Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mike A. Marshall

His reputation for refusing to play with insignificant injuries and minor maladies was well-deserved.

Believe it or not, he once missed a game because of general soreness.

Wait, it gets worse.

Are you ready for this?

He was also sidelined for some time with, of all things, a wart.

No, I am not kidding.

Well, at least, he didn't sit out a game because of a paper cut or a case of the hiccups.

His lack of tolerance for pain was legendary.

The words "Fragile -- Handle With Care" should have been stitched prominently across the back of his jersey instead of his last name.

He was more brittle than a China Doll.

His bones appeared to have the density of eggshells.

Ok, I am starting to get a little sarcastic.

To absolutely no one's surprise and everyone's complete frustration, Michael Allen Marshall played in only 1,035 games over 11 big league seasons, averaging just 94 games per year.

When healthy, however, Marshall posted solid power-hitting numbers during the pre-steroid era. He hit 20 or more home runs three times and knocked in 80 or more runs twice. His best big league season was 1985 when he batted .293 and set career highs in home runs with 28 and RBI with 95 in 135 games.

Nicknamed "Big Foot" because of his size-14 shoe, Marshall was selected by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 1978 amateur draft. He won the Pacific Coast League Triple Crown and was named Minor League Player of the Year in 1981 after hitting .373 with 34 home runs and 137 runs batted in for Triple-A Albuquerque. During his 11 big league seasons, Marshall played for the Dodgers, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox before wrapping up his career with the California Angels in 1991.

Yet, for all of Marshall's achievements in baseball, his claim to fame may be that he dated Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Gos briefly during the mid 1980s.



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