Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Clem Labine Family Friend Endorses Jacoby Ellsbury

That's a bit of a misleading comment, because Rick Elliott, family friend of the late Brooklyn Dodger and '62 Met Clem Labine, endorses the free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to stay on the Boston Red Sox.

Somebody reached out to me regarding Mr. Elliott, saying he would be perfect for my Bedford & Sullivan podcast, and they were right. Rick has a plethora of information regarding growing up following the Dodgers in Woonsocket, RI, where Clem is from. Clem found work in the early 40's at Rick's father's garment factory, and worked closely with the family business till they closed their doors in the 80's. Rick has been more than receptive, and has wanted to share some of Clem's memorabilia that got passed down to him when Clem died in 2008.

Though this post is mostly regarding what he had to say about Ellsbury, here is Mr. Elliott's podcast episode for your listening pleasure when you get a chance.

On that podcast, I mentioned I was a Mets fan, and Rick said because Clem finished his career with the Mets, he'll "forgive" me. Soon thereafter, I got a letter in the mail from Rick saying he wanted me to have the signed postcard on the right.

Ain't that neat? It's unfortunate that Clem only made it into 4 innings as a Met, posting an 11.25 ERA before calling it a fantastic career that included 3 world championships ('55 BK, '59 LA, '60 PITT) mostly as one of the early fireman in Major League history. Still swell, though, that he was able to close it out back in town.

(Rick has sent me another awesome item regarding Jackie Robinson that I will show you all at a later date...)

Anyway, Rick and I have chatted a bunch, including via text. We were doing so the night the Red Sox won the World Series, something you can guess Rick was ecstatic about being a New England resident. The text chain eventually led to talk about John Henry the next day, which led to talk about Jacoby, and Rick has given me permission to quote him on here. Here's some of the text chain:

Rick: "...Henry will let Ellsbury slip away 2 Seattle...And if that occurs Henry must be drawn & quartered."

Me: "Hahahah. So, regarding that, it seems you believe he is worth the contract? Not saying I don't, just curious as a potential suitor."

Rick: "Every penny. He owns center field. He is rugged and resilient...a quiet and calm and peaceful man adding stability. Excellent hitter...always on base distracting pitchers...brilliant baserunner. And Sam stats can lie. Take 50 stolen & those walks and singles become doubles & he actually leads the MLB in slugging %. Tell you what, Henry, sell ur freakin' soccer team with Lebron and pay my center fielder what he needs."

Rick: ".....Or Sam...put me down as undecided! :-) But I adore Ells and what he brings. A great stable racehorse."

Me: "That's good to know. Us Mets fans have been wary of him..."

Rick: "...Remember Sam his rep for softness is a crock. He was put into left field to make room for 12 million dollar mistake named Cameron...Though unfamiliar there he was willing to play and collided with Beltre & broke ribs front & back. He had to heal. He did. He's a gamer and tough kid."

Me: "Haha that's how everyone refers to Mike Cameron."
Me: "We need (gamers.)"

Yes. Rick has a bit of a man crush on Jacoby Ellsbury, but makes some good points about the player. We should probably still be weary of the guy, as honestly we should be leary of any long-term contract. Us Met fans are conditioned to believe that no big contract will work out well based on our history. We got a lot out of Carlos Beltran, but still missed a couple years in there as well.

Based off of what Rick says about the guy, though, I am now less weary of signing Jacoby Ellsbury.

But Rick also said the following:

"...Ells is a west coast kid. If Sox don't smarten up & pay him, Boras will probably get him deal in Seattle. He LOVES WEST COAST...He's quiet and reserved. Might try to avoid NY. Even Boston took time for him to adjust.

"(But he's) a dream athlete. A miracle in motion!"

...as I said. Man crush. 

Anyway, here's the Random Song of the Day.


Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @convertedmetfan. And for the latest on a Brooklyn Baseball TV Series I am developing, Like the Bedford & Sullivan Facebook page, follow on Twitter hereand listen to the research process here.

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