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Tales of the Above Average – Claudell Washington

A lot of focus is given to the elite:  the most rich, the most successful.

The Most Absurd.

But very little face-time is given to those who achieve at moderate to average levels on the biggest stage.  This is, to me, a great inequity that we moderate achievers should make slight efforts to change.  In that spirit I give you the first of many (er…. maybe more than one) posts dedicated to highlighting those who were better than normal, though not at such a terrifying scale as to make us feel woefully inferior.  I present to you, the above average.

Enter Claudell Washington.  Claudell Washington was a professional baseball player who is most likely to be remembered by diehard fans of the MANY franchises he played for:

Like the Athletics
The Braves
The White Sox
The Mets
The Rangers

The Yankees

And the Angels

He was a fine player who had a long, productive career.  He was a two-time All-Star in the Major Leagues, a worthy life accomplishment, and was a career .278 hitter with just shy of 2000 hits to his credit.

But, it’s the little things that tend to set an above-average person apart from the mere average person, and three items really stand out for Claudell:

1.  He was featured in a major motion picture.

Claudell was featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a hit movie in the ’80s.  In fact it was his foul ball that the title character snags.

Rumors that he was also the artist of the above art work are, alas, unfounded

2.  He has the singular distinction of being the player Nolan Ryan struck out more often than any other.  This distinction is noteworthy both because Ryan is the all-time leader in strike outs and because despite all these opportunities, Claudell was never once riled up enough to charge the mound.

Robin Ventura-also slightly above average-cannot, I fear, say the same.

3.  He has been traded for Luis Polonia.

Who will almost certainly be featured in an above-average posting all his own.

And there you have it:  Claudell Washington in a nut-shell.  For more on Claudell’s long, solid, unspectacular career, visit his baseball-reference page and see how he once made almost a million dollars in salary, or how he once almost finished in the top 3 in the batting race!  Both of these are not insignificant and yet somehow entirely unimpressive achievements… the height of above average.
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