The Big Hurt recently had a little visitor: a former munchkin.
Mickey Carroll, one of the munchkins in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, met up with 6’5″ Blue Jays DH Frank Thomas at the Jays spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla. on Sunday. The 4’7″ Carroll, 87, talked and exchanged autographs with the Big Hurt.
Now, when I think of spring training, this isn’t the first image that comes to mind. But, throughout a February that produced a frenzy of bizarre spring training storylines, this one was undoubtedly the most refreshing. Would Lou Piniella and Mark Prior already be scuffling if they had a munchkin in their clubhouse? Would anyone be worried about Curt Schilling’s weight problem if Carroll were stomping around Fort Myers declaring “We thank you very sweetly for doing it so neatly” (this in fact was one of Carroll’s lines in the movie…after Dorothy’s house fell from the sky and crushed the Wicked Witch of the West)?
It seems as if many of baseball’s biggest problems can be overshadowed by the mere presence of a small person. Just ask former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, whose frequent entourage included the late 1’9″ Nelson de la Rosa.
I congratulate Frank Thomas for recognizing the link between little people and baseball success. He is truly a man among boys…er…munchkins.
Ken Williams who?