Sid Bream is partially responsible for my obsession with Major League Baseball. If you are a BIG baseball fan, you can probably guess the moment where I became hooked. However, out of fairness to Bream and is mediocre legacy, I think I owe it to him to recap his entire career.
Bream was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2nd round of the 1981 draft. Bream did not come to the big leagues straight from high school having played his college ball at Liberty University. If you are not aware, Liberty University is for the batshit crazy and was founded by the late Jerry Falwell. That is the same Jerry Falwell responsible for these very memorable quotes:
- “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”
- “The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews”
You know what? This isn’t a Falwell post, it’s a Sid Bream post and I won’t hold his choice of college against him. Back to Bream…
Bream ripped through the minors very quickly and debuted for the Dodgers in 1983. He played first base almost exclusively and that was his role as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers. In September of 1985 he was shipped to the Pirates in a the deal that sent the LEGENDARY Bill Madlock to the Dodgers.
Sid went on to claim the 1st base job in Pittsburgh for the next five seasons. He had some decent years there, highlighted by the 1990 season. That year, Sid had an OPS+ of 124 while slugging 15 homers and driving in nearly 70 runs. That Pirates club lost to the Reds in the NLCS, but it was not Sid’s fault as he hit .500 with a homer in the series.
That offseason, the Pirates decided to give the first base job to a young Orlando Merced and let Bream sign with the Atlanta Braves. The Pirates had no idea Bream would come back to break their hearts. The Braves and Pirates both won their divisions and played one of the more memorable NLCS in recent memory. The series reached a seventh game which concluded with one of the greatest moments in playoff history. The radio broadcast of what happened next is below:
Bream, one of the slowest players in the league, scored the series clinching run as he beat the throw home from a young, Barry Bonds. Bream had no business going 2nd to home on that play, but he made it anyway. What a big dog.
Anyway, Bream’s career really peaked at that moment and he is forever a piece of baseball history because of that play. Sid played two more years and a year in Houston before falling out of the big leagues for good at the age of 33 in 1994.
Bream now works as a motivational speaker (duh!) and a minor league hitting instructor. He left baseball with a .264 batting average and 90 home runs. Sid Bream, I salute you.