12.28.2009

Dennis Eckersley, 1993 Score Dream Team

Name: Dennis Eckersley, aka Yanni
Team: Oakland A's
Positions: Closer, musician
Value of card: Two drums of sepia toner
Key 1992 stat: One moonlighting gig
Music of the heart: Having become one of baseball's pre-eminent relief pitchers, Dennis Eckersley began searching for a new challenge in 1992, seeking to satisfy a creative itch. He tried his hand at painting, sculpting, writing and acting, but wasn't adept at any of them. But when he sat down at a piano that December, he realized what had been missing. Eckersley quickly mastered the instrument and formed a band that played his favorite style of music: new age. He began wearing bad sweaters over button-up shirts and completed the look with khakis and a leather jacket. Performing under the stage name Yanni, Eckersley's band took off in popularity, though his smugness, flowing hair and massive lip brush also earned their share of revilement. But his baseball skills suffered as a result, and Eckersley realized he could never have both worlds. He stopped touring and eventually faked Yanni's death in a bear-related accident in 1995.

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