Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
It’s the odd couple that fascinates me – Democratic Party strategist James Carville married to the wicked witch of the Republicans, Mary Matalin comes to mind or the famous Odd Couple play and movie, written by Neil Simon (and a great moment from that film is mentioned on page 197 of “Walkoffs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so grand) Finales” written by Bill Chuck and Jim Kaplan, with a Foreword by Jon Miller autographed copies available now by writing firstname.lastname@example.org , non-autographed copies available through this link http://www.actasports.com/detail.html?&id=3427 and available at bookstores nationwide next week.
The latest couple oddly paired is first baseman, Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox and first baseman Steve Garvey who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1969-82) and the San Diego Padres (1983-87). Wednesday night’s 5-0 victory over the hapless Oakland A’s ended with a groundball being fielded by Youk at first. Fielded, cleanly and errorlessly and this put him in the record books with 194 consecutive errorless games breaking the tie he had set the night before with Steve Garvey for the longest streak by a first baseman.
Let’s take a look at our Odd Couple:
Youk is from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Garvey was born in Tampa, Florida.
Youk went to the University of Cincinnati.
Garvey played football and baseball at Michigan State.
Garvey looked as if he walked straight out of the pages of Gentleman’s Quarterly.
Youkilis looks as if he stumbled out of Shrek Illustrated.
Kevin Youkilis was called the Greek God of Walks by Oakland general manager Billy Beane in Michael Lewis’ bestselling book “Moneyball” in 2003.
Steve Garvey was known as “Mr. Perfect” until Cyndy Garvey, Steve’s first wife and a television personality in her own right, had less kind things to say about her marriage to Steve. Around the time the book was published in 1989, two paternity suits were filed against Steve and he admitted to fathering children to two mothers. He has seven children altogether.
Garvey had 479 walks in 2332 games, an average of one walk every 4.86 games.
Youk has 218 walks in 412 games, an average of one walk every 1.88 games.
Youkilis is partnering with California-based MBSB Holdings to launch a new energy drink, called SlumpBuster, in Q1 of ’08. Youkilis will serve as the lead spokesperson for the product, and MBSB is currently developing his own “Youk’s Signature” version of the drink.
Garvey has endorsed and done promotional campaigns for companies like Pepsi-Cola, Chevrolet, Gillette, McDonald’s, Adidas,, Nestle,, TransAmerica, Anheuser-Busch, Jockey, Cardservice International, John Hancock and Team Nabisco in association with Wal-Mart since he was a rookie.
Garvey succeeded Frank Sinatra as the National Campaign Chairman of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and serves on the Board of Directors for the UCLA Division of Neurosurgery and also for ‘B.A.T’, (Baseball Assistance Team) which provides services and financial aide for former MLB players and their families. Garvey also volunteers his time and assists in causes such as the Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes, The Blind Children Center, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the ALS Foundation (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and the The Sisters of Carondelet.
Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids is a charitable organization founded by Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis, dedicated to rallying local and corporate support for charities and organizations focused on the health and wellbeing of children. Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids teams up with existing community-based children’s charities and medical research programs in New England and in Kevin’s hometown of Cincinnati, to help them raise money and awareness. Kevin runs the organization with Enza Sambataro, Ben Affleck’s former girlfriend, and Youk’s future wife.
When Kevin makes an appearance, you can’t help but yell “Yooook!”
When Steve makes an appearance, you can’t help buy yell, “Ewwww!”
After all is said and done, I’d rather have Kevin as my teammate and friend, but that’s me.
Who are some of your favorite odd baseball couples? Drop me a line at email@example.com and let me know.
Bill Chuck is the creator of Billy-Ball.com and, with Jim Kaplan, is the author of the book, “Walk-Offs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so Grand) Finales,” with a Foreword by Jon Miller, to be published by ACTA Sports, in April.
Autographed first editions are available by contacting, Bill@billy-ball.com or order directly from Acta Sports, http://www.actasports.com/detail.html?&id=3427
Happy birthday, Craig!