Mar 11, 2010, 8:32 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — It's been nearly five years since Rick Short made his brief stint with the Nationals, but the infielder continues to hold a special place in fans' hearts. A veteran of 12 minor-league seasons, Short finally made his major-league debut on June 10, 2005 and proceeded to lace an RBI single to left in the fifth inning against the Mariners (helping lead the Nats to the eighth of their 10 straight wins that year).
Because the Nationals needed to clear a roster spot the next day for newly acquired right-hander Ryan Drese, Short was designated for assignment after only one at-bat, prompting some to wonder if he might decide to retire right then and there with a career 1.000 batting average. But the then-32-year-old felt he still had plenty more baseball in him, so he returned to Class AAA New Orleans and carried a .400 average well into August and earned another promotion to Washington in September.
After going 6-for-15 with two homers in the majors, Short received a two-year contract offer to play in Japan for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He wound up playing the last four years there, making a name for himself as a consistent .300 hitter.
Now retired at age 37, Short has returned to the United States and got a job as a special assignment scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was at Space Coast Stadium earlier today, hoping to watch the Nationals-Astros game before it was rained out, and sat down to talk about his short-but-memorable time with the Nats andRead more »
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
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