Mariner 9: A Space Mission Or Whatever

In 1971, NASA sent Mariner 9 to Mars. That season, #9 on the Mariners was Manny Trillo. So NASA kidnapped him, shoved him in a rocket, and sent him to orbit the red planet.

Becoming the first major league infielder to orbit another world, Trillo became quite a celebrity. The papers wanted to know whose shirts he wore. The fame went to his head, and NASA had to remind him to take his protein pills and to put his helmet on. Luckily, his spaceship knew which way to go.

Sadly, we’re not sure what’s happened to Trillo–NASA lost contact with Mariner 9, explaining, “The circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong.” Ground Control received one last message from Trillo: “Tell my third base coach I love him very much.” NASA answered, “He knows.”


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