Jerry Stiller, the comedian best known for playing Frank Constanza on “Seinfeld,” died Monday at the age of 92 — and with it, a baseball player from the 1990s was unexpectedly trudged into Twitter’s trending topics.
As any “Seinfeld” devotee knows, we’re talking, of course, about Jay Buhner.
Jay Buhner isn’t a Hall of Famer by any means. He was just an All-Star once while playing 15 years in the big leagues for the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees. He’s remembered for a few things, though — his menacing look at the plate, pairing with Ken Griffey Jr. in the Mariners lineup, and, oddly enough, one of the best Frank Costanza moments on “Seinfeld.”
“Seinfeld” loved baseball, with the famous cameo from Keith Hernandez and all the George Steinbrenner jokes. On the show, George Constanza was employed by the Yankees as an assistant to the traveling secretary, which brought forth many baseball-centric jokes.
In this famous scene that’s getting shared across social media again, Seinfeld’s version of George Steinbrenner comes to see Frank and Estelle Constanza to tell them their son George was dead. Frank Constanza, played brilliantly by Stiller, responds not with grief about his son, but by lambasting Steinbrenner for trading Buhner to the Mariners.
Here are the quotables for those of you who don’t have it memorized:
Frank: What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for? He had 30 home runs, and over 100 RBIs last year. He’s got a rocket for an arm. You don’t know what the hell you’re doin’!
Steinbrenner: Well, Buhner was a good prospect, no question about it. But my baseball people loved Ken Phelps’ bat. They kept saying 'Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps.'
R.I.P. Jerry Stiller. And, yes, the Jay Buhner trade remains one of the worst of the era for the Yankees.
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