MLB’s 5 Most Famous Guest Instructors for 2014

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Source: hueytaxi via Flickr

Source: hueytaxi via Flickr

Spring training is upon us, and with it comes the inevitable deluge of former players hanging around the clubhouse, brought in by the organization for publicity and the hope that some of the magic will rub off on the current roster. As a marketing gesture, it makes a lot of sense — why pay attention, as a fan, to what is in essence warm up baseball? Cynics be damned, it’s still cool to see the legends out doing their thing, even if they’re succumbing to the ravages of time like everyone else.

As a game so heavily invested in the past, baseball is a natural growth source for nostalgia. Iconic players are just that — iconic, and with the encyclopedic knowledge of statistics that the avid fan (the kind of fan that’ll show up for spring training) holds on to, it’s wild to see a former outfielder in the flesh after he’s hung up his mitt, now exactly where he’s always going to be in relation to his peers. Plus, it’s always nice to be in the same vicinity as someone who was/is really good at a sport. They tend to be impressive in the flesh.

As Derek Jeter, who said he didn’t have any plans to be a special instructor when he had his wink-wink nudge-nudge “not a retirement press conference” retirement press conference, told the NY Daily News that, “It seems every year there are more and more ex-teammates turning into coaches.” That’s awesome. Here’s five of the most famous former players that are hanging out at spring training this year.

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