06/25/2005 3:36 PM - After over two seasons of wowing crowds with mammoth home runs and unmatched offensive productivity, T-Bone fan favorite Eddie Pearson said goodbye to the team to join the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican League. The Mexican League is looked upon by affiliated baseball as the equivalent to AAA.
Pearson's depature leaves a vacant clean-up spot on the lineup card for the first time since the T-Bones acquired the slugger from St. Paul in June of 2003. Though Pearson's presence both on the field and clubhouse will be sorely missed, T-Bones manager "Dirty" Al Gallagher believes it's the best choice for Pearson.
"Our job is to get a guy ready to play in the big leagues. Eddie did the job for us for two years and he deserves the opportunity to play at the next level," Gallagher said.
A former major leaguer himself, Gallagher believes his responsibility as a Northern League manager is to prepare players for the big leagues and holds no ill will towards Pearson for making the decision.
"For me to be resentful would be incorrect," he said.
Always a fan favorite, Pearson's last game was, appropriately enough, Eddie Pearson Bobblehead Night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. The T-Bones walked away 6-2 winners, and fans took something home with them to remember the team's most decorated player since the franchise moved to Kansas City in 2003.
Pearson leaves the T-Bones having played in all 32 games this year while batting .301 and leading the team in both home runs (9) and RBI (35).
The league's MVP in 2003, Pearson was named the independent baseball "Star of Stars" for overall statistical excellence in each of the last two full seasons. Pearson was also named the all-independent league designated hitter in 2004 as well as a mid-season and end-of-season all star last year. The "Big Fella" was walked intentionally seventeen times in 2004, setting the league record, and had received free passes nine times in 2005; as well, the respect shown for him by the Northern League was evident in the odd defensive shifts adopted when Pearson came to bat. In just over two full seasons as a T-Bone, Pearson hammered 53 home runs.
The T-Bones have placed Pearson on the inactive list. In past seasons, Mexican League stars have finished the season with the Northern League teams for whom they previously played.
Please click here to view Pearson's career stats.