Tuesday, December 9, 2014

John Stearns: Just a Little out of Focus

“Hey, it's early in the morning.  Out havin’ a little fun last night.  Sure.  Thass all.  Lossa fun.”

“Drunk?  No, I’m not still drunk!  I had a coupla hours a sleep.  No problem.  Les play ball!  C’mon, iss lotta fun!”


1977. John’s first card, as far as I can tell. He was actually drafted by the Phillies – in fact, as the second overall pick in ‘73. Interestingly, he was also drafted by the Buffalo Bills that same year, as a defensive back.
Not a bad year at all. Stearns would become the Mets regular catcher and actually make it onto the All Star squad. He was the woeful Mets’ sole representative.


1978. Another good year. In addition to the steals (25), Stearns would also set career highs in homers (15) and RBIs (73).

1979, Hostess. Back to the All Star game.  A healthy Stearns would also set a career high for at bats, with 538.

1982, Donruss. The last year John would be a regular. He also sets a career-high batting average, with a .293 mark.

1982, Fleer. Stearns is also back to the All-Star game, for the fourth time.


1984. Stearns’ last year in the bigs. He gets 17 at bats and hits .176. Oddly, he does not make the All Star game.

2003, Choice. John’s the manager of the Norfolk Tides now, but do I still detect a slight … you know … a certain … Oh, I don’t know … a certain look returning?
Yup, it’s definitely there.
In addition to minor-league manager, Stearns has kept in baseball as a major-league coach, scout, and ESPN broadcaster as well.

Lets’ end with a little Stearnsian trivia I thought you might enjoy:
  • His brother Bill played in the Yankees organization
  • He had one game with the Phils before being traded
  • He once became irritated with the Atlanta mascot Chief Noc-a-Homa and chased him off the field
  • His nickname was “Bad Dude”

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