Former Rangers owner Brad Corbett dies

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Former Texas Rangers owner Brad Corbett has died. The Long Island-born businessman who made his fortune selling PVC pip to the oil industry in Fort Worth owned the team from 1974 to 1980. He was 75.

Corbett’s tenure as Rangers’ owner was Steinbrennerian. He was the defacto GM. He signed a lot of free agents, but not many good ones, and traded for big names like Al Oliver and Bobby Bonds. He also went through a lot of managers, employing Billy Martin, Frank Lucchesi,  Eddie Stanky, Connie Ryan, Billy Hunter and Pat Corrales. Players came and went pretty darn fast in those days as well.

The team did, however, experience its most success up to that point during his stewardship, winning 94 games in 1977 and finishing above .500 four times. Ultimately, though, they were no match for the mid-to-late 70s Kansas City Royals and real success eluded the club.  Corbett sold the team in 1980.

Two great Mariano Rivera stories

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In addition to getting unanimous support from Hall of Fame voters, Mariano Rivera’s election is getting universal praise from fans and the baseball community. I mean, at least it seems so. If you see someone out there in the wild really mad that Rivera was elected, please, let me know. But don’t approach such people. They’re probably dangerously imbalanced and might cause harm to you.

From what we’ve seen, anyway, there is no one who doesn’t love Rivera and his election. That love has come out in the form of anecdotes people are sharing this morning. I’ve seen two that made me particularly happy. One “ha ha” happy, the other “aww” happy.

The “ha ha” comes from Michael Young, who shared the ballot with Rivera this year and whose Rangers actually beat Rivera’s Yankees in the 2010 ALCS. Not that they had much success against Mo:

Now the “aww.” It comes from Danny Burawa, who had a few major league cups of coffee after coming up in the Yankees system. From his Instagram last night:

In 2012, in the middle of my first big league spring training, I tore my oblique during a game (I wound up missing the whole season). First cuts hadn’t been made and the Yankees let me stick around to rehab with the big leaguers for a few days. The next day, after finishing my rehab, I returned to the locker room which was totally empty. I’m sitting at my locker getting ready to go home when in walks Mariano Rivera. Considering I was a nobody A-baller, I kept my eyes down on my feet and minded my own business. Next thing I know, he’s in the chair next to me, telling me his story, about failing as a starter, about an injury he had when he was younger, about how the setbacks we think are fatal usually end up as speed bumps on a longer, grander road. This is the greatest of all time, taking the time to cheer up a nobody, for no other reason than he thought it was the right thing to do. Great pitcher, greater human, congratulations Mo!

People use that “great player, better person” construction a lot. I often roll my eyes when I hear it because it’s pretty subjective and, I suspect, the “better person” part can’t be vouched for outside the subject’s friend or peer group. Doesn’t sound that way with Rivera, though. He simply sounds like a prince of a guy.