Paul Bako, for at least one day, was more than one of my heroes.
He helped Cincinnati, the team that originally drafted him, mount a comeback against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, April 5.
Bako is a catcher that has bounced around the league for more than 10 years playing for such teams as the: Tigers, Astros, Braves, Marlins, Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers, Royals, Orioles, and now the Reds.
He doesn’t have a flashy glove, a .990 career fielding percentage, or a big bat, 15 home runs and .234 average for his career.
I know what you’re thinking, “How the hell is this guy one of your heroes?”
Bako is ordinarily a backup catcher, therefore his numbers reflect that. The most at bats that he’s ever gotten in a season is 305 and has averaged 180 at bats per year. This obviously doesn’t allow him to show his full potential.
Now you’re probably thinking, “There’s no way that, with those numbers, he could possibly be that much better if he was to play every day.”
You’re probably right, because his other numbers are not special either, but these are not the reasons that he’s one of my heroes.
The reason he’s one of my heroes is because when he was on the Cubs I decided to start him in the video game every game I played.
And guess what? He’s a double machine in that game.
Every at bat, double into right center field. He led the league in batting that year with a .413 BA and led my team to a World Series win with a clutch double in the eighth inning.
I couldn’t ask for anything more out of my catcher. He calls a great game (yeah, yeah I know it was me calling the pitches) and he was almost always hit a double.
Here’s to you Paul “The Double King” Bako for coming through in the clutch.