Friday, December 13, 2013

Just Plain Goofy (‘70s Version)

Looking goofy is a timeless pose in baseball. We’ve got it in the 60s and the 50s and … Heck, there’s probably a photo out there of Alexander Cartwright looking seriously dorky.

Señor Ron could simply not get enough of thees beisbol!

Hard to believe from this shot, but Ron Blomberg was actually Jewish. As a matter of fact, when his career was done, he managed the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, in the Israeli Baseball League. And his autobiography was titled Designated Hebrew.

Ron was quite the high school star, lettering in four sports. He received 100 scholarship offers for football and 150 for basketball. He’s the only high school athlete to have ever been chosen as a Parade All-American in three different sports. Ron was the first pick in the 1967 draft.

Interestingly, though, Ron’s major league career really didn’t amount to all that much. You’re probably familiar with Ron from his being the first DH in history. Other that that, though, he was up for only eight years, getting over 300 at bats only once (barely). Though he did finish with a .293 average, he only hit 52 dingers. We can probably put it all down to lots and lots of injuries.

It’s a screwball!  (And so was Bob.)

Actually, Bob Reynold’s pitch was a fastball, straight down the middle. He regularly was able to hit 100 mph, thus earning the nickname of “Bullet Bob.” 

Up for five years, he finished 14-16, with a 3.15 ERA, and 21 saves. After MLB, he also played in Japan and Mexico.

There’s a great story out there about Bob and Frank Robinson (here from

After being sent down to Triple A by Indians player/manager Frank Robinson in 1976, he found himself facing Robinson in an exhibition game. Reynolds retired Robinson on a fly ball, then angrily yelled at Robinson, demanding to know why Robinson sent him to Triple A. Robinson promptly ran across the field and punched Reynolds out. Reynolds never returned to the majors.

I will cast my spell on you.  And I will strike you out!

You’ve met Jesse Jefferson before, where he showed you the latest disco dance moves. We went over some of his league-leading stats in that post. But I’ll bet you didn’t know that Jesse:
  • Made his debut by pitching a 10-inning complete game
  • Had only one winning season, his first
  • Set a Blue Jay record with nine walks in a game
  • Drove a garbage truck after retiring


Santo Alacala (or should I say, Santoalcala?) could very well have ended up under Graphology. The crazy signature, you know? It's the study of handwriting? Graphology, that is? Ah, never mind.

So, whadda we know about Santo? Well, he was from San Pedro de Macoris ... and was not a shortstop! Over two years and two teams, he finished 14-11, with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.516 WHIP.  

His first year was actually pretty decent. In fact, he went 11-4. The second year? Not so much. Santo went ahead and balanced things out with a 3-7 record. Interestingly, there was little difference between his ERA (0.13) and WHIP (.034). Ah well. The baseball gods giveth, and the baseball gods taketh away.

It hurts my groin just looking at you, Bob.

Bob “Splits” Oliver was not a bad ballplayer.  Over eight years, he finished with just under 3,000 at bats and 100 homers. He had one major big year, 1970, where he got over 600 at bats, with 27 homers and 99 RBIs.

Bob’s son is the pitcher Darren Oliver. Considering Darren must be about 80 now (and still pitching, I assume), I guess that puts Bob in triple digits. Interestingly, both played with Nolan Ryan. (And I didn’t make that last bit up.)

And it hurts even more looking at you, Gary.  Considering you don’t appear to even have a groin.  

Gary Sutherland’s already made it to this blog. I didn’t really say anything about his major league state there, so let me share those now. Over 13 years, Gary got over 3000 at bats. Unfortunately, he also hit only .243, "clouted" a mere 24 homers, and had 11 stolen bases in 35 attempts. 


As an old Pirate fan, I will always have my place in my heart for this guy. In his ten-year career with the Bucs, Steve Blass finished 103-76 with almost 900 strikeouts in 1600 innings. He really shone in the ’71 World Series, pitching two complete games and giving up only two runs. His autobiography is called A Pirate for Life. He still announces Pirate games.

Steve is also famous for the yips. In 1972, he went 19-8, with a 2.49 ERA. He also was an All-Star, and came in second in Cy Young voting. In 1973, he went 3-9 with a 9.85 ERA and a league-leading 12 hit batsmen. He was not injured. He did not have a mental breakdown. He was not addicted to drugs. He just simply lost it. Other victims of Steve Blass Disease include Chuck Knoblauch, Steve Sax, and Mackey Sasser, 

Whoa!  That one’s outta here!

Poor Tim Corcoran. I don’t think he had many chances to do this in a real ballgame. He was up for nine years and over 1000 at bats, but only went yard 12 times. Probably not what you want form your designated hitter.

Thank you, thank you verimuch.  

This blog covered Ed before, where we made fun of his eyebrows. I didn’t really talk about his stats there, so here goes:
  • 18 years (all with the Mets)
  • Almost 5500 at bats
  • A .261 career average
  • 118 homers, 614 RBIs, 536 runs
  • One All Star appearance
  • Nine postseason games, with one homer, four RBIs, and a .238 average


Whuh?  C’mon, man.  Who put the hole in my glove?

Cesar Tovar was a pretty decent ballplayer. He was up for 12 years, mostly with the Twins. Over 5500-some at bats, he finished with a .278 average and 226 steals. He was a league leader in at bats, hits, doubles, triples, and hit by pitch.

I’m not sure which of his teammates pulled this nasty trick on him. Tovar was actually very good with the glove, known especially for his versatility. Though he spent most of his time in the outfield, he also had over 200 games at both second and third, and almost 100 at short. He’s also only the second player in MLB history to play all nine positions in one game.

When Vicente came in to relieve, he liked to roller-skate in from the bullpen. The fans loved it! 

Vicente Romo was a so-so pitcher in the US, but a real Cy Koufax in the Mexican leagues. In eight years north of the border, Vicente played for five different teams and finished 32-33 with a 3.36 ERA. In 16 years south of the border, he tallied a 182-106 record and 2.49 ERA. He’s in the Salón de la Fama del Beisbol Profesional de México (that’s the Mexican Cooperstown, for those of you who don’t habla).

Always a crowd pleaser.  Especially in San Diego.

Another blogger also liked Vicente’s pose here. That blogger wondered if Vicente was playing air piano or putting a hex on the other team. I can’t believe he didn’t know Vicente’s secret.

I’ll bet you he also didn’t know that Vicente had a brother, Enrique, who also made the majors. They weren’t twins, but the two had very similar careers (in the US at least). They even finished with identical totals in saves (52) and losses (33).

Everyone wanted to be in on the action.  It just wasn’t the same as when Vincente did it though.

Even on the field, Don DeMola never quite caught on the way that Vicente did. Don was up for only two years, both with the Expos. Somehow, though, he managed to get in 155 innings as a reliever. 

Don did manage to get two cards out of it. And, yes, the second one is much the same as the first. 

You can see Don’s surprise 60th birthday party right here. Man, how did people entertain themselves before YouTube?

By the way, Don, you ... um ... er, forgot your skates.

It's an 80's card, but it's just so damn perfect, I had to include it.

* - author has this card

1 comment:

  1. The Gary Sutherland card looks like the grass and shadow have been airbrushed.