At one point late in her life, my late grandmother became a Seattle Mariner fan. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that my grandparents had retired, didn't travel or do much outside of their home and had nothing but time on their side. Which led to viewing a lot of television. And since we live in the northwest, that meant Fox Sports Northwest and their Mariner broadcasts. Anyway, I will always remember how she would brighten up whenever her favorite player, Joey Cora, was brought up. It was 'Little Joey Cora,' and my wife and I always looked forward to hearing her brag him up.
It's easy to cheer for the underdog; players like Joey Cora- who overcome the odds and get to perform at the highest level in their sport...you can't help but root for them.
1994 Lykes Rafael Belliard
For me, the underdog who I always found myself cheering for was Rafael Belliard. Listed at 5'6" and 160 lbs, Belliard was the equivalent of Spud Webb on the court; Doug Flutie on the gridiron. Okay, so he didn't attain the level of success that those two did in their respective sports, but still...the diminutive shortstop lasted seventeen years in the bigs while hitting .221/.270/.259.
What's to Lyke:
In the Field- It was fun to watch Rafae gobble up grounders, hence his nickname, "Pac-Man."
At the Plate- 1994 would be the only season in Belliards career (with the exception of 1982-when he only had two at-bats) in which his slugging percentage finished above .300 (he would finish at .317). Yes, he could do it all!!!
En Fuego!- Belliard had a four-game hitting streak during April of '94, recording two-hits in each of the games.