In this summer of remakes, it’s old-into-new Jurassic Park, Mad Max and, yep, Dave Hostetler.
Back in 1982, “Hoss” was Joey Gallo.
The Rangers were scuffling along 33 years ago when they called up a 25-year-old slugger from Triple-A. Hostetler burst onto the scene, blasting tape-measure homers and give us eternally optimistic baseball fans reasons to believe – or at least head out to Arlington.
Though not being called up until May 29, Hostetler led the Rangers in homers and RBI. He hit 22 in only 113 games, and finished sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. He also, ahem, struck out. A lot. In fact, he fanned 113 times in his first 418 major league at-bats.
Ring a bell yet?
By the next spring training Hostetler’s whiffs cost him his job, as the Rangers gave their first base job to Pete O’Brien. Moved to DH, Hoss only hit 11 homers in 94 games before being sent back to the minors, and never resurfacing.
Here’s hoping this the rare sequel that turns out better than the original. But it’s impossible not to see a similar plot.
Though he’s four years younger at 21, Gallo powered homers and popped eyeballs immediately. But recently he’s fanning at an alarming rate.
He hit two homers in first two games and last week crushed a 437-foot blast off Clayton Kershaw in Dodger Stadium. Since then, however, he’s 0 for 13 with eight strikeouts. Yes he has five homers in 72 plate appearances, but also 29 strikeouts.
I’m not suggesting Gallo will deteriorate into Hostetler, a one-year wonder who got us giddy with his prodigious power only to flame out. But I am saying that – so far – yes, we’ve seen this movie before.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.