Friday, May 23, 2008

Blake DeWitt

Finally! A cause I can believe in. As you know I don’t usually delve into politics on this blog. (Side note: On those rare occasions when I do, invariably I’ll get these angry comments from people saying they’ll never read my blog again and then a month later they’re right back commenting.)

But sometimes a person emerges who is so exciting, so inspiring that you almost feel it’s your obligation to help further his career. And that is why, and again – remember I don’t usually do this, I am asking you, my dear readers, to help Blake DeWitt get into the All-Star game.
Who is this Blake DeWitt you ask? And why have we never heard of him?

That’s the problem. That’s why we need your help, ladies and gentlemen. To spread the word.

He’s the third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wait! You non-baseball fans, just before you click on “next blog” hear me out. You don’t have to love sports. You just have to love a great feel-good story, one that Hollywood would write if it hadn’t already written it to death thirty times over.

Blake DeWitt is a 22 year old kid from Sikeston, Missouri – the only city in America too small to qualify for an NBA franchise. At the start of spring training he was just another young huckleberry in the Dodgers’ minor league system. He was ticketed to start the season in Jacksonville or one of those towns where the Olive Gardens is reserved for special occasions.

There were maybe nine third basemen ahead of DeWitt on the Dodger depth chart. But miraculously, through injuries, visa issues, better offers from the Ice Capades, and missing the flight back from Beijing, China – Blake got the job. The Dodgers had so much faith in him they were trying to deal for another third baseman up until two hours before opening day. They even inquired about Ty Cobb I understand.

But having no other option they gave DeWitt a chance – fully expecting that when any of the nine other third sackers returned he’d be shipped back down to the land of cow milking contests between innings and Shoneys.

Long story short, Blake DeWill has been nothing short of SENSATIONAL. As I write this he is hitting about .320, tops for any rookie. He has four home runs (including an inside-the-park homer) and has been a vacuum cleaner defensively. He signs autographs. He agrees to go on radio postgame shows. He stands during the national anthem.

Clearly, he is having an All-Star season. But he is not even on the ballot. And that is why I am asking your help. You can vote on-line and write in candidates. You can also fill out ballots at any major league ballpark (but that doesn’t help you if you’re in Cambodia).

These campaigns have worked. True story: One year Steve Garvey and his then-bride, Cyndy took home stacks and stacks of ballots and every night wrote-in thousands of entries. It worked. How he had the strength to even hold a bat after that I dunno.

Since Steve and Cyndy are no longer together and both are busy I must instead turn to you. You can vote on-line here. Just click on VOTE NOW.

By the way, stuffing All-Star ballot boxes is completely acceptable. Especially in Florida where that’s all they know.

For the sake of the underdog, apple pie, great kids who never give up, dreamers, and let’s just say it – America (Or, if you’re in another country, whatever that country is) write-in your vote for Blake DeWitt to be the All-Star third baseman of the National League.

I thank you. I’m sure our nation thanks you. And if God reads the sports section He thanks you as well.

39 comments:

maven said...

Definitely sounds like an All-Star, All-American! Your link to vote is not working, though, Ken.

Anonymous said...

here's a working link

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2008/ballot_pop.html

TheBrad said...

I'm on board. One quibble from a Show-Me State native, though: The name of DeWitt's home town is Sikeston.

Grubber said...

Okay, for us foreigners that understand the basics of baseball, (ie it's a great excuse to eat hotdogs and drink beer-always a good occasion!) but when I click on the link and choose to write in Blakey I can't find his club, the Dodgers-what am I doing wrong?

I found him in the NL.....is this right?

I can explain cricket to you until your ears bleed but haven't quite(or tried) to grasp all the different leagues, etc in American baseball or football.

I am happy to help him with a vote or two if I can do it right.
cheers
Dave

flem snopes said...

Please!

Who could be more All-American (or All-Starish) than a 3rd baseman named Chipper?

miles_underground said...

I'm not a sports fan, but I voted twice. Once because its a heartwarming story, and once for "Volunteers".

emily said...

As we say in Florida, "Vote early and vote often."

Sebastian said...

I'm a Yankee fan so I wi... *muffled sounds* *microphone rustling*

Of COURSE I will vote for him. Consider it done! By the way I am such a

Dodger

fan I just have to support them. The

Dodgers

are a superb team! Go

Dodgers

*sound of mike dropping* *chair screeching in the background* *gagged voice pleading* *silent thud* *doorclap*

DodgerGirl said...

Well, you know I'm on board.

That story sounds like Steve Garvey. Love the man, but he excelled at self-promotion.

OutOfContext said...

Ken,
.320 in May does not an All-Star make. Nice story though.
And as a lifelong Reds fan, fie upon your Steve Garvey--and Davey Lopes, Steve Yeager, Don Sutton,Bill Russell and especially, Lasorda. Not Ron Cey though, you can't hate the Penguin.
It kills me that we've got a Dodger as a manager now--that's not right.

Anonymous said...

don't you need to be stephen colbert for this to have any impact?

okiesister said...

You're funny. Our little town just got a CBA team (hey, they won the championship)and our first Olive Garden. We're movin' on up!
I voted for your guy; you tugged on my heartstrings.

Charles said...

Sikeston, MO...home of Lambert's Cafe, home (in turn) of throwed rolls.

I'm a St. Louisan, and I'll make you a deal: I'll write in DeWitt if you write in Ryan Ludwick for OF.

Colby said...

Hi Ken,

Been lurking on here for a while now, but I just had to comment on this one. I, too, love underdog stories. Being a Texas Rangers fan, we have one of our own in Josh Hamilton. I was also intrigued to see that Blake is from Sikeston, MO -- as I spent a year there one week (OK, so it wasn't that bad!). Hopefully, he will make it to the game!

I enjoy reading your blog. Maybe I won't be a total lurker in the future!

cpo snarky said...

Amen. The kid is lights out. Of course, you know that Chipper and Wright will make the squad, but Blake deserves some love.

How about pushing for a bobble head night, too? Worked for Beimel.

Annie said...

Every time LaSorda has cannoli, I will vote for Blake.

Now all he has to do is take a crowbar to Chipper's knee and he's in.

Dana King said...

It doesn't surprise me he's turned out to be a good kid. I spent a weekend in Sikeston during my days in an Army band, and still remember how well I was treated at the Holidrome. When people talk about Midwestern virtues, Sikeston is the kind of town I think of.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this idea! My friend and I were just talking about this at the game last night. DeWitt is definitely deserving and how great would it be if Dodger fans could pull this off! What a great Dodger All-Star he would be.

Anonymous said...

I went and voted. It even tells you to go ahead and vote a maximum of 25 times?! More is always better! Definately the right system for Americas Pastime...

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

Votes cast.

Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my off day from cheering the flawed (Kobe Bryant) over the perfect (Tim Duncan).

diane said...

Thank you for a great reason to vote. Being a Mariners fan, I'm definitely looking for something about this season to cheer about. Clearly it needs to be someone on any other team right now. Went and voted once and will use up all 25 for your outfielder.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I would vote for him, but I'm committed to hating any and all Dodgers who didn't play for the Brooklyn team.

Diane, as a fellow Mariner sufferer, I know what you mean. They were supposed to be good this year and they keep vying for the worst team in the majors honor. Parcheesi, anyone?

Anonymous said...

actually if you're in another country, they probably don't even know what a "third base" is because they don't play baseball there.

what?

VP81955 said...

These campaigns have worked. True story: One year Steve Garvey and his then-bride, Cyndy took home stacks and stacks of ballots and every night wrote-in thousands of entries. It worked. How he had the strength to even hold a bat after that I dunno.

As we found out later, he still had the strength to do some other things.

addy said...

Done. Fortunately I don't follow the National League so there was no damage to my ideal team.

Scott said...

Blake got my vote (mostly because there's no way Nomar is getting a vote from me).

xjill said...

Ken! Just when I thought I couldn't love you more! I've been all about this kid since the exhibition games. I kept hoping he'd do well so they would have no choice but to keep him even when the other folk got off the DL. Needless to say, he is OWNING it. I'm also glad to see the fans are smart enough to realize how much we lucked out and cheer loudly for him.

And non-Angelenos - his "walk up to bat" music is The Immigrant Song in case you needed more reasons to like him.

webbie said...

Well, damn you Ken Levine. I voted for your underdog, then turned around and cast my vote for Chipper, thus off-setting my vote.

I'm a lifelong Braves van from days of Dale Murphy and Bruce Benedict, and Rick Mahler. And yet, I voted for a Dodger.

My head hangs in shame.

Jimsevin@aol.com said...

Where have you gone, Bill Grabarkowitz? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

Dodger 3rd base phenoms have been breaking my heart a long time. I root for DeWitt to have a great second half.

Jim 7

Anonymous said...

I'm an Australian and so don't understand you Americans and your crazy pasttimes. However, I attempted to vote for him anyway, as I blindly follow everything the itnernet tells me to do. But I couldn't see the Dodgers listed on the write in list of teams. What am I doing wrong? What team am I supposed to be voting him for?

The Curmudgeon said...

I'm from Chicago so I feel the need to cut deals when you start talking politics...

I'll support your Mr. DeWitt -- but in exchange for our guy, Carlos Quentin.

Paul said...

I'll vote for him if you vote for Carlos Gomez. Future gold glover, arm like a cannon, on pace to steal 60 bases, and his average has bumped up 50 points in the past month. He's the next Kirby Puckett for the Twins.

Anonymous said...

Blake is a great guy -- his "I'm just grateful for this opportunity" personality is genuine. I grew up in Sikeston, a town of about 17,000 people -- most of whom are quickly converting from Cardinals fans to Dodger fans! GO BLAKE!

Anonymous said...

Ken you are getting some face time at the USS Mariner Blog, I figured you might want to read:

http://ussmariner.com/2008/06/04/snarkless-morning-note/

spmsmith said...

Hey, he looks kind of cute. I'd help him get to third base anyday.

annie l said...

He gets my votes.He is just what baseball needs now.A great kid with raw talent and hard work.He is a great role model.Athletes like Blake will take baseball back to the way it should be!

mwhite6 said...

How are his numbers now? He was in the midst of 17 games in which he only managed ONE extra-base hit. That's not all-star material by any means.

Robyn said...

I've never read your blog before and found this a bit late searching for more info on Blake... but what a great post! He's a phenomenal player on a phenomenal team and I'm excited to see where he goes from here! :)

Your passion is wonderful.

xjill said...

hKen, I'm reposting in this one to say - yay for our boy in today's game!

Yeah, he made the sac and has been aces defensively, but I like it when you announcers are forced to say that the game-winning hit was by DeWitt. I'm contemplating making a sign for tomorrow's game (De Witt Can't Quit!? eh, I'm not sure yet...)