by Jesse Behr | @jj_behr | email@example.com
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said: “There are no second acts in American lives.”
While it’s unlikely Mr. Fitzgerald had Nate McLouth in mind, you have to wonder what the second act in Pittsburgh holds for “Nate The Great.”
All-Star. Gold Glover. “Great.” These were all words ascribed to McLouth prior to June of 2009, when he was dealt to Atlanta for prospects Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, and Gorkys Hernandez. Now, after signing a one-year, $1.75 million dollar contract on Wednesday, McLouth returns to Pittsburgh as just “Nate The Bench Player.” Has quite a different ring to it, don’t you think?
You wonder what happened to “Nate The Great”? As I continue to remind readers, I followed the Pirates as closely as any healthy human being should from May 2008 to early 2010 when The ‘Burgh Blues ran in existence. And to Pirates fans, McLouth was the miniature version (5’11”,185 pounds) of superman.
This throw during the 2008 All-Star game, and his eventual Gold Glove award selection, put him on baseball’s national radar. However, the few that had been following the Pirates, or (what I suppose were) the many that followed McLouth in his days at the University of Michigan saw something special.
July 26th, 2011.
So much traffic.
I couldn’t tell you what was moving slower that night: time or traffic. We were siting in the Walla’s van, which had become just another member of that evening’s “freeway parking night lot.” I was with the usual gang (Rybo, Greg, Wolkester, Rick Nau, Matt and Dave Walla) as we headed back from Casino Morongo. Morongo was our home away from home – we could legally gamble there at 18-years old and not have to worry about being screwed over at Uncle Pete’s. The biggest drawbacks to the Morongo trips were the rides back (and that’s not counting our losses on the casino floor or the enlarged parking tickets we’d receive).