Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Jim Traber, 1987 Fleer #482
Why do I watch just any old baseball game, as long as it's televised? It's a question that my family often asks. But you never know what you'll see or hear. Take for instance tonight's Cubs at Astros game on WGN, which has carried on into the tenth inning as I type. A few innings ago, the announcers were discussing the Astros' demonstrative closer, Jose Valverde. Former Arizona manager (and current WGN color man) Bob Brenly shared an amusing anecdote involving Jim Traber, who has called some games out in the Copper State. When Valverde was throwing smoke for the Diamondbacks, Traber got caught up in the excitement and coined a new nickname for the pitcher: Papa Grande. In his mind, he undoubtedly thought that if David Ortiz was Big Papi, Jose was the new big thing. Grande does sound cooler than Big, to be fair. But if you know your Spanish, you've already figured out that Papa Grande actually means "Big Potato". As far as nicknames go, that's pretty hilarious, and "Papa Grande" stuck with Valverde. I wonder how much pride Jim Traber takes in coining the moniker.