Before we had LeBron James wearing a Yankees cap to an Indians game, Wade Boggs and Johnny Damon switching teams and 2004, there was Mike Pagliarulo.
Pags—as I call him—was born in Medford, Massachusetts. So, it isn’t shocking that he liked to attend Celtics and Bruins games. Sure he was drafted by the Yankees in the sixth round in 1981, but that wasn’t enough to sway his love from the Celtics to the Knicks or Bruins to the Rangers – his kids must be ecstatic now as the Celtics are in relatively good shape, especially compared to the Knicks.
This card was printed 23 years ago. Times have changed. If this card were printed recently, there’d be a spotsnation chat about it immediately. He’d be booed lustily – by New Yorkers and Bostonians alike. It’d be pretty easy to boo Pagliarulo – he played the majority of his career at third base and posted a .349 slugging percentage. Further, he only got on base at a .277 clip. Frankly, it’s surprising he lasted 11 seasons.
What most surprises me: my memory of Pags is of a light hitting utility man, whereas, in reality, he earned his career in the 1986 and 1987 seasons during which he blasted 28 and 32 HRs, respectively.
For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.