Monday, May 7, 2012

John Stearns: Bad Dude

It is a well-established fact that starting a sentence with "it is" creates a sense of grammatical ambiguity. It is also a well-established fact that anyone whose nickname is "Bad Dude" cares little for grammar and is likely illiterate.

Which is why I feel completely confident in taking creative liberty with the story of former New York Mets catcher John "Bad Dude" Stearns1, a four-time All-Star on some of the worst Mets' clubs of all time.

Stearns was forged by the jotunn from the fires of Muspelheim. Information that points to Stearns' birth as a natural occurrence in 1951 in Denver was also forged, although for this the jotunn instead used a fountain pen and an early form of facsimile machine.

The norse gods created Bad Dude as a mere mortal, though he was meant to do their bidding and to enforce the gods' rule over men. They granted Stearns nearly unlimited strength, which he used in sporting contests to crush men's wills. As a linebacker on the University of Colorado football team, he removed an opposing receiver's spleen through sheer force. One shocked teammate remarked, "That's bad, dude."

Stearns, illiterate and his brain cavity clogged by spare muscle, echoed the phrase, "Bad dude?"

After being drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1973, Bad Dude blasted through the minor leagues, leaving a trail of broken pitchers in his wake. He played a single game with the Phillies in 1973 before being traded to the New York Mets in the offseason.

Stearns remained with the Mets for the rest of his career, where he proved to be an above-average hitter, a solid defender and a capable receiver in spite of his muscle-clogged cranium. Opponents regarded him as a hard-nosed player, and he led the National League in Pirates of the Base Resistance Kill (POBRK) and Garrison Opportunities (GARR) in several years.

After hanging up his cleats in 1984, the jotunn finally agreed to grant Stearns a brain. In the time since, he's been a scout, manager and coach for several organizations. He also has come to grips with his role as a puppet for the Norse gods and has begun lobbying the United Nations for his international organization, Creating Awareness for the Abuses of Norse Gods (CAFANG).

Read a recent feature story on John "Bad Dude" Stearns here.

1 Not to be confused with John Stearns, who is definitely not a Bad Dude. Also, Bad Dude's resemblance to John Ritter is merely coincidental.

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