Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Eyes Have it!

This blog has featured guys with glasses, guys with crossed eyes, guys with eyes closed, and guys with painted portraits that just totally butcher the eyes.  As for this post, well, it’s all those things ... and more!

The wandering eye …

Vic Harris was up for eight years, mostly as a weak-hitting (.217 career average) backup infielder.  He also tried his luck in Japan, with one terrific year (22 homers!) and then not so much.

Not a lot on ol’ Vic out there.  In fact, the one post I found, on, is almost 99% about the author.  Then again, most posts on that blog are about the author as well.  ;^)

There was also a Negro Leagues player of the same name.  He played for and managed the legendary Homestead Grays.  He was at the helm for eight straight pennants.

Wandering the other way …

Leon McFadden was a poor man’s Vic Harris, if you can imagine that.  McFadden was up for three years, getting in only 121 at bats (and finishing with a .215 average).  He also tried his luck in Japan, with very similar results.

Leon’s main claim to fame is probably attending high school with four other future major leaguers: Brock Davis, Willie Crawford, Bobby Tolan, and Bob Watson.  

There is also an NFL player named Leon McFadden.  Now, what are the chances of that? Wait ...  Hold on a minute …  It’s Leon’s son!  

Alright, now let’s try the other eye …

I remember this guy!  He pitched for my beloved Pirates for four years in the mid-70s.  

Though he was up for only those four years, he did have a decent 29-23 record and 3.72 ERA.  Classic case of arm trouble, I’m afraid.  He was out of baseball by age 27.

By the way, Larry is the son of former Negro League pitcher Artist Demery.  And his brother, Art, also played pro ball, in the Royals organization.

If you want to find some more info on this guy, be sure to type “Larry Demery baseball.” There’s another Larry Demery out there whose main claim to fame is shooting Michael Jordan’s dad.

Wandering, wandering …

Not to be confused with Lou Merloni (and if you know who I’m talking about, you probably spend entirely too much time thinking about baseball), Lou Marone notched only one card. He was up for two years with the Bucs, for 35 innings one year and a cup of coffee the next. 

That first year actually wasn’t so bad.  I’m talking a 2.55 ERA, a 1.035 WHIP, and 25 strikeouts.  Not sure what happened to him.

Marone was mostly known for being overweight.  I’m talking 5’9” and 220 lbs.  His other claim to fame was working as a bartender in the off season.  Maybe these things are all connected somehow.

Wandering inward … both of them …  

Tom House had an okay career.  He was up for eight years, mostly in the bullpen, and finished with a 29-23 record, 33 saves, and a 3.79 ERA. The highlight, though, may have been his catching Hank Aaron’s 715th home run ball in the Atlanta bullpen.  

You are getting sleepy …

Jim Beauchamp was a minor league star, hitting .337 with 31 home runs and 105 RBI to win Texas League MVP one year, 34 homers the next, and .319 with 25 home runs and 77 RBI another year.

Unfortunately, that really never translated into anything remotely similar in the bigs. Over 10 years, he never got more than 162 at bats in any one year. Over his 600-some total at bats, he hit .231 with 14 HRs and 99 RBIs.

He was involved in a ton of trades, including one with Leon McFadden (see above). That tends to happen with those minor league stars that never pan out. I guess everybody just thinks they’ll be the ones when the magic finally happens. 

After his playing years, he coached in the Braves organization for a number of years. Overall, he spent 50 years in baseball. His son Kash (yes, Kash) also played professional ball.

You are getting ugly, very ugly …

Yup, the dude really looks like this.  I see he made the all-ugly team on this site, the wonderfully named Gin and Tacos.

Um, yeah, he sure did make up for on the field, though, didn’t he?  In fact, I think you can make an argument that he belongs in Cooperstown.  

I have a theory that you can compare players across different eras by seeing who led their leagues in standard, Triple-Crown categories like homers, RBIs, wins, and ERA.  It lets you see, for example, how sluggers equate over the dead ball era (Gavvy Cravvath), the live ball era (Babe Ruth), and the juice ball era (Barry Bonds).  
And what I’ve found is that players who have led their league five times or more have a pretty good bet of making it into the Hall.  So, guess what?  Yup, over a period of three years, George led the NL in RBIs three times, homers twice, and runs once.  Add those all up, and you get … hold on minute … um, er … five!  Unfortunately, the Baseball Writers of America do not seem to be able to add as well as I do.

Yes indeed, George has starred in this blog before.  Here he is looking angry.  You’ll probably be seeing some more of him in the future.  He’s quite a looker.

I’m thinking this one might’ve been touched up, I don’t know.

Yup, you’ve seen this guy here before too.  Previously, we’ve recognized him for his eyebrows and for the insane degree to which he chokes up on his bat.  I think I may have already shared everything there is to know about Felix Millan on those posts.

Oh, one thing I didn’t mention was his later coaching career.  He coached in the Mets’ minor league system for several years and, today, does a fair amount of international clinics for MLB, in places such as Italy, the Netherlands, and Africa.  He also started a Little League on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, to encourage baseball in the inner city.

There is something funny on the back of this one.  The little quiz asks, “Which pitcher once had 3 putouts in one inning?”  The answer is Bob Heffner … though I have the sneaking suspicion Bob is not the only one to accomplish this incredible feat.  Two pop-ups and covering first on one to the first baseman’s right, correct? Heck, I think my 15-year-old has done that.

It’s bad enough that your last name sounds just like the female reproductive organ.  But when they don’t care enough to take a second shot to make sure your eyes are open … 

Well, as you can probably imagine, there’s not a lot of information out there on Mike Overy. In fact, I’m going to have to rely on the stats on almost entirely for this post.

Mike’s major league career was very brief (and rather ugly) – 5 games, 7 1/3 innings, 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs.  Interestingly, though, he did strike out eight.  His fielding was even less fortunate – 1 error in 3 chances, for a .667 average.

By the way, Mike’s real first name is Harry.  Yup, like in Hairy Ovary.  No wonder he went by Mike.

Hey, I did find something …  In Angels Journal: Year by Year and Day by Day with the Los Angeles Angels, by John Snyder, Mike is mentioned as part of the disastrous 1973 California Angels draft.  Mike and one Pat Kelly were the only ones to make the majors, playing only eight major league games between them.

That handsome devil to Mike's left?  Don't worry - you'll be seeing plenty more of Greg Minton.

1 comment:

  1. Vic Harris was traded by the Rangers to the Cubs with Bill Madlock for Ferguson Jenkins.

    Larry Demery was traded to the Blue Jays during spring training (1978, I think) and was promptly shipped back as damaged goods. I don't think he ever played in the majors again.