If you’re like me, then you’ve probably got a soft spot for backup catchers, in particular, you’ve got a soft spot for Eli Whiteside. Today Danny Knobler, CBS Sports, tweeted that everyone’s favorite backup catcher was, once again, on the move.
This makes the fourth team that has employed Eli Whiteside in 2012. The Giants, Yankees (very briefly), Blue Jays (even briefer), and now the Rangers (for who knows how long). Fawning over backup catchers probably isn’t cool — unless it’s cool in a ironic sort of way, then I’m a totally hep cool dude– but there’s something to say about a guy that’s been all over the map in the pursuit of the dream that is baseball.
So, after reading about Eli’s third team in just the past month, I decided to plot his travels. I started with his minor league career in 2001. In his first professional season — he was then in the Baltimore Orioles organization — Whiteside played for the Delmarva Shorebirds in Salisbury, MD. (Note: the “Delmarva Shorebirds” might be my new favorite minor league team.) He bounced around for a few years on the east coast, toiling away in the minor leagues, before getting a brief call-up in 2005 with the Orioles, and then it was back to the minors. He played in Ottowa for a couple of seasons. I omitted from the map a couple of his brief stops — Norfolk, VA; Aberdeen, MD — mostly because I’m lazy and my logic is that if you didn’t get at least 20 plate appearances, were you ever really there?
Now currently stationed in Arlington, TX, we can all rest soundly knowing that somewhere, someplace, Eli Whiteside is calling a pretty good game right now, hitting a few slams for the fun of it, and bouncing up and down in front of a Shane Victorino cut-out.
Godspeed, Mr. Whiteside. I hope you finally get where you’re going. We’ll all be the better for it.