In recognition of Friday’s release of the “everything plus the kitchen sink, even if it pisses off the fan base” Blu-Ray Star Wars box set, here are the baseball players whose names most closely match various characters from the Star Wars series:
Darth Vader – Sebastian Vader: Sebastian is an 18th round 2010 draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles. He’s had a good start to his Rookie league seasons in 2010 and 2011, averaging 9K and 6.9H per 9 innings. At 19 years of age, its not likely Sebastian is anyone’s father.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: (Obi-Wan) Ken Oberkfell: Oberkfell spent 16 years in the majors (1977-1992), mostly at 3B. Despite his long career, he was never named to an All-Star team. Between 1984 and 1989, he was Mr. Consistency, batting .269, .272, .270, .280, .271 and .269 respectively.
Jar-Jar Binks – George Binks: George Binks was better-liked than Jar Jar ever was. The ballplaying Binks even garnered a few MVP votes in 1945 as a 30-year-old rookie outfielder for the Washington Senators.
Jabba the Hutt – Jim Hutto: Unlike the Hutt, Jim Hutto was a reasonably svelte 5’11″ and 195 pounds. Hutto batted .185 in 101 plate appearances in 1970 at age 22, while subbing at five different positions for the Phillies. He then didn’t see the majors again till a cup of coffee in 1975. (Honorable mentions to Joba Chamberlain, and to a “J. Hutt” who played for the 1908 Pine Bluff Pine Knotts in the Arkansas State League.)
Boba Fett – Lou Fette: Fette spent 9 seasons in the minors before making his debut in 1937 at the age of 30. He compiled a 20-10 record with a 2.88 ERA in 259 innings, yielding a scant 5 homers all year. He finished 5th in the NL MVP voting that year. He was pretty much finished by age 33 though.
Chewbacca (“Chewy”) – Sadly there isn’t a single player whose name comes close. If we could somehow gene splice Indians OF Shin-Soo Choo with WWII era minor league 3B William Bacha, we might have something.
Luke Skywalker – Luke Steidlmayer: Steidlmayer could have used his own Obi-Wan Kenobi to help guide him along his perilous journey through the minors. Signed by the Padres in 2002, he bounced between Single and Double-A for four seasons, putting up good numbers in the bullpen and starting rotation, but never putting it all together. Today he is a lawyer.
Han Solo – Nathan Solow: Solow was drafted out of high school by the Phillies, but went to college (San Diego State) instead, becoming a rotationmate of Stephen Strasburg. After graduation, he wasn’t drafted, and is now working as SDSU’s scoreboard operator.