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Archive for Monday, January 1, 2007

Royals short-timer Edgar Caceres

January 1, 2007

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Bet you don't remember this name: Edgar Caceres.

He's about 91â2 years short of the Major League Baseball pension, with his life span in the big leagues lasting just 55 games. But in my own, geek-filled teenage world, he was a hero.

I turned 14 years old in 1995 when Caceres played his only season in the Major Leagues for the Kansas City Royals. Having not yet mustered enough courage to look a girl in the eye, I was pretty much going steady with baseball at that point in my life.

I religiously played a baseball video game called Hardball 3, which allowed you to edit your own rosters and keep them up to date while playing a full 162-game season. Well, I had Caceres as my second baseman batting ninth that year. Since I was good at video-game baseball (nothing to be proud of), I somehow took the Gary Gaetti-led Royals into the World Series in '95, where I played the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Yes, the very same Los Angeles team that signed Edgar Caceres into professional baseball in 1983. You Caceres faithful already knew that, though.

Anyway, the Hardball 3 World Series stretched to seven games, and the seventh game stretched into the bottom of the 10th inning at Kauffman Stadium, as I recall.

There, light-hitting Edgar Caceres came up and cracked a home run over the center-field wall to win the World Series.

It might be pathetic to remember a video-game moment from 11 years ago. I'm aware of that. But for some reason, that one is stored away in the back of my brain.

Caceres hitting a home run isn't just a computer-simulated dream. He had one dinger and 17 RBIs during his magical 1995 season, hitting .239. Still, he somehow received no MVP votes that year (Mo Vaughn robbed him).

In all seriousness, Edgar Caceres might just be the most forgettable player in baseball history. But inside the upstairs spare bedroom in the modest Lee's Summit, Mo., home, Caceres is a virtual baseball legend. And that has to be worth something.

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