Short Hops: Pedro Guerrero by Will Leitch

Will Leitch is a Contributing Editor at New York Magazine, the founder of Deadspin, and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. You can find him on here on Tumblr, and on Twitter at @williamfleitch. He selected Pedro Guerrero as a first baseman that epitomized the 1990s in first sackers.

pedro guerrero

Pedro Guerrero. The first baseman for some rather miserable Cardinals teams managed by Joe Torre, he was long past his prime by the time he came to St. Louis, thanks to age, a ruptured tendon and a lingering friendship with O.J. Simpson. He still had a decent couple of years, passably impersonating a power hitter, or at least what a power hitter looked like to Cardinals fans at the time, and reaching double digits in home runs TWICE. He also, on one evening in July 1990, when a ball was hit three feet to his right, is rumored to have twitched. He was replaced by Andres Gallarraga, then Gregg Jeffries, then John Mabry, then Dmitri Young, then Mark McGwire. After his career was over, he was arrested trying to buy 33 pounds of cocaine, but the charges were dropped because — and I swear I am not kidding — his lawyer successfully lobbied the judge to give him lenience because “his IQ was too low” to understand what he was doing. His friendship with O.J. ultimately soured, when Simpson called 911 on him in 1999, claiming that Pedro had abducted his girlfriend and was binging on cocaine with her. He is still alive, somehow.

5 Responses to “Short Hops: Pedro Guerrero by Will Leitch”

  • I worked with his daughter for a few years, she didn’t bring him up often, I have to assume that it was a rather estranged relationship given Guerrero’s history. As the store “baseball guy” she asked me what I knew about the baseball memorabilia market (not much) because he was selling off quite a bit.

  • Man, that was pretty much an obit for a living dude. Great stuff.

  • I wrote this on BBTF so forgive me for repeating myself, but the gist of it is, I’m just not getting at all how Guerrero epitomizes first basemen of the 1990s, nor am I understanding why it’s worthy to talk about him at his worst – including the IQ story, which really has nothing to do with the topic – and make not a single mention of how incredibly talented he was in the 1980s. Nothing personal against Will, but it just feels mean.

  • While we didn’t spend a lot of time setting up the premise, Jon, the Short Hops are essentially a personal exercise (as is most everything on Pitchers & Poets, I suppose). We asked our contributors to offer their own epitome of the 1990s first baseman, not one that applies to or even appeals to a wide group of fans.

    Rest assured, there will be many glowing paeans in the coming days.

  • I’m not asking for glowing paeans and I’m all for personal stuff – I’m a fan of this site. But that doesn’t help me make more sense of what Will wrote – I don’t have a clue why he thinks Guerrero is representative of anything. It just reads like, “Hey, here’s a chance for me to make fun of Pedro Guerrero.”

    I’ve made fun of players in my time, certainly, but I guess it would help if I understood the point to it in this case. I guess I’m overthinking.

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