Cory Lidle

October 11, 2006

Cory Lidle’s favorite word should have been aloha, which means both hello and goodbye. Here’s his 1998 rookie card, fittingly showing him in the uniform of a team that sent him packing before he ever played a single game for them. He’d made his major league debut the year before for the New York Mets, then was the thirteenth pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1997 expansion draft. This was already the fifth major league transaction involving Lidle, who would be tossed around by fourteen such transactions in all before crashing his single engine airplane into a New York City skyscraper. The Diamondbacks, who had gotten him from the Mets who had gotten him from the Brewers who had gotten him from the Twins, passed him on to the Devil Rays who passed him on to the A’s who passed him on to the Blue Jays who passed him on to the Reds who passed him on to the Phillies who passed him on to the Yankees. He was never in one place for longer than two years, and twice in his last three years he was traded in mid-season. Early in his final year, even before the last of the transactions, Lidle had spoken of his new hobby in glowing, almost spiritual terms, as if he’d discovered the salvation of the journeyman. “No matter what’s going on in your life,” he said, “when you get up in that plane, everything’s gone.”


  1. 1.  I often ride my bike these days down to the El Monte, CA airport. It is a little municipal airport where prop planes like the one Cory Lidle crashed take off and land. There is a bike path with a rest area that runs by it. I often blaze it and watch the planes for a while there. I wonder if Lidle was intending to fly his plane home to West Covina, the next city over from El Monte by landing at the El Monte airport? I know that a street in West Covina by the sweetest little league field ever built has Lidle’s name.

  2. 2.  man, was it really already two years ago that he crashed that plane? sometimes i feel like i have been abducted by aliens and subjected to time lapse.

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