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I wanted to move away from those 80's Red Sox for a day (seriously, did anyone besides Roger Clemens not have a 'stache on those teams?) and bring this Mo' Tribute a little more current.
Today's Star is the original Dirt Dawg, Trot Nixon. Or, as Red Sox Nation likes to remember him as, the greatest right fielder Boston ever had because he came right before J.D. Drew. Trot was not a consistent wearer of the 'stache, usually clean shaven or be-goateed, but as you can see here, he did carry the Mo' Flame. Trot is rocking the handle bar moustache, which is often confused with the Fu Manchu. Yes, he does have a little soul patch, but this just confuses the issue more. A handle bar grows out of your face the full way down, while the Fu hangs down from the corner of your lips. The soul patch is inconsequential. Now that we got that out of the way, some fun facts:
- Trot's moustache is actually not made of hair follicles. It is all the dirt he accumulated over the years that he absorbed into his skin, bursting back out into this bad-ass style.
- Trot averaged 1.23 billion dirt particles on his uniform every year in his 12 year major league career. The only player since WW II to top that average with at least 50 games played per year was David Eckstein, who averaged 1.48 billion dirt particles per season.
- Eckstein and Trot also went head to head each season for the most grit displayed by a major leaguer. Trot led the league in '00 and '01 with 49 and 52 grits, respectively, before yielding the crown to Eckstein in '02. They traded titles for the next 4 years before they were both usurped by 5-time-defending grit champion, Dustin Pedroia.
- Other categories Trot led the league in at least once: skinned elbows ('01); skinned knees ('03); primal screams ('03 and '04); love of the game ('99); clubhouse presence ('05); right field fielding % ('05); dirtiest helmet (shared with Manny Ramirez from '00 to '06); most worn down patch of outfield grass ('99-'06); callouses ('02) (yes, I included fielding percentage in a list of absurd made up categories. I take it you can tell how I feel about fielding percentage based on this)
- Trot was almost traded for Sammy Sosa back in 2000, but the deal fell through. If I remember correctly, the Boston media was against this deal despite Sosa hitting 66 and 63 homers the previous two seasons. Let's compare Trot and Sammy from 2000-2006, Trot's last year in Boston:
- TROT - 843 games; 3350 PA; 475 R; 800 H; 180 2B; 23 3B; 118 HR; 25 SB; 400 BB; 542 SO; .278 AVG; .368 OBP; .480 SLG; .849 OPS; OPS+ 17% better than league average
- SAMMY - 831 games; 3634 PA; 581 R; 891 H; 149 2B; 9 3B; 252 HR; 10 SB; 467 BB; 825 SO; .286 AVG; .379 OBP; .583 SLG; .962 OPS; OPS+ 47% better than league average
- Trot had an unbelievable '03 ALCS against the Yankees, with 3 HR, .333 AVG and 1.179 OPS, including a 2 run HR in game 7 off Clemens.
- 2003 was his best overall year, posting an OPS+ 49% better than league average (or basically what Sosa did in the final 5 years of his career). That '03 team finished first in baseball in runs scored and routinely had Nixon batting 7th and eventual batting champion Bill Mueller batting 8th.
- Only eats meat. No carbs. No vegetables. No dairy. Only meat. That he has killed, personally. With his dirt.
- A reporter once told Trot he was the Chuck Norris of the Red Sox. He laughed so violently at the absurdity of this statement that the dirt from his uniform fell off like an avalanche and buried the reporter, who was never to be seen or heard from again. Sadly, the reporter was not named "Shaugnessy."
Let's tip our glasses to the dirtiest dawg to ever patrol the Fenway diamond, Trot Nixon. Your handle bar moustache is truly inspirational.
To conclude, here is a great clip from an episode of Seinfeld when Jerry, George and Kramer all have 'staches because George suggests they, "take a vacation from themselves." Enjoy.