No, not the song by Kanye West and Twista, when Charl Schwartzel birdied the 18th hole at the Masters on Sunday he became an overnight celebrity as well as a very rich man. So that got us thinking here at CurveBall Blog, who, in the realm of baseball has turned themselves into overnight celebrities?
Armando Galaraga – A relative unknown, Galaraga joined the many pitchers in 2010 to throw a no-hitter or perfect game, or so we thought. With any no-hit bid, they begin to gain publicity through social media and through “live look-ins” from ESPN, by the 7th inning I know I was paying attention. Galaraga worked a clean 8th, and got the final two outs in the ninth inning before Jason Donald “beat out” an infield single and broke up the no-no, or did he…It was a shocking moment, my jaw had dropped as I sat in my Kannapolis, North Carolina apartment. The call had been blown and the perfect game, ruined. The story was a huge one, Galaraga was a celebrity. Despite the poor call at first base, everyone involved was awesome about the whole ordeal, player and umpire alike.
Steve Bartman – Perhaps one of the most famous names in baseball, a die-hard Cubs fan, Bartman is blamed by millions for ruining the Cubs World Series dreams. You know the story, in game six of the 2003 NLCS, Bartman interfered with a fly ball, setting off a chain reaction of bad events for the Cubs as they ultimately lost the series. Bartman was a household name and the incident was huge. So huge infact, that the ball from the play in question sold for more than $113,000 and was subsequently destroyed. The seat Bartman sat in has become a huge tourist attraction at Wrigley Field. Even in my trip to Wrigley, I wanted to get my picture taken in the infamous Bartman pose.
Aaron Boone – Overall a mediocre baseball player, Boone broke into the big time the same year of the Bartman incident. In the 2003 ALCS, Boone hit an 11th inning home run against the Boston Red Sox and Tim Wakefield to send the Yanks into the World Series and prolong the ‘Curse of the Bambino’. Baseball tonight rated this the ninth-best home run of all time.
Not baseball related, but there’s also this: