Friday, May 30, 2008

Celebrating Vina's 12 Year Bruise

As The Cleveland Fan points out, today is the 12 year anniversary of quite possibly one of the greatest moments in Indians history. On May 30th, 1996 Albert Belle ran full steam into the compact body of Fernando Vina, propelling all 4 of his limbs into mid-air. I have always thought this play summed up everything Belle was as a baseball player. After being told he wasn't running out plays hard enough he decided to prove his coaches wrong by crushing the 2nd baseman Vina (who was in the baseline) halfway between 1st and 2nd, completely leveling the pixie with no warning. "Is that hard enough?"

Legend has it that Vina's "peel-away" goatee actually detached from his face upon impact and doctors at Milwaukee Metro had to surgically repair it later that night.

The play is rarely seen on television and if you've never caught it, here is a fairly accurate depiction:

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