This year marks the 10th anniversary of one of the greatest moments in baseball…
From Time Magazine June 21 1999:
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME PLATE
Over the years, baseball players have devised numerous ways to outsmart umpires: corking the bat, throwing spitballs, using steroids. But amazingly, until last week, no one had tried the fake mustache. The ingenious ploy was hatched by New York Mets manager BOBBY VALENTINE after being thrown out of a game for arguing with the plate umpire. Once ejected, players and managers are forbidden to go back into the dugout, but that’s exactly where a camera spotted Valentine. Even sporting facial hair, shades and a hat, Valentine was recognized by officials, who later suspended him for two games and fined him $5,000. Valentine will appeal the suspension, claiming he was only near the dugout and meant no disrespect. “I did it to lighten up the team,” he said. And it looks as if for two games at least the team will be one manager lighter.
An interesting view on Valentine can be seen in the documentary “The Zen of Bobby V.” A fascinating look at how the country of Japan has embraced Valentine and conversely how he respects the nation and baseball in the country. Also includes interviews with Benny Agbayani who played under Valentine for the Chiba Lotte Marines during their 2005 championship.