First Pitch: Day Thirty Seven – Brady Anderson and Andy Van Slyke

Today, we’re going to focus on baseball memories that have lived rent-free in your head for years, even if they weren’t significant.

I’ll go first.

I grew up an Orioles fan, but followed the Pirates a bit as someone living in central PA during the 1990-92 seasons. My grandparents lived in Baltimore, so we would go to games every year when we visited.

One of those games came in 1995. The Orioles had added Andy Van Slyke, which was crazy to me, because I only knew him as one of the biggest names on the Pirates.

In Baltimore, however, the biggest outfield name was Brady Anderson. The 1995 season was a year before Anderson’s steroid-fueled 50 home run season, to add perspective of where this was in his career.

I sat there in the foul section of the outfield in left field. Brady Anderson right in front of me, and Andy Van Slyke behind him/beside him in the distance in center field.

The only thing I’ll remember about that game is Anderson running over and catching a ball right in front of Van Slyke, who could have easily caught the ball himself. That’s the memory. Left fielder Brady Anderson running over and robbing center fielder Andy Van Slyke of a catch.

For 11-year-old me at the time, it was one of those moments that breaks your brain and alerts you to the simulation going on around you. I knew these players as among the most popular on their respective teams, and now they were on the same team, interacting right in front of me, and I wondered if Anderson actually liked Van Slyke, or if he was just joking around.

And that play lived rent-free in my head for the rest of my life. That seemingly simple F7. I’m not sure I would have cared if it wasn’t Brady Anderson robbing Andy Van Slyke of a catch.

What’s an insignificant play in baseball that you’ve remembered your whole life? Leave your answer in the comments.

First Pitch