Results tagged ‘ All Christmas Squad ’

My 2012 All-Christmas All-Stars

 

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Every Christmas Eve it has become customary over the last several years for me to wander through the pages of MLBlogs and take a journey into the Christmas minds of some of our great bloggers. This year my adventures turned up several great redux renditions of the Christmas classic poem “T’was The Night Before Christmas“, and I even found a few Holiday “Wish Lists” searching for wins, the postseason and an eventual ring for 2011.

As I was traveling through MLBlogs, I thought to myself, “Self, what would be the ultimate Christmas All Holiday baseball squad?”

I somehow answered my own question immediately in my mind and began to seek the right combination of Christmas-based characters both human and cartoon to field such a Holiday squad. I ventured back into the cobwebbed recesses of my past favorite memories on film and television.

Let me tell you that sometimes even Wikipedia can’t help as I entered into a vision quest to determine the right pairing of 10 players and coaches for the Polar Express. Being that we will be playing in the North American Winter League, I have instituted the Designated Santa on my team. I think this squad has the right hint of animation and human elements to make this team a winner.

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Starting Pitcher:

I decided that the only person who could be the starting pitcher for the Polar Express had to be Charlie Brown. His classic Christmas TV special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” first hit the CBS airwaves way back in 1965 and was an instant hit with kids of all ages. I thought Brown was my perfect holiday pitcher because of his vast past experiences pitching.

Of course I did balk at the chance that Brown could somehow be suddenly de-clothed by a sharp liner up the middle after he hangs one of his patented mid-80’s curve balls. Brown has the uncanny fortitude to throw hard and long into games for the Express.

l_ba6928a902e743e3aa4411c4fc189fe3.jpgCatcher:

I did not have to think long and hard about the right guy to catch for this team. I did however need someone who had some brawn and might be dumb enough to sit back there and be ready for anything coming off the fingertips of Charlie Brown. I considering all the positive and negative variables and kept with my first impression that Cousin Eddie from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” was the man for the job. “Christmas Vacation” first hit movie houses back in 1989 and became an instant classic for it’s off beat humor and odd but familiar family gathering situations. Eddie is a pretty big guy, and he looks like he could block the plate like an ice sheet.

Now that you have seen my pitcher/catcher battery, I decided that this team will not need any relief pitchers since it might have the 10-run rule in effect going into the 5th inning knowing the way Charlie Brown pitches to batters’. So let’s get you now acquainted with the 5 infielder I selected for my All Holiday team.

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First Baseman:

I wanted to get a guy who has some solid baseball experience to man the First Base bag. We needed a solid guy to protect the line and can post up correctly on the bag if the ball gets hit into the infield. I chose a guy who owns a few minor league ball clubs in real life as my first bagger. I think he can do the job with a flair, and if not, provide a comedic relief maneuver or two while out hugging the bag.

I decided to with Francis Xavier Cross from the film “Scrooged“. I have always thought this was a awesome Nuevo take on the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.” The film originally hit theatres back in 1988, and is still one of my favorite comedy movies for the holidays. I think that Bill Murray captured the perfect sarcastic essence of a socially detached Scrooge, and his comic genius shows brilliantly through in this adaptation.

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Second Baseman:

I wanted a Second Baseman who could be as quick as a rabbit (or bunny). He needed to have that rifle arm and accuracy to get the double play, or to cover the bag when Cousin Eddie launches a rocket to tag out a rambling polar bear trying to steal a base to get into scoring position. I with smart Ralphie Parker from “A Christmas Story” to play second base for me. The movie has been another holiday appetizer since its original screening date in 1983. Wonder if I can talk Ralphie into asking his Dad if he wants to sell that lamp yet?

In the film, Ralphie showed the type of moxie I want on Second Base who is smart enough to think on the fly to either talk about the notorious leg lamp, or just be quiet as a mouse. He also has the determination and spunk to keep pestering his parents for that Red Ryder BB gun. Hopefully the ball coming in hard and fast from Cousin Eddie from behind the plate will not put his eye out.

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Shortstop:

My Shortstop has to be extra agile and have smarts to think on his feet at the same time. He has to be able to use his internally cold instincts to decide if the throw should be made, or possibly cover second as the pivot man on a ball hit to the first base side of the bag.

I think, that Hermie, the dentist elf from “Rudolf the Red-Nose Reindeer” would be the perfect guy to man the hole position for the Express. He showed remarkable smart judgment during the TV special, which first hit the networks in 1964. And with over 46 years of intelligent moves, Hermie should be a valuable addition to the squad.

will-ferrell-stars-buddy-new-line-cinemas-elf-499141Third Baseman:

Playing third, I had to find a big guy who could move laterally and go blindly into foul territory for pop-ups. He also had to have some horizontal versatility towards the chalk on the left-field line. He had to be a power hitter to help produce runs and add some protection for our little squad. It had to be a movie character from the couple of years to add some youthful vitality and vigor.

My Third Baseman had to have the energy and the motivation to add to this teams awesome charismatic chemistry. The personality that fit like a glove perfectly to me was Buddy from the movie “Elf.” He has the comedic chops to take one for the team and would sacrifice his body. His quick wit and glove along with his power stroke should provide more than a few Kodak moments as his long high drives make it over the high walled snow fences.

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Left Fielder:

My choice for Left Field could not have two-left feet. He has to have the agility and the coordination of an athlete, plus run like a deer. He had to be sure footed and be able to dance in the outfield while chasing down flares and dying quails. The guy who I think would be a model Left-Fielder for this squad was George Bailey of “It’s A Wonderful Life“. I just hope George remembers to put some extra Zuzu petals in his uniform pants pockets before he takes the field. We know they are magical.

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Center fielder:

I needed to find a shrewd and sometimes calculating Center fielder. Someone who could snipe a base runner who made a mistake, or tried to score on his arm. I needed someone with a huge heart who would run and run all over the field and get the ball where ever it was on the field.

I needed someone who could exhibit some sense of emotion even if he is a problem-child at times, but plays the game on the team’s level too. For that reason, I picked Grinch from the movie “The Grinch“. I wanted someone who could go from bad to good in a heartbeat. If he did make a bad play, or a questionable action on or off the field, I could just say it was the “Grinch just being the Grinch”.

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Right-Fielder:

I wanted to find a Right-Fielder who was not be afraid of the snow wall, or of sprinting towards a pop-up down the icy foul line. I wanted to see a nice combination of horizontal or vertical movement towards the failing sphere. He needed to have a rifle arm and a uncanny wit about him to keep base runners honest on the base paths.

I chose Ernest from “Ernest Saves Christmas“. This 1988 sequel, to a sequel, to a sequel kept a long line of profitable movies going for over a decade. We needed that kind of staying power in our Right Field. A streak like that can be contagious on a team. If the team has that kind of confidence, they will go above expectations and strive to be the best in the Winter League.

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Designated Santa:

I needed a huge lovable character who could also slam the tar out of the ball for this spot in the lineup. Someone who evokes the bit of charm and the joy of the big guy himself. He had to be able to belly up to the plate and hit it a mile, or at least to the South Pole with his swing.

The guy I picked for this position has been cranking out several installments of his own movie franchise. I picked Scott Calvin as my Designated Santa from the movie, “The Santa Clause“. That kind of confidence and staying power will be needed in the clutch for this team. It also helps protect the younger hitters on the team by showing the power and the possible results of pitching to this Christmas giant.

First and Third Base Coaches’

Now that we have finished with the fielding and Designated Santa position, let’s meet the two extraordinary base coaches’ selected for the Polar Express. Both come with their own sets of particular unique in-game behaviors, and both can help base runners and hitters alike in the game situations.

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First Base Coach:

Over in the First Base box we have a guy who can make the ball seem to “freeze” in mid-air. He was instrumental in teaching players how to hit frozen ropes down the line for extra bases hit for the 2010 Express. This Coach has been described as a cold hearted soul, who can always melt you with just his smile.

His cunning direction and cool nature makes him the perfect First Base Coach for this team. I am talking about the always cool cat known as the Snow Miser. He was in the 1974 classic movie ” A Year Without Santa Claus“, and has been giving icy banter to opposing players for years. His cold demeanor is legendary. He uses his cold hard facts to make the opposition freeze in their tracks while trying to diving for low balls or foul pop-ups hit by the Polar Express. He is the kind of guy you do not want nipping at your nose, and the perfect Coach for this team.

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Third Base Coach:

Our Third Base Coach is a Christmas Hall of Fame legend. He had been blazing the trail like a beacon in the night for years pioneering the use of unique signals and well placed lighting to facilitate the proper transfer of anticipated moves and pre-arranged actions to Polar Express base runners’ and batters’.

His expert knowledge of reindeer games and his leadership expertise is unparallel in the Winter League. I am talking about the brilliant Rudolf. Since his first sighting on televisions in 1964, he has been leading a lighted path for children and players alike to the real spirit of Christmas.

His classic “Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” TV special is a holiday necessity that is even today without an equal. It is for that reason that he should be the perfect choice as the Third Base Coach for this high-powered squad of Christmas icons. Without Rudolf showing us the way on Christmas, we would be blinded by the darkness and might end up losing our way around the base paths.

It has been a great pleasure today giving you some of my All Time Christmas iconic players that had to take the field for this special squad.

There certainly will be your own thoughts and rationale for extra additions and subtractions of certain characters to this team, but unless these selected All Holiday baseball players moving on, or are retiring to the celluloid and video vaults, the true essence and the spirit of this team will live on forever in our hearts and minds……………………..

Merry Christmas to everyone in the MLBlogs.com community and beyond!!

            Rays Renegade

  

 

 

 

 

All-Christmas Squad 2009

 


Last Christmas season I started a new MLBlogs.com tradition by posting about my selection for the 2008 All Christmas squad composed of characters we all know and love from our favorite Christmas movies and shows. The usual suspects were invited on the team like George Bailey and little Ralphie, and of course, Rudolf. But I pondered long and hard on which direction to take this endeavor for 2009.

Since the “Evil Empire” took the trophy in 2009, I could always hit the “Stars Wars” human and machine memory banks and find more than enough characters and antics to post a pretty good line-up. But no, I decided to knock it up a notch or two and construct my own team of Super Hero’s who could take on last year’s team, the Polar Express , and might even win!

But I had to find the right meshing of personalities, and had to also toss out a few great performances by other actors in certain character’s roles to find the right combination to host games against the Empire and my 2008 team, the Polar Express. So with no further ado, let me introduce to you the 11 players and Coaches of the newly formed  N’oreastern Blizzard the, second franchise of the North American League

And like last season’s choices, this was a personal choice of super heroes with no Wikipedia references or visit to the local comic book store. This team will be based on the super heroes that were born, bred and ready for battle anytime against evil when I was a kid. So let’s get on with the formal introductions of my All Christmas squad for 2009.

Starting Pitcher:

This was kind of tough knowing that so many great super heroes could throw a baseball threw even the mightiest surfaces. So I decided to take it a different direction and use a hero that combines one of the five basic elements of life on earth.  He might be the youngest of the Fantastic Four, but the Human Torch was an easy choice to be my starting pitcher. Now this decision did come with some possible side effects of the baseball actually disappearing before it got near the plate. But I had a plan.

Added to this the definite possibility that the other team could chart his flame path to try and steal his pitch locations which led me to ask Jonathan Lowell Spencer Storm to throw a little extra puff of trailing smoke along with the ball to cover its path to the plate. I also dipped all 13 dozen game balls (the same number as the MLB uses per game) in a flame retardant liquid that would not leave a residue, but would leave the ball intact for its numerous flights to the plate during the game.



First Baseman
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This was also a spot where another large group of super heroes could man the position and be an excellent choice. But again,I decided to go with my gut instinct here and put Mr. Fantastic aka Reed Richards, the leader of the Fantastic Four at first base bag as much for his intelligence in the arts of alien biology and physics as for his unyielding confidence in his craft.

And because he can actually stretch out far and wide made him  another clear choice to get errant throws and also have superb dives and lunges for balls hit either to his left or right during the game. People might remember that when Mr. Fantastic is confronted with a scientific challenge he goes into such a state of pure focus that not succeeding is not an option for him. Just the sort of cocky, power-hitting first bagger this team needs to win.

Second Baseman: 

Here is the spot I think I am going to get the biggest feedback in the form of the player I picked for this spot. I have respected the job Akinora Iwamura has done with the Tampa Bay Rays since he came here from Japan, and I am going to make this position my homage to a Japanese Super Hero we all might not know. I have decided to give this spot to Super Sentai, who was actually a basis for the Power Rangers characters.

Unknown to most of us in the United States, this Super Hero series has been translated and brought to other cultures around the world from Brazil,Italy, Spain and Portugal to even the US where they were transformed into the Power Rangers. Super Sentai is my only super hero that has come from overseas to play America’s game, and has found his  rightful place among my team.

Shortstop:

Here is another position that might be up for debate, but the guy I finally decided on in this spot might be a bit of another baseball homage to the shortstops that have played in the MLB for years who seem to get a glove on balls that no one else could, or would get under normal circumstances. That is why Spiderman was my perfect choice for this spot on the field.

Spiderman aka Peter Parker was one of the only super heroes to not be a protege’ at one point to another super hero. But if you combine the web-shooting ability along with his uncanny spidey sense, he seems to be a natural for the spot. And with the mantra, “With great power comes great responsibility” spoken to him by his late Uncle Bob, Spiderman could actually maybe be a nice clone of a certain “Evil Empire” shortstop with his remarkable range and throwing accuracy.

Third Baseman:

This is another spot where I though uncanny ability to transform and stand tall and firm while guarding the line might be the perfect trait for the position. And knowing that games can be won and lost down the Rightfield line, I decided the Hot Corner would be patrolled by Spawn. The unique situation of Spawn having to fight supernatural and criminal elements to again see his wife after he was sent to hell gives him an extra dose of drive an
d determination here. 

Adding on the fact that most third baseman are viewed a bit as mercenaries, this former CIA agent fits perfectly into the mold of a MLB 3-bagger. And considering his character has been known to morph and change during his evolution, this is a perfect baseball analogy to how the job description at third base is an ever changing bag of tricks from  sprinting in for bunted ball and making odd angle throws, to full-body dives over the bag to snag balls screaming down the line at the speed of light.



Catcher:

This is one of the spot that was actually very easy for me to consider. The character taking this spot has to dive, block and basically be a human wall to the Human Torch’s hot tamale pitches that will be blazing a trail into the plate. That is why Thing from the Fantastic Four was the perfect pick.  As the founding member of the Fantastic Four, Thing also can be the field general that every team needs behind the plate.

Back that up with the fact the Thing was born on New York’s Lower East side, and you get a guy who is as tough mentally as he is physically. Born Benjamin Jacob Grimm, he was an avid football player, which will make him a perfect wall when he stands in front of the plate and blocks a runner from trying to score on him. And with his orange-colored skin, he will be an easy target for any member of the Blizzard’s pitching staff. Add on his comical tag line of: “It’s clobbering Time”, and you get one of the team’s pure power hitters.

Leftfield:

I wanted to use at least one member of the Batman franchise here, and decided to use the one that I thought conveyed the element of fear and strength in the character. For that reason, the Batman (Christian Bale version) is the clever pick to play down the Leftfield line based on the uncanny ability he has to leer, and that might keep guys from trying to stretch out singles into doubles. Just a glare from his eyes might freeze a runner between bases and hesitate just enough for him to get a quick throw in and nail him for an outfield assist.

Add onto that the fact he has enough piece of equipment and apparatuses on his utility belt to scale any wall, even the Green Monster and bring the ball back into play with no hesitation. Batman might not be as fleet-footed as the rest of this team, but he will make up for that with cunning anecdotes and sneers at the opposing pitchers.  Pop on the adage of having a pretty cool set of rides and you got a MLB player in the making here.

Rightfield:

Here is another spot that I thought demanded that I have one of the fastest super heroes in the corner outfield to not only run down balls maybe hit by Mr. Fantastic, but also hit near the Centerfield-Rightfield gap. For that reason, Flash seemed to be the perfect fit to this position. Because of his superhuman reflexes and how he violates the basic laws of physics, you might wonder why I did not put him at Shortstop or Third base.

Well, I decided that the Scarlett Speedster would be a nice deterrent to teams trying to not only run on his arm, but test his abilities to get to almost any ball hit his way. One of the greats attributes a Rightfielder can have is teams fearing what he will do once he has the ball in his glove or hand. Flash gives me that extra jolt of confidence that if a runner is trying to score from third base, the throw will be at the plate on time. 

Centerfield:

This one was actually another one of the easiest positions to for me to fill on this roster. Who else but Superman (Christopher Reeves version) could be seen patrolling the gaps and long distances to the Centefield wall. Partner that with a great ability to keep the ball in the park hit at any height, and you get a solid defensive outfielder who also can bring some super power to the plate.

Seriously, he could also be the guy who could take a few balls away from Batman in Leftfield, but it would be on a purely speed basis to secure the out and not be an ego thing. Mark that with his solid personal makeup and you got a guy that the fans would also enjoy having him autograph a ball with his eyes, or even pose for pictures strutting his muscles.

Closer:

Here is a spot I did not include in the 2008 squad, and I felt simply terrible about it as an afterthought. Every team needs a guy to button down a close game and give them that needed push to hold a team scoreless and then win in walk-off fashion. For that reason, I think the Punisher is the perfect man for the job.

Not only does the Punisher have those human flaw trademarks we all know and love in our closers, he has an ability to that antihero that some closer possess and use to their advantage. As Frank Castle, the Punisher will use whatever method is needed to get the end result that is desired. That, is the ultimate goal of every closer to have the game come down to his abilities and he conquer them single-handedly.

Designated Hitter:

I think there is only one choice for this position considering it has to be a postion of power and also great energy. Without a doubt, the prefect DH would have to be the Incredible Hulk. Just on his pure ability to hit the cover off the ball this spot is perfect for the green one. But also with his ability to change, he could be his green imposing self at the plate, and maybe turn into a speed merchant in his human form. But I think for the sake of arguing, he will try and maintain his angered state throughout the baseball game.



First Base Coach:

I decided to put in the First Base box the only female character. 
I decided that the Susan Storm also known as the Invisible Woman from the Fantastic Four, and also Reed’s wife would be the perfect fixture on first base. Think about it for a moment, you could have her invisibly interact with the opposing First Baseman and also get an extended conversations with her base runners and the other team will not have an idea about it. 

Flanker that with the possibilities of the Invisible Woman also taking a short jaunt and conversing with a runner on second base and you got no need for signals from the first base box at all. Add in the addition of using unseen forces to keep balls going fair down the Rightfield line either in the air or on the ground and you got a solid asset in the First Base Coaching box. And let’s not get started on bunts down the lines……

Third Base Coach:

This one is maybe more of my own personal plea to get this guy on the team, but I decided that the perfect signaler to men at the plate or on base has to be the Green Lantern.  Considering his power ring bring with it a great abundance of control over the mortal world, it can be used to alter the course of balls hit down the Third Baseline during games. 

Because of his relationship with the Team Manager, Green Lantern was added to the Coaching staff to also boost the confidence and will of the other super heroes on the team. During his career he had to morph himself a few times to fit the environment and the situations of a modern world. He can use his  life experiences to add another dimension to this team’s Coaching staff.   

Team Manager:

This was actually the easiest position to fill because if we are going to be playing in the North American League, then there is only one super hero who has the name recognition and also credibility to pull this team to victory. Captain America is the only choice for this spot…..period.
Combine the ability to shield himself from the opinions of the journalists and bloggers to stay focus and keeping a firm eye on the prize.

Boost that with the added dimension of being the team leader of the Avengers and you get a super hero with a firm grip of the things needed by a leader, and how to convey them to your troops without confusion and chaos. And considering the long and storied history of Captain America, he is a shining example of what you want your super heroes to be in real life. 

So there you go. That are my super hero picks for the 2009 roster of the newly formed second team in the North America League. Unlike the AFL or even the USFL, this baseball league will continue to expand with at least one team forming every Christmas season until we have enough teams to play every day of the holiday season.

This is my own little personal Winter League experiment, and with two teams already in the books, it will be fun to watch both the N’oreastern Blizzards and the Polar Express playing starting tomorrow on a cool and sunny Florida baseball diamond near you. Admission is free and remember, a hot dog always tastes better at the ballpark!

Sunday Rewind: “All-Christmas Squad 2008″

 

 
                 
 

Blogger’s Note:

I first posted this on December 16,2008 and wanted to include some of our favorite Christmas characters into a baseball scenario. So this is my All-Star Christmas Team for the 2008 season. Hopefully within the next few days I will also have a posting on my 2009 selection to the squad………Maybew this year I will pick Super Heroes..hmmmmm

I do not have one of these nights very often, but I  seem to get them more and more during the Holiday season. I do not know why, but I have  a bit of a insomnia around the Christmas Holidays. So I went on MLBlogs.com and was  strolling and checking out the Christmas blogs and “wish lists” when I thought to myself, I said “Self, what would be the ultimate Christmas baseball team?” So I thought it was the right time of the year to come up with a stellar squad of icons and characters for the holidays.

 

And being bit tired and delirious, I somehow answered myself that I should find the right combination of Christmas-based characters both human and cartoon characters to field the perfect Holiday baseball squad. Now I do not know why, but this sounded like a fantastic idea so early in the morning. So I hit into my past memories of great Christmas moments on film and television and mettled, cursed and prodded as I searched my brain for past names,  wild photos and even a airdate that the original movie/cartoon was presented to the world.

 
 
 
 

Let me tell you that sometimes even Wikipedia can’t help you on a quest for a team like this one. So I used every  memorable holiday phrase and  try to recount audible soundsfrom the past to try and determine the right pairing of  10 players and coaches for the Polar Express. Now I did this in a variation of using at least 5 cartoon personalities and 7 human figures as my fantasy team. Being that we are playing in the  North American League, I have instituted the Designated Santa on my team.
 

I think this squad as the right  hint of animation and perfect human element to make this team a sure fire winner in the Winter Leagues. So I will introduce my 2008 team moving from the 1-9 positions in the lineup, then I will divulge the  2 special coaches for the team. But we have to first begin with our outstanding mound presence on our squad.
 
 
  
                     
 
Starting Pitcher:
 
The starting pitcher for the North Pole Express is the one and only Charlie Brown. His  classic Christmas television special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” first hit the airwaves in 1965 and was an instant hit with kids of all ages.  So I decided to use Brown as my pitcher because of the  huge amount of past experiences while pitching during the Spring to Summer leagues down in the lower 48 states. Of course we know that he can sometime be de-clothed by a sharp liner back up the middle after he hangs one of his patented hanging curveballs. He has the experience and the fortitude to throw hard and long into games for the Express and will be a calming presence on the mound for the team.
 
 
 
 
Catcher:
 
I had to think long and hard about the right guy to catch for this team. I needed someone who had some brawn and might be dumb enough to sit back there and be ready for anything coming off the fingers of Charlie Brown. And considering all the plusses and minuses, I came up with Cousin Eddie from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. This movie first hit the movie houses in 1989 and also became an instant classic for it’s off beat humor and  funny situations. Also Eddie is a pretty big guy, and he looks like he could block the plate like an ice sheet.
 

Now that we have the pitching and catching battery taken care of, I have decided that we do not need any relief pitchers since we might have a 10-run rule going after just the 5th inning knowing the way Charlie Brown pitches to batters’. So let’s get you aquainted with the 5 infield positions on the team.
 
 
 
 
First Baseman:
 
I wanted to get a guy who has some baseball experience on first base, because we need a solid guy on this bag to protect the lines and also make therequired plays and positioning if the ball gets hit into the infield. I chose a guy who owns a few minor league ballclubs in real life as my first bagger. I think he can do the job with a flair, and if not, with at least a funny manuver or two while out on the bag.
 
 
 
 
 I decided to use Francis Xavier Cross from the movie “Scrooged” as my first baseman.  I have always thought this was a awesome take on the classic, “A Christmas Carol.” It was originally in theatres in 1988, and is still one of my favorite odd  comedy movies for the holiday season. I think that Murray captured the perfect sarcastic essence of Scrooge and his comic genius shows through in this  Christmas time remake. If you have a chance, you must catch this belly-busting redition of the Dicken’s classic tale.
 
 
                 
 
 
Second Baseman:
 

I wanted my second baseman to be fast and quick as a rabbit, or bunny. He needed to have the killer instinct and the speed to get the toss for the double play, or also cover the bag when Quaid launches a rocket to second to catch  a rambling polar bear trying to steal a base trying to get into scoring position. I picked the smart little guy Ralphie Parker from “A Christmas Story” to play second base for me. The movie is a all day affair on TNT nowadays on Christmas Day, and has been another holiday appetizer since its original screening date in 1983.
 
 
                
 
 

In the movie, Ralphie showed the moxie I want on second to decide on the fly to either talk about the notorious leg lamp, or just be quiet as a mouse. He also has the fortitude and determination to keep pestering his parents for that Red Ryder BB gun. Hopefully the ball coming in hard and fast from Quaid behind the plate will not put his eye out……..again.
 
 
 
                          
 
 
Shortstop:
 

My shortstop has to be quick and have smart reflexes at the same time. He has to be able to  use instinct to decide if the throw should be made, or to run and cover second as the pivot man on a ball hit to the first base side of second base. I decided to use a quick guy who is also small and nimble. I think, that Hermie, the dentist elf from ” Rudolf the Red-Nose Reindeer” would be the perfect guy to man the hole position for the Express. He showed remarkable smart judgement during the movie, which first hit the networks in 1964. And with over 44 years of intelligent moves, should be a valuable additon to the  2008 squad.
 
 
 
 
Third Baseman:
 

Playing third, I had to find a big guy who could move laterally and go blindly and swifty into the foul territory for quick pop-ups. He also had to have some horizontal versatility towards the hole or the  chalk on the left-field line.  He must be able to leap to and fro anytime it was called for in the contest. He had to also be a power hitter to produce some runs and protection for our little squad. It had to be a movie character from the last 5 years to have youthful vitality and vigor for the position. He had to have the enrgy and the motivation to add to the teams awesome chemistry.
 
 
 
 

The person who fit this position perfectly to me was Buddy from the movie “Elf.”  He has the comedic chops to take one for the team down the line and will sacrifice his body for his craft. Because of this, he was a hands down favorite to make the All-Frozen Tundra team during the time before the spring thaw. His quick wit and glove along with his quick wrists and power stroke should power the ball to all fields and should produce a slim chance of the opposition getting to his liners and high drives to the  high walled snow fences.
 
 
                      
 
 
Left Fielder:
 

My choice for leftfield could not have two-left feet. He has to have the agility and the coordination of a leopard.  And the guy has to adequately take the position and make it his own by exhibiting speed and smart thinking through the Christmas season. He has to be sure footed and should be able to dance in the outfield while chasing down flares and dying quails. The guy who I think would be a model left-fielder is George Bailey of “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  I just hope George remembers to put some zuzu petals in his uniform pockets before he takes the field. You know they are magical.
 
 
                       
 
 
Centerfielder:
 

I wanted to have a shrewd and calculating centerfielder. Someone who could get a baserunner to make a mistake and try and score on his arm, then he guns them down at the plate.
I needed someone with a huge heart who would run and run all over the field and get the ball whereever it is in the field. I also needed someone who could exhibit some emotion even if he is a problem-child at times, but play the game on our terms too. And for that reason, I picked  Grinch from the movie “The Grinch”. I wanted someone who could go from bad to good in a  heartbeat. And if he did make a bad play,or make a questionable play or action on or off the field,  I could just say it was the “Grinch being  the Grinch.” 
 
                               
 
Right-fielder:
 

I wanted a right-fielder who would not be afraid of the  snow wall, or of taking one for the team down the icy foul line.  If the ball was in the air long enough, I wanted to see distance and a nice combination of  horizontal or vertical movement towards the failing sphere. He needed to have a rifle arm and also a wit about him to keep base runners honest on the basepaths. I chose Ernest from “Ernest Saves Chrsitmas”. This 1988 sequel, to the sequel, to the sequel kept a long line of profitable movies going for over a decade. We needed that kind of staying power in rightfield. A streak like that is contagious on a team. If the team has confidence, they will go above expectations and strive to be the best in the Winter League.
 
 
 
 
Designated Santa:
 

I needed a huge character in this spot in the lineup who evokes the charm and the outward joy of the big guy himself. He has to be able to belly up to the plate and hit it a mile, or at least to the South Pole with every swing. The guy I picked for this position has been cranking out movies for a long time, and also has played the part for several installments of his own movie franchise. I picked Scott Calvin as my Designated Santa from the movie , The Santa Clause.” He has made this a blockbuster hitting streak by hitting  a trifecta of pitches out of the park in this series of movies. That kind of power will be needed in the clutch on this team. It also helps protect the younger hitters on the team by showing the power and the possible results of pitching to this Christmas giant.
 

Now that we have finished with the fielders and DS position. Let’s meet the two  extra ordinary base coaches’ selected for the Polar Express team. Both come with their own set of particular  unique in-game behaviors, and both can help baserunners and hitters in the situations during  offensive appearances at the plate.
 
 
                       
 
 
First Base Coach:
 

Over at first base we have a guy who makes the ball seem to freeze in mid-air. He has ben instrumental with teaching players how to hit a frozen rope down the line for extra bases for the Express. He has been described as a cold hearted soul, who can melt you with his smile. But his cunning directions and cool and calm manner make him the perfect first base coach for the team.
 
 
                      
 
 
 
I am talking about the cool cat also known as the Snow Miser. He was in the 1974 classic movie ” A Year Without Santa Claus“, and has been giving icy banter to opposing players and baserunners for years. His cold demeanor on the basepaths has been legendary for the past 34 years. He uses his cold hard facts to make the opposition freeze in their tracks while diving for low balls or foul pop-ups.
 
 
 
 
Third Base Coach:
 

Our third base coach is a Christmas legend and a member of the Kringle Hall of Fame.  He is almost as famous as our Designated Santa. He had been blazing the trail like a beacon for years pioneering the use of  unique signals and  well placed lighting to facilitate the proper transfer of  anticipated moves and pre-arranged actions to baserunners’ and batters’ for the Express. He knowledge of reindeer games and his leadership expertise is reknown in the Winter League. I am talking about the brilliant Rudolf.
 

Since his first sighting on televisions in 1964, he has been leading a lighted path for children and players alike to the real spirit of Christmas. His classic “Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” special is a holiday classic that is without equal. It is for that reason that he should be the perfect third base coach for this high-powered squad of Christmas icons. Both a legendary character by actions and by reputation.
 
 
 
 
For without the right leader, like Rudolf showing us the way on Christmas, we would be blinded by the darkness and might lose our way. So it is with great pleasure that I have selected and commissioned the first 2008 All-Christmas Team. There will be additions and subtractions by characters moving on or retiring to the  celluloid and video vaults, but the true essence and the sprit of this team will live on forever in our hearts and minds……………………..Play Ball!!
 
 
                             
 
 
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