It’s almost that time again. “The Manny Cometh” as he would say. Manny K. is on his way back to NY for a Labor Day weekend arrival. He looks to give the ole’ Pirates, a little cannon fire. He has come back for the last three seasons if you include this year and has usually played 4-6 games in his return tours. He returned last year and got some games in and because of his seniority status in the league, he was able to return and play with the Pirates in the postseason in their four game series against the Yankees. This was his first postseason since the 2008 World Series.
This is a man that has been at the center of many magical moments in Colonie Wiffleball since 2003, and he is sure to bring a couple more with him. He’s a career .426 hitter with 240 home runs (8th on the all time list) , 547 regular season games played (top ten all time), and 2,350 hits (3rd on the all time list). He was the last player not named Jorge or Mike to hit at least 100 home runs in a single season. Yes, there were years (black bat or no black bat) where players had 100, 200, even 300 home runs in a single season. He is a career .336 hitter in the postseason with 18 World Series home runs (tied for fourth all time). It’s amazing to see in the years since Manny K. joined at the age of 16 how much the league has changed. He also has 3 WS rings under his belt with three different teams. He has one from his rookie year in 2003 with the Yankees, one with the Red Sox in 2004, and one with the Dodgers in an injury season in 2009.
The magical moments span many areas on the spectrum with him. From friendly fire line drives to the face, to dislocated limbs, to epic slumps, to late inning drama, clutch home runs, to game 7 improbable home runs, Manny K. has those all under his belt. For those who have not played against, with, or seen him, it is definitely a site to see. For us older guys who have played over 10 seasons, it is great to have these memories and people still around to show us where the game came from and why we still play today. Not only is it cool in the means of nostalgia but it is also rings in new memories and keeps the league fresh.
My notable moments and most cherished memories of Manny K. have to include;
- Game 7 of the 2008 WS where he dislocated a shoulder on a play, popped it back in, tied the game on a single in his next at bat and won it in the 10th inning off a home run.
- 2003 WS: He was 0 for 18 in Games 1-3 and came back with two home runs in late game 3 to propel a Yankee win.
- Winter 2007: Setting up the Dodgers as the first legitimate expansion franchise that would play a whole season and more than 25 games and guaranteed a World Series berth for the Dodgers.
- New Years Eve game 2007
- Opening Day 2007: A knuckler that didn’t knuckle
- 2004: The second sophomore in league history to ever hit at least 100 homers in a season
- And of course the Yankees beating the rival Dodgers in the 2008 WS.
We love him like family and we are always excited to see him come up. We really wish he would do it more often. Maybe he will, but even if not, to see him come back to a league that he helped develop and left his mark in, including, bringing in new players along the way who have had a severe impact on the league is quite extraordinary. His presence is always welcomed and it always gives the league a shot of adrenaline that it needs in a very long season. Perhaps one day, as an ambassador to the league (and of course, after completion of his wrestling ring), he could extend the reaches of Colonie Wiffleball to his home in North Carolina. We could be getting ahead of ourselves though but then again, who wouldn’t want to see an all star weekend or crucial playoff series at ‘Kalpaxis Field’?
Keep in touch with our Facebook page, media on Instagram, and stats on here as they develop. We have Manny K. weekend coming up two weeks from tomorrow and the playoffs starting the following week. It is an exciting time of the year for Colonie Wiffleball and with many races going on, you definitely do not want to miss it.