Pinch Hitters | Sweeney vs Harris | Ep 35

The pinch hitters | You’ve been sitting on the bench for the entire game and now your name is called by the manager to grab a bat and get to the plate in a key moment. Long one of baseball’s toughest jobs, the pinch hitter becomes the spotlight with just one chance to make good.

With the DH firmly in place in the AL, the job of the pinch hitter has been left largely to the NL. True pinch hitters have been replaced by versatile players signed for defensive work rather than just those precious moments at the plate.

Lenny Harris and Mark Sweeney sit atop MLB numbers for pinch hitters who made their living coming through when it mattered most.

Mark Sweeney

Sweeney, 14 years in the majors, is second in pinch hits (175) and first in pinch hit rbi. They played in the majors at the same time for 10 years and were keenly aware of one another.

Lenny Harris

Harris, an 18-year MLB veteran, is the all-time MLB leader in pinch hits (212) and most pinch hit at-bats.

Here are the stories of their most memorable at-bats, their preparation secrets and their memories of watching each other perform. They both relate their respect and admiration for the man each passed at the top of the pinch hit list – Manny Mota.

Insights, laughs, haunting at-bats and a Mother who saw through it all, it’s all here.

Step up to the plate and enjoy.

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Gary and I would like to thank everyone who listened to our podcasts as well as our guests who shared their stories, including successes, failures and laughter. Also, a special thanks to our awesome audio guru David Roberston, and our webmaster Zach Kutlow, who make The Sports Rivals podcast a reality.

Looking back, we had so many fun episodes this past year highlighted by:

-Bill Raftery and P.J. Carlesimo poking fun at their coaching rivalry (did Bill really have priests ref his home games?).

-Mark Allen and Dave Scott taking us step-by-step through their intense & grueling Iron War triathlon.

-Hall of Fame pitchers Jim Palmer and Dennis Eckersley remembering their amazing journeys including that fateful pitch by Eck to Kirk Gibson.

-And who could forget the wild ride with Steve “Psycho” Lyons and Rex “Bug Eater” Hudler?

Fasten your seatbelts – we’re looking forward to more rivalries that make the games in 2021.

Thanks again and Happy New Year!

ps        Please let us know which rivalries you’d like to hear.