CINCINNATI -- This time last week, Reds fans were basking in their team’s proximity to contention and the induction of former players to Cincinnati’s Hall of Fame.
Even as the team has since faltered, Ken Griffey, Jr. returned to his palatial Orlando home and his fellow inductees Dave Parker and Ron Oester continue dealing with the realities of Major League veterans who were born too soon. While Junior is set for life, Parker and Oester are working men. Oester certainly more so than Parker who is dealing with the ravages of Parkinson’s disease.
Yet neither one seems the least bit inclined to lament their fates. It is hard to fathom the fortune Dave Parker would have commanded had his career unfolded just a few years later than it did. And Oester -- never lavish in anything he did -- could afford to go fishing forever had he cashed in on the bounty now bestowed on players half his measure.
And be forewarned: Don’t attempt them to get either to feel sorry for themselves. Whining isn’t in their DNA. Admirable considering the health-related hand Parker has been dealt and the underhanded deal that laid Oester low in 2001.
WCPO Insiders can read Janson's take on why he thinks Oester got passed over for his dream job with the Reds and why the Reds veteran remains a class act.