We passed over the news when it scrolled across the bottom of our screens a few weeks ago, but Gary Sheffield has retired.
With that, I thought it a good time to re-post parts from the wonderful paean to the man penned by Eric back in August of 2009, in a post he called The Sheff Abides:
No matter where he’s gone Gary Sheffield has always been that guy. He’s never been your favorite player, but he’s often been your favorite team’s best player. He’s never been enough of a problem off the field, or enough of a superstar on the field to elicit romantic baseball love or fanatic baseball hatred from fans. Gary Sheffield is meant to confuse, meant to muddle, and meant to be pondered. In my mind he is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer.
The game, it seems, happens around Gary. He simply is. The Sheff abides. He doesn’t put on a uniform, but rather the uniforms seem to put themselves on him. He doesn’t come to the stadium either. The stadiums he plays in grow organically from the ground beneath where he happens to be standing, so as to leave him at ease in left field, the batters’ box, or the on-deck circle. These things happen by sheer momentum. They are just the way of the universe.