Hey, Presto: A Summers Preston Hall of Fame Case
You sit yourself down in the stands and know it’s going to be a good day. Your hometown Blaseball team, who you love, is hosting the Mexico City Wild Wings today, and it’s even Burke Gonzales’ day off, so things are looking up for the home team. The weather’s non-threatening, and a fine afternoon of Blaseball is ahead. Four seconds later and the scoreboard operator flips the Visitor total to “1” as the ball from the first pitch lands somewhere in the carpark and a gust of wind in a Wild Wings uniform crosses home plate. You’ve just met Summers “One Pitch” Preston and her party trick.
It’s Hall of Fame season, and the inaugural Blaseball Hall of Fame class is being decided. Everywhere, voters are asking the important questions of themselves. How big a hall do I advocate for? What statistics do I consider important? Do I value longevity or peak performance? What is fame? A hall? Of?
I can’t pretend to answer all of those questions for you. What I can tell you is that, whichever way you cut it, Summers Preston deserves to be in the Blaseball Hall of Fame based on her statistical performance and her proximity to league events.
Summers Preston, This is Your Life
Summers Preston is a line-up player for the Mexico City Wild Wings. She was on the Wings roster for the Return of Blaseball, and played every season of the Discipline and Expansion Eras. In season 17 she switched teams to the Miami Dale as a result of Feedback weather, before the Will of the fans brought her back to the Wings in exchange for Trinity Smaht at the conclusion of season 20. Summers remained on the Wild Wings until the team was enveloped in a black hole in season 24. As well as regular games, she was a batter for the Coffee Cup runner-up FWXBC.
When it comes to Summers’ Hall of Fame case, I will start by stressing that playing in all 24 seasons of the Discipline and Expansion era is really, really, really hard to do. A player can be incinerated, shelled, vaulted, shadowed inadvertently, shadowed deliberately, staticked, erased from existence due to loss of soul, and probably a few corner cases that I have forgotten about. Yes, avoiding incineration doesn’t appear to be much of an individual skill (though playing against the Hades Tigers regularly in Wild High adds a degree of difficulty), but Summers was considered valuable enough on the teams she was on that she was never sent to the shadows to get that stat boost.
Speaking of stats and incinerations, Summers tangentially involved in a number of the big events of the Discipline Era. That’s right, it’s time for Summers Preston Fun Facts!
- Did you know that Summers Preston was briefly a Wyatt Mason? During the Wyatt Masoning (and subsequent Unmasoning) three players not on the Unlimited Tacos were briefly renamed; Marco Stink (who was renamed Wyatts Mason), Rivers Clembons (who was Wyatt Masons), and Summers (Wyatt Mason). That Interviews decree was really something, huh?
- Summers Preston used to be allergic to peanuts, before the Wild Wings’ Peanut Mister, Mr. Peanut, cured her of the allergy in game 88 of season 15. Before being cured, Summers swallowed three peanuts in her career, but the effects of the first one were mysteriously erased due to the events of The Grand Unslam. Causality can get a little weird sometimes.
- The record for the most players hit by pitch in a game is five, when Jaylen Hotdogfingers pitched against the Wild Wings on day 105 of season 7. Summers Preston was the only player of the five on an active roster at the end of the Expansion Era (Axel Cardenas and Ronan Combs were in the shadows of Garages and Magic, respectively, Yong Wright was incinerated in season 22 while on the Wild Wings, and Miguel Wheeler was incinerated as a result of the instability of being hit by the pitch two days after being struck).
- Summers Preston crossed home plate to Shame the Lovers and score the winning run of the season 7 Internet League Series, bringing the Wild Wings their only championship win. Some might argue that this event does not belong in the list of significant events of the Discipline era, but those people aren’t Wild Wings fans.
Numbers Go Up!
When it comes to statistical achievements Summers was very good for a very long period of time. Most seasons, she was the best batter on the Wild Wings (a team that historically could be generously described as “not good” at offense), and as such she holds 14 of the Wings best 26 batting seasons by OPS, which led me to nominate her as leadoff hitter in the Wings’ All Sauce team. She sits on the career leaderboards for Total Bases (5th, 5295, one spot higher than the already inducted Jaxon Buckley) and Triples Hit (3rd, 431). The list of players that have more than 9000 plate appearances contains a who’s who of potential inductees; of them Summers has the third highest OPS (Behind only Baby Doyle and Baby Triumphant) and the seventh highest batting average (0.28) and home runs (529). Critics have pointed out that she didn’t cross the 1000 RBI mark, but it’s more accurate to say that she crossed it in season 22, became a subtractor, and then crossed it again going back the other way, making her the only player I could find to cross the 1000 RBI line twice! Indeed, the only player to lose more RBI than Summers over the last two seasons was Adelaide Judochop (though if Jaxon Buckley batted in season 24 they would almost have certainly surpassed Summers as well).
It is true that Summers’ most impressive stats are counting stats, and that such cumulative stats can be prone to exaggeration particularly in the Expansion Era where short lineups became popular. Summers never played in a line-up shorter than 8 players, and in the early Expansion era played on a ten or eleven person lineup, meaning her accumulated numbers a result of the quality of her play over many seasons, and not an environment manipulated to inflate numbers.
Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain
Summers Preston was a very good batter for a very long time. While you could never claim she was best in the league at any point, she endured as many others rose and faded into obscurity. One wonders if she had spent her time playing for the Tigers and the Crabs, rather than the Wild Wings and the Dale, if there would be the need for this article, as more voters would be more familiar with her work. If your idea of a Hall of Fame is a small hall only holding the best of the best, well, I thank you for making it all the way down here, and understand why you won’t vote for Summers. But if you want a bigger Hall of Fame, one that tries to tell the fullest definition of excellence across the history of the league, then you should vote for Summers Preston, the best batter the Mexico City Wild Wings ever produced, one of the best batters on a Championship winning team, and one of the best batters you’ve likely never heard of.
Air-Condition the Hall of Fame: Vote Summers Preston.