Uniform and garnered national attention from the media for his amazing journey. And all told, he only got to play in 11 Games. He only played in 34.2 Innings. He only saw a grand total of 54 pitches (21 Balls, 33 Strikes if you are curious).

It is my privilege and honor to welcome Rick Short to the ever-growing list of Former Nats Greats. You are still vastly superior to Bob Short...


  1. Didn't he go on to have a succesful Japan career after his MLB callup? I heard he had 3 or 4 good seasons playing everyday over there. Maybe even a Japanese All-Star...

  2. He did play 3 years over in Japan, he is now working as a scout for the Dbacks. This series is just focusing on their time with The Nats, Joe does a pretty solid Where Are They Now feature, and maybe if you ask nicely he could feature him.

    Thanks for reading, David!

  3. I was there for his first game, too. He was a great story. My understanding was that his defensive liabilities were what kept him from making it to the bigs all those years. But had he started that year at second base, he couldn't have been any worse than Vidro!