Friday, January 9, 2015
NAMES OF THE GAME: WONDERFUL MONDS III
When Wonderful Terrific Monds III's grandfather was born, great grand pappy gazed at his first-born son after 11 daughters and proclaimed:
"Wonderful, just Terrific.''
Not known is if his next utterance was, "Hey, drop the 'just' and that's a helluva name!''
In any case, Wonderful Terrific Monds was born and fortunately the name wouldn't die with him. The Monds Squad was just beginning.
Later came Wonderful Terrific Monds Jr., a defensive back who played a season with the San Francisco 49ers after being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1976 draft out of Nebraska.
Eager to broadcast that awesome, dynamite name further into the world, WTMJ passed it on to two sons. The oldest would become the 50th pick of the Braves in the '93 MLB draft at age 20. The speedy outfielder never made it to the majors, as the talent-rich Braves were beginning their dynastic decade.
Possessing good speed but not much power, WTM III averaged 23 steals over his seven minor-league seasons and was successful 77 percent of the time.
His best season was in '94, playing for Single-A Macon and Durham, when he slashed .280/.330/.483 with 47 steals, 12 homers, 12 triples and 25 doubles.
He joined the Rockies' organization in '98 and played for Double-A New Haven, where he was the Eastern League All-Star Game MVP and led the league in steals with 41.
Monds III, shown above on his '95 SP Top Prospects Autograph card from Upper Deck, ended his career in '99 with Double-A Chattanooga without getting a major-league at-bat.
As a Names of the Game honoree, Monds 3.0 always will be simply Wonderful, Terrific.