Friday, April 6, 2012

I want a Thrilledge Trifecta

I'm gonna thrill ya tonight, ooh baby
I'm gonna thrill ya tonight, oh darlin'
Thriller night, baby, ooh!

Lastings Milledge is a perfect example of a 1st round talent not living up to their potential.  Milledge or Thrilledge as he was sometimes referred to in Pittsburgh was selected out of high school by the New York Mets in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 2003 draft.  He became the youngest player in the league when he joined the team in 2006 just months after his 21st birthday.  He would hit .241 that season playing both left and right field.  In the years that followed, Milledge began getting a rap as a bad teammate and had troubles off the field.  He appeared on a rap song with one of his friends which gained a lot of controversy due to the song's lyrics.  Mets front office was not pleased by the controversy and traded Lastings to Washington the following year.

Here's some pictures of Milledge's failed music career.

While with Washington, Lastings had a solid season in 2008 as a 23 year old when he batted .268 with 14 HR and 24 SB while knocking in 61 runs.  Injury troubles began to hurt Milledge in 2009 and he was eventually traded with Joel Hanrahan for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to the Pirates.  He continued to rehab before joining the Pirates.  During his year and half stint with the Pirates, he was just a place holder for future outfielders like Jose Tabata and Alex Presley.  He hit .282 in 599AB with the Bucs, while posting an offensive WAR of 0.1.  His defensive WAR was actually below replacement level with a -2.1 total over his 171 games.  Strangely enough, it was his bad routes and defense that made me love the guy.  He was a typical Pirate in 2009 and 2010.  Sometimes I think he would purposely wait on a ball before making a move for it.  This lead to many diving plays by Milledge, some of which he caught, some of which got away.  All in all though, it gave him the nickname Thrilledge.

He is currently playing for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Japan where he will most likely become a cultural icon with his style of thrilling plays.

Besides a few Topps flagship base cards of Milledge in his Pirates uniform and a 2010 Upper Deck, the card below is the only card of Lastings I own.  I bought it at a card show for $1.  I know that he has had a few relic cards over the years and I don't really have a preference what card I end up with, but I would really like to make a trifecta of Thrilledge.  Anybody got some Lastings to trade?  I need a rookie and relic.  Non flagship Topps would also be nice to add to my collection.

FUN FACT: Lastings is not a typical name.  Seriously how many people did you go to school with named Lastings?  The story as told by the Pirates broadcasters is that Lastings was the youngest of several siblings and his mother called him Lastings because it would be the last child she would have.

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