Since the inaugural SweatSox season in 1981, hundreds, if not thousands of individuals have suited up in the red, black, and white (or the red and black, or the white and black, or that one weird year we all wore yellow and purple). But who amongst this crazy group of characters best represents what it means to be a true SweatSox? Due to technological limitations, we’ve never been able to answer this question, until now.
Over the past few years, our team of outsourced programmers have been busy developing an algorithm that truly ranks the greatest SweatSox of all time. Merely sorting our baseball players from best to worst according to their skills & stats is too easy, something the Brewers will probably do one day. We needed to go deeper.
Introducing: The SweatSox Power Index (SPI),
The SPI is essentially a self-contained artificial intelligence that factors in things like: contributions to the SweatSox franchise both on and off the field, the circumstances around the player joining and/or leaving the team, Hyjinx participation, financial debts, length of service, penis size, legacy, team & league awards, statistics, and so much more.
A few weeks ago, the keys to the AI were handed over, and we finally turned the SweatSox Power Index algorithm on and let it loose through our vast database. It took nearly a month of assembling and examining the information, but we’re happy to say the results are in. In celebration of Don Dorion’s life that ended abruptly in 1977, we’re only going to reveal the Top 77; and in the spirit of always leaving the audience wanting more, we’re going to reveal this list slowly, very, very slowly.
THE 77 GREATEST SWEATSOX LIST
77. Shane White (1.4 SPI grade)
Sneaking into the final spot in the Top 77 is Shane White, who is the brother of, and was recruited by: Eric White. Despite never recording a hit in his 9 games played with the SweatSox, Shane will best be remembered for his everlasting friendship with Dillon Lowry, and of course his patented second base positioning.
76. Vance Vance (15.54 SPI grade)
The man so nice his parents named him twice. Vance Squared pitched in 3 games for the SweatSox back in 2001, without making a single plate appearance. In fact, he could very well be the first one with a “pitch-only” deal in team history. His 11.88 ERA just didn’t cut it, even during a 1-win season, so he was cut too.
75. Adrian Delorey (29.68 SPI grade)
Adrian “Delete That Tweet” Delorey was truly a SweatSox ahead of his time. He tried to introduce fitness to a team that wasn’t quite ready to be in shape. He was basically the 2017 Chris Lidstone, 10 years earlier. Delorey might never have gotten a hit or win in his 5 games played, but he’ll always be remembered for what we all could’ve been had we turned 180 degrees around.
74. Daniel Villeneuve (43.82 SPI grade)
Sent to us by the Winchester Sox in an attempt at sabotaging our team, Daniel Richard Villeneuve came in with extremely high expectations after crushing his phone interview with the SweatSox. He was incredible on the field, striking out 3 batters in 1 of the 2 innings he pitched for us, and even better off the field, once picking up the tab on multiple Boston Pizza team pitchers (before he knew how much they were). So, the joke is on you Winchester. Your pawn is the 74th greatest SweatSox!
73. Kelly Adkin (57.96 SPI grade)
The 2011 SweatSox were twice minutes away from playing a game with only 8 players, but one man stepped up and turned an “automatic out” into a “basically an automatic out”. Adkin was 0/6 with 3K in those 2 games, but we didn’t default either of them. Thank you Kelly!
72. Wilfredo Farias (72.10 SPI grade)
Nobody remembers the circumstances around how or why Wilfredo played Game 3 of the 2004 season (a 10-5 GLE loss vs the Rockets) with us, but he is the only player in SweatSox history to go 0/1 for his career. The mystery factor has to be why he’s ranked #72.
71. Rene Brind’Amour (86.24 SPI grade)
The Dukes beat the SweatSox 11-10 on May 24, 2002. Several noteworthy things happened that game:
- the innings took so long that the game ended after just 4 innings.
- Marc Lett was HBP for the very first time.
- Marc Lett took the L after pitching the dirtiest possible complete game.
- And Rene Brind’Amour played his only game for the SweatSox, walking twice in 5 plate appearances.
To this day, Lett credits Brind’Amour’s support at SS that game for getting him through those 4 long innings.
70. Travis Webb (100.38 SPI grade)
Webb played with the SweatSox for just one season in 2002, but the story of his mom leaving her sweat pants somewhere in Ray Cuthbert’s basement (along with the old SweatSox stats) is one of the oldest documented SweatSox tales. Travis was a fine kid, but not even his mom could keep him and his .135 average on the team during the Great Roster Purge of 2003.
THE 77TH-70TH GREATEST SWEATSOX:
69. Craig Hunt (114.52 SPI grade)
Cumming in at the highly coveted #69 spot is Craig Hunt, which is ironic given his family’s position on fellatio. Craig stepped up bigtime for the SweatSox, who were desperately looking for players in the hours leading up to the 2014 Kingston Tournament. Not only did he suit up and play for us, he kindly hosted us after the game through the next morning. I’m pretty sure I, Shaun Keay, woke up somewhere on his floor.
68. Thomas Steffler (128.66 SPI grade)
2014 wasn’t the only year we had problems fielding a tournament team, the same thing happened in our final game of the 2008 Nepean Brewers tourney. For those who may have forgotten, the ’08 tourney was the one where Josh “The Christmas Tree” Ramage got lit up by the Burlington Bulls for 18 runs in our opener, and where GLE skipped the Hyjinx of the next game following a bottom of the 7th blown save against the Crushers thanks to a classic 3-error SweatSox inning. So anyways, Thomas Steffler, brother of Dave Steffler (who once gave up a monster HR to Cory Bond at Southgate), played SS for us that game. He was really good. We lost 2-1 vs New Lowell though.
67. Marcel Levac (142.80 SPI grade)
2014 wasn’t the only year we had problems fielding a tournament team, the same thing happened in our final game of the 2008 Nepean Brewers tourney. For those who may have forgotten, the ’08 tourney was the one where Josh “The Christmas Tree” Ramage got lit up by the Burlington Bulls for 18 runs in our opener, and where GLE skipped the Hyjinx of the next game following a bottom of the 7th blown save against the Crushers thanks to a classic 3-error SweatSox inning. So anyways, Marcel Levac, teammate of Dave Steffler (who once gave up a monster HR to Cory Bond at Southgate), pitched for us that game. He was really good. We lost 2-1 vs New Lowell though.
66. Geoff Kemp (156.94 SPI grade)
Geoff Kemp, a J.S. Woodsworth Secondary School alumnus, was the first spare we called on during our inaugural Tier 2 season back in 2006. We had a big game against John Groves’ Mustangs and we couldn’t afford an automatic out. Kemp came up big in his only SweatSox appearance, getting a hit, walk, and 2 runs scored in a 13-6 win. Other game notes: GLE earned the complete game win, and Craig Cornell jacked his first ever non-Trillium HR, a deep shot to right off who we’re going to assume was John Groves.
65. Pierre Viau (171.08 SPI grade)
The SweatSox have had many spares over the years, but we only made one drive all the way to Winchester to play his only game for us: Pierre Viau. I’m not sure why we never had him out again, since Pierre is technically the all-time SweatSox leader in career batting average after he went 2/3 in Josh’s hometown. Other than that breakout performance, it was a pretty standard game in Winchester: we lost 15-5, Marc Lett pitched an inning & two thirds, Cory hit a two-run shot, and Army mistimed the trip and showed up 2 innings late.
64. Phil Johnson (185.22 SPI grade)
Phil the Out Fielder (or was it Part time Out Fielder), not to be confused with the PtOF OG Phil the Gryphon “Boss”, played 5 games for the SweatSox over 2 seasons, before eventually getting the call up to the Tier 1 Panthers. Johnston was a steady hand in the outfield, holding his own while watching our infield mess things up per usual, and ended his SweatSox career with a respectable .417 OBP. As a special bonus, we have visual proof of one of his appearances:
63. Danny Desclouds (199.36 SPI grade)
He grew up playing Pinecrest Little League, was drafted by the L.A. Dodgers, played in the US for Connors State College and the Division 1 Northwestern State Demons, before coming back north to play for the Ottawa Rapidz, Ottawa Fat Cats, and the Kanata Selects, but Danny Desclouds’ career highlight was playing 2 games in 2009 for his true hometown, the Stittsville SweatSox. Double D currently sits 4th on the SweatSox all-time Strikeouts-Per-7-Innings leaderboard (11.20), behind Kent Johnston (14.00), Mark Dorrington (11.53), and I, Shaun Keay (11.32).
62. Keith Fenn (213.50 SPI grade)
The eldest of the Fenn brothers played 5 games for us back in 2008, making him like the 50th Pinecrest guy to play for the SweatSox. We DH’d for him most of the time, but his biggest contributions were catching games so that Marc Lett could finally get some rest (since we hadn’t invented a Murdock, Nelson, Stinson, or Pidhirny yet).
THE 69TH-62ND GREATEST SWEATSOX:
61. Phil Samojlenko (227.64 SPI grade)
Philip Samojlenko, brother of Dave, and colleague of Chris Lidstone down at the CRA on Heron Road, played 9 games for the SweatSox back in 2000. To this day he can be heard boasting around the water cooler how he’s just one of two SweatSox players to only play in the millennium year, which is interesting because as everybody knows since there was no year zero, the millennium didn’t actually begin until the year two-thousand and one, which would make his stat one year off, and thus, quite lame. Son of Sam (as we often called him) batted .222 and averaged a strikeout a game, before he and his buddy John Mendonca retired from the SweatSox after the season.
60. Jon Bartlett (241.78 SPI grade)
Jon “A Nu Start” Bartlett played just one season for the SweatSox back in 2002, hitting .250 in his 11 games. Anus Tart Bart is 1 of just 27 SweatSox to have ever hit a triple, and he currently has the 5th highest ERA in team history (15.40) behind I, Shaun Keay (25.87), Chris Chapman (24.50), Ray Cuthbert (21.00), and Marc Lett (17.99). He did not survive the 2003 Dorion Finger Snap. RIP.
59. Pat Marion (255.92 SPI grade)
Pat Marion played 19 games for the SweatSox over a two-year period (99-00), striking out 9 more times than I, Shaun Keay, did over that stretch (25 vs 19). Marion was a lifetime .135 hitter, but will always be remembered for his parking-lot marionette shows he’d perform for the teams after the game, featuring his puppet Mario.
58. Harry Jee (270.06 SPI grade)
Harry G. is the first of the active players to make the Top 77 SweatSox List, having played in just 3 games so far in his NCBL career. He’s also the first player in team history to be signed as a Friday-only specialist. Harold is hitting .429 so far this season, and he recently bought his very own helmet and bat. We have high hopes for this one!
57. Cypress Hernandez (284.2 SPI grade)
Cypress is the second active SweatSox to make the list, going back-to-back with his old Montreal teammate Harry Styles. There isn’t much of a sample size yet on these rookies, but Kumar has made it perfectly clear that he’ll do absolutely anything the team needs him to do: chase foul balls, bullpen catch, coach bases, bring beer (even though he only drinks the hard stuff), and even play in games when he absolutely, positively, has to.
56. Ryan Myles (298.34 SPI grade)
RyMy was part of the historic SweatSox Rookie Class of 2003, but was so overwhelmed by the skills of his fellow rookies that he only played the one year. Myles hit .189, walked 10 times, and stole 5 bases in 16 games for the SweatSox. He was also no stranger to the early Hyjinx days, making at least one appearance on a flash photography camera with Andrew and Christopher at the Prescott.
55. Bruce Turcotte (312.48 SPI grade)
Who can forget the year 2002, the season with 2 Bruces. The non-Gilbert Bruce had just 5 hits in 13 games (.167), but racked up 11 RBI over that stretch (2nd behind me that year). He is also the first player on the Greatest SweatSox countdown to have hit a HR, and his 1:5 HR-per-Hit ratio is good enough for 2nd all time. Any idea who is #1?
54. James Martensen (326.62 SPI grade)
James Martensen, the man who died in LF on a Friday only to be reincarnated at SS on a Sunday, then spent the rest of his days trying to play both positions at the same time. James, the inferior of the 2 Martensen NCBL’ers, spent the 2010 season with the SweatSox, hitting .196 over 18 games. He also pitched 17 innings, with 5.66 of them coming in this game:
THE 61ST-54TH GREATEST SWEATSOX:
53. Bryan Fenn (340.76 SPI grade)
The second of three Fenn brothers on the countdown played a full season with the SweatSox back in the summer of 2008, despite it being Bryan’s least favourite of the 4 seasons. Old Man Winter is equally recognized for his excitement when we’d get One More Win, as well as his ability to draw One More Walk when needed. The One Minute Wonder was almost always “On My Way!”, playing in 22 of our 24 games that season (.200). B-Fenn is also the first Shaun Keay Accolade winner to appear on the greatest SweatSox countdown, striking out a team high 18 times in ‘08 – Oh My Word!!
52. Dan Arsenault (354.90 SPI grade)
It took 17 places, but we finally have a player appear on the countdown with a win as a pitcher on his resume. Dan Arsenault played the 2002 season with the SweatSox, pitching in 32+ innings over 6 games, finishing with a 1-3 record. Although he batted just .128 in 16 games, his 8 stolen bases earned him the “Stealy Dan” nickname he continued to use in his role as Director of Parliamentary Affairs for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. He too did not survive the Dorion Snap.
51. Kevin Singer (369.04 SPI grade)
One of the first players the modern day SweatSox physically went out on a recruiting visit for was Kevin Singer. Originally signed as a pitcher (5.92 ERA), Singer is better remembered for his stick, batting .367 in 10 games for the 2007 SweatSox. Unfortunately, if any team is thinking of signing him, he must first return his black and white team jersey that’s still outstanding.
50. Gaelen Murphy (383.18 SPI grade)
Whalen Gaelen “Dylan” Murphy played 11 games for the SweatSox back in 2000, batting .231 in 32 plate appearances, but he might just be the fastest man to ever play for this historic franchise. His 1.18 stolen-bases-per-game is the highest of all time, ahead of Eric White (1.01), Denver Hunt (0.74), Armando Navarro (0.62), and Kent Johnston (0.51). Unfortunately, Murphy left after just 1 season to go perform “The Big Game” with his buddy O’Brien at the Paramount Theatre, adjacent to MSG.
49. Sylvain Viau (397.32 SPI grade)
The SweatSox have always dreamed about having a player would could play a good shortstop, throw a few good innings, and hit a few good balls. Pierre’s brother tried his best to fill this need for us in 2011, but finished with: 5 errors, a 7.59 ERA, .293 batting average. We already had a Ross, so the Irishman had to go. Sylvain did pitch in 8 games without earning a win, which is 2nd most all time ahead of James Martensen (7), and well behind Jason Klein (18).
48. Ian Stewart (411.46 SPI grade)
The Man Who Wishes He Could Dunk played the 2010 season with the SweatSox, batting .140 in 23 games. The Carlingwood Frank Ryan native was much more impressive off the field though, winning the highly coveted Mr. Hyjinx Award in his only year on the team, before being promoted to the Black Sox as their go-to Chicken Man.
47. Stefan Lavictoire (425 SPI grade)
Stefan Lavictoire was part of the great SweatSox Rookie Class of 2003, but quickly jumped off the ship when he could see the direction of the team was onward and upward. The Great Canadian Grocery Boy hit .383 over 15 games, and now leads (.444) the undefeated Tier 4 Coyotes (11-0) in their quest for a perfect season. When the Coyotes ultimately win the pennant and move up to Tier 3, Lavictoire has his eyes set on the Naturals to continue his Tier 4 career with.
46. Justin Pidhirny (439.75 SPI grade)
Justin Pidhirny was born like 10 or so years ago, he joined the team like last week, he once brought the team beer (no ice) in his baseball bag, and now he’s the 46th Greatest SweatSox of All Time, according to the SPI. Our furry little rabbit is also catching every game for us in the Brewer Tournament this weekend, which sounds bad but that’s only like 15 innings of work, 12 if we can be the visiting team every time.
…to be continued (refresh daily for updates)