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Show me a Hero: Michael Landestoy

A weird connection with Augie Garrido, a heroic homerun, and stellar defense; Michael Landestoy has become one of the best stories in TCU baseball this year, and he isn't done yet.

Melissa the God

On a Saturday afternoon, in an elimination game against Texas, Michael Landestoy ended Augie Garrido's career. Okay–sure, Texas' bad defense, and a large age-gap probably led to Augie's historic monumental career ending not in the way he dreamt of going out. I use strikethroughs because there's probably not an apt word for a guy who began his coaching career the winter before we went to the Moon, and before a bunch of people thought they went to the Moon when they took LSD at Woodstock.

Thinking how Garrido's career began before Jimmie's Hendrix's world-changing solo, years before Watergate, is pretty incredible. To say he's seen some shit is an understatement. I mean, the guy had won two College World Series in his first tenure at Cal State Fullerton before The Berlin Wall fell--one of which came before Reagan.

So for a guy who's seen what he has, to have his career ended by a kid who couldn't buy a hit last season is interesting to say the least. Last year, you might've had a better chance at raffling off an a garbage time bat to some drunk, twenty-something student, and he or she might've had more hits than Michael Landestoy last year.

Michael's dad, Rafael with the Astros

Michael's dad, Rafael with the Astros

Being the son of former-Major Leaguer Rafael Landestoy, who's the current International Field Coordinator--born in the Dominican Republic's Baní, a town known for bananas, coffee, and giving the United States names like Miguel Tejada and Odor-punching bag, Jose Bautista--Michael Landestoy at TCU seemed like baseball's equivilant of being a wealth management internship in New York the summer after your freshman year because your dad once brushed shoulders with Gordon Gekko in 1987. He's erased any talk of that.

In 20 at-bats, Landestoy managed one RBI, 6 strikeouts, and appeared

From Carlos Mendez's piece, he had this to say:

"I was worried for Connor," Landestoy said. "I didn't really say it was my time. I was just ready to go, because I knew my number was going to be called. I just wanted to make sure I did everything right in my preparation, my routine. That's something that's stayed consistent is my routine. My routine never slumps."

In that piece, it's hard to tell if Mendez is right. Not because his facts are skewed or judgement is wrong, baseball is just a weird sport. And while that seems like a weak pivot to explain why he may or may not go back to having a limited role in 2017; what remains now is that he's getting better. Yet, for many reasons, there's no better time for Landestoy to find a groove. For one, it's a good outlook for him to try and challenge 2014 Big 12 "Freshman of the Year", Connor Wanhanen's role next winter; and (secondly) some of baseball's greatest legends are guys like this. Guys like Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent--who both have a certain middle name if you enter New England--Cody Ross in 2010, [ONE MORE], live long after wherever their career takes them. Whether or not Landestoy's baseball career takes him to the Major Leagues like his father, he's already well on his way to becoming a TCU folk hero--and in some ways, already is.

Whether it was offensively in the Big 12 Tournament, or defensively in College Station, he's answered every call in 2016. Amid the TCU-athletic tradition of let's see how many of our good players can get injured and destroy chances of good things happening, he's been there to ease the pain.

What remains now is that Landestoy is the perfect avatar for this team's postseason run. Behind a surging Luken Baker, Jared Janczak, he's another ingredient the artesian stew that is TCU baseball.