Player Profile – # 7/8 – Eric “The Hammer”

Eric is a founding Regent of Tapey Beercone and acting Co-Commissioner. His record of participation includes playing is some of the game’s most storied locals, and affecting some of the game’s most pivotal moments. Eric excels in every aspect of the game; he is one of the game’s most feared batters, he runs with reckless but effective abandon, his fielding achievements are many, while he rarely pitches his results are exemplary, and his drinking exploits have established him as one of the game’s heavy weight chuggers. But to best understand how Eric profiles as a Tapey Beercone player, one must only look to the event which led to the christening of his being nicknamed “The Hammer”:

The setting was a tightly contested season three game at Bridge Beach. With his team down by two runs in the bottom of the third, Eric’s squad was down to there last out of the inning. Pitcher Jeff “The Natural” Pitel had allowed two runners on base, but had yet to concede a run in the inning, and he had pitched his way to a two strike count against Eric.

Now just a strike away from a shutout inning, Jeff let loose a pitch which looked like an easy take, clearly heading both low and to the outside away of the strike zone. Maybe it was a mistake, but more likely the pitch reflected multiple aspects of Eric’s characteristics as a player, as Eric is a feared batter, and pitchers will usually shy away from the strike zone in a favorable count. In addition to this, Eric is not a selective batter, he aggressively swings at any pitch he thinks he can hit, and he’s usually right. This instance was no exception.

An example of a mighty swing from “The Hammer”.

Even with two strikes on him, Eric made a powerful swat at a pitch which was closer to his shoes than his knees, and further away to the other side of the plate than he himself stood. And the result, as is very often the case, was a colossal fly ball pulled to deep left field. The ball’s flight can best be described as orbital, as it sailed into the overcast Morro Bay sky it could be observed only by the smoke trail left behind it, and it is unclear how many layers of duct tape ablated away during reentry. What is known is that when it landed it cratered into the beach sand out of reach of even the fastest outfielder despite it’s accentuated hang time.

The immediate result of the play was an easy game tying triple, but this was not enough for Eric, as his aggression extends behind the batter’s box to the base paths. He didn’t slow up as he approached third, and he didn’t care to look as the retrieved ball from the outfield flew past third into foul ground. He hustled on to home for the go ahead inning ending run. The play was the most impactful of the game, increasing Eric’s team chances of winning by 15%. The game was stopped, and owing to his characteristically elevated BPI, Eric was christened on the spot, as Beerpope Hammer I.

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