Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 1/4/14
You don’t always see impact players coming If you take a look at a lot of championship baseball teams, you almost always find the blue collar, over-achiever guy on the 25-man roster someplace. These guys were not first-round picks.  They did not arrive on your favorite team’s roster in a blockbuster trade or for someone you had even heard of but there is almost always one of these guys on a winning team. I’ll give you a great example from Seattle Mariners history.  The Mariners sent the guy known in those days as “Digger” to the New York Yankees.  Digger was a 1B/DH type of guy for the M’s who had an average glove at best. With the bat, he had just a .239 career batting average with 123 homers in 11 seasons, most of which were with the Mariners. Digger, as he was known on the field, was actually Ken Phelps, and the player who came back to the M’s in exchange for Phelps in that fateful July summer of 1988 was none other than future Hall of Famer Jay Buhner, aka “the Bone”. Buhner was...
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