Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 05/3/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
Through more than a dozen seasons in his baseball life, Reggie Abercrombie has soaked up a whole lot of cheers, the ones that followed every hit and home run.
These days, the one that matters most belongs to Jacoby, his four-year-old son.
That's why Abercrombie is still on the field, at age 33 and 14 seasons into his baseball career. In that time, he climbed as high as the big leagues, and slid back down to the Mexican League and American independent ball. So yeah, the outfielder has seen it all -- but for Jacoby, it's all so new.
"That's my motivation, playing for my son," Abercrombie said. "My son is a big fan. I just want to keep playing, so at least he can come see me, and watch me play. He's just getting to that age that he knows daddy plays baseball. So it's just two or three more years, before I'm gonna sit down and watch him play."
Abercrombie will likely slide into centre field with the Goldeyes. The club flew him in on Friday to replace another former major-league slugger, infielder Rhyne Hughes, who had to bow out of the season with a heart condition.
Abercrombie already knows Shaw Park well, having played parts of four seasons with the American Association's Sioux Falls Canaries, where he hit .316 with 54 home runs and 213 RBI in 242 games. "Y'all got great fans," Abercrombie said. "I've been on the other side of this field... it's gonna feel good to be on the other side of that, instead of getting claps when you strike out."
Some of Abercrombie's new teammates also remember him well: Infielder Amos Ramon was out jogging around the field when the news broke that the, ahem, passionate outfielder was joining the Fish.
"That's going to be interesting," Ramon said, with a grin. "He plays hard. He's a little flashy, but that's Reggie's style... a guy like that in the outfield is gonna be nice to see."
Flashy? Back in the clubhouse, Abercrombie laughed. "I don't know about style," said Abercrombie, who is longtime friends with former teammate and Goldeye outfielder Ray Sadler. "I just try to go out there, and try to be myself, and have fun with it... I try to look good, so I can play good."
So what can Fish fans expect? Well, back in 2006 when he was with the Florida Marlins, he walloped a home run 486 feet. He has some experience, having played 180 major league games between the Marlins and the Houston Astros, where he batted .223 with nine home runs and 34 RBI.
"I just want to come out here and show (my son) that this game can be fun every day," he said.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2014 C3
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