Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Answer My Friend ...

How many tunnels must a man walk down / Before you call him a man?
How many seasons must the White Sox play / Before they win it all again?
And how many seasons must the DH exist / Before it is forever banned?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind / The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Perhaps you like the tousled look.

Jack Billingham was a pretty decent pitcher, finishing with a 145-113 record over 13 years. Six of those years were with the great Reds team of the 70s. He won 19 for them twice, and went 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA in five different post-season series.

Interestingly, Billingham is Christy Mathewson’s cousin. Seeing as Matty died in 1925 and Cactus Jack was born in 1943, I’m assuming they must be second cousins twice removed, or something like that.

Can hair even do that?

Jim Hannan was a pretty … um … er … non-descript pitcher. Playing for the Washington Senators for almost your whole career will do that for you though.

In fact, that’ll pretty much guarantee a winning percentage below .500 (.41-48, to be exact). And those post-season stats? Well, they’d be pretty non-existent, wouldn’t they now?

That said, Jim did seem to enjoy his time there, and still lives in the DC area today. Here’s a great interview where he relives his glory years with the Nats.

Sounds like Jim’s been pretty active in retirement. In fact, he’s the Chairman of the Board of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.

Whoa, turn off the fan!

Ron Schueler had a career very similar to Jim Hannan’s. Over eight years, he finished with a 40-48 record and an ERA just over 4.00. 

It was after he hung up his spikes that things really started to take off for Ron. He was a successful pitching coach for the White Sox, A’s, and Pirates. He then moved to the front office, starting off as an assistant to Sandy Alderson with the A’s, then becoming the White Sox’s GM for ten years. He’s been a special assistant type for several clubs since.

A little on the left …

Tom Dettore’s a repeat offender in this blog, for another hair-related offense. In that post, I pretty much shared everything there is to knew about Tom. Honestly, there’s nothing else out there. I looked. I really looked.

A little on the right …

Ron’s been here too. In that post, I talked about Ron’s being Jewish. I’ll bet you didn’t know, though, that Ron’s career started out like a house on fire. 

He 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.

Or perhaps you like the tousled look.

Jeff Burroughs is probably the best player among this whole bunch. In a 16-year career, he belted 240 home runs and notched 882 RBIs. His best year was 1974, when he hit .301 with 25 homers and knocked in 118 runs, and was voted the AL MVP.

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