Former Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia, a 220-pounder, might have been the best at becoming that brick wall. Scioscia stood his ground well and knocked a few baserunners silly during his 13-year career.
"Scioscia was the best ever at blocking home plate," Brenly says. "He had it down to an art form, and he was a big enough guy that he could hang in there and take a hit. Usually, he would end up giving a lot more than he got."
In 1985, Scioscia was knocked unconscious yet hung onto the ball in a head-on collision with Cardinals first baseman Jack Clark, whose knees buckled as he headed toward the dugout. Clark had to be helped off the field.
Somehow, that collision wasn't Scioscia's worst, and it wasn't the worst for a baserunner against him. His best licking was saved a season later for Chili Davis, who charged Scioscia and came away with a separated shoulder.
"That was the hardest I've been hit, including my years of playing football," Scioscia says. "It was a heck of a collision. He was out that time. We were both out."
If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy. He chose to be a hero in my mind, and if that’s his flash of fame, that’s as good as it’s going to get, pal. We’ll have a long memory. Believe me, we’ve talked to (former catcher Mike) Matheny about how this game works. You can’t be that out-and-out overly aggressive. I’ll put it as politically as I can state it: There’s no love lost and there shouldn’t be.
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