Monday, October 21, 2013

'Superstar or Shlabotnik' KBO Edition

This is a bit of a fun post to go along with the most recent one in my series of foreigners in the KBO.

In a few tweets related to my posts about foreigners in the KBO I've made references to a game called "Superstar or Shlabotnik."  This game comes from the old Baseball Today podcast from ESPN.  On the podcast, Eric Karabell and Mark Simon play a game superstar or shlabotnik, where one of them names a player and the other says whether that player is a superstar or a shlabotnik. 

The term 'Shlabotnik' is itself a reference, to a character on the comic strip Peanuts.  Joe Shlabotnik is a minor recurring character and Charlie Brown's favorite ball player.  Shlabotnik was demoted to Stumptown of the Green Grass League after hitting a minuscule .004 in the bigs.  Now that you know what a Shlabotnik is, you should have a pretty good idea of the game.  The criteria is of course pretty subjective.

So far on my blog I've covered the foreign players in the KBO from 1998 to 2000.  Among the foreign players for those first three years, the Joe Shlabotnik award goes to George Canale.  In 1999 he hit .184 in 38 at bats over 17 games for the Hyundai Unicorns.  The .184 was however better than his career MLB mark though.  You can compare is numbers with the rest of the foreign crop of 1999 in my earlier post here.

If you're interested in hearing the podcasts (and if you can find them), the game was played at least twice, first on 2/28/12 for batters and then again on 3/13/12 for pitchers.

As usual, comments are always welcome.

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