Saturday, May 10, 2014

#715 Mike Epstein

Big man, strong man, and according to Baseball Reference the nickname “SuperJew”…Great numbers in the minor and majors (at times) but failed to live up to expectations…Behavior and dedication were to be an issue, possibly attributed to a free spirit gained at U of California Berkley where he was also the football team’s halfback ….Won two consecutive league MVP awards and one minor league player of the year while with the Orioles farm system…Eventually got a late season call up by the Orioles in 1966… was given an opportunity for a starting gig on the ‘67 squad…balked at going to the minors after a poor start…staged a 19 day strike and promptly shipped to Siberia Washington…got playing time…Blossomed under the “Ted Shows How” era of 1969…1969 he hit 30 over the fence in the franchise’s first winning season…Magic faded the following year as did the fortunes of the Nats…A 20 point drop in average and a failure to drive in runs…It was almost repeated in 1971 aside from a trade to Oakland…Repaid the Nats by hitting 4 consecutive HR’s against them…Became part of the “Swinging A’s”…wore his hair long with obligatory mustche…improved during 1972 campaign, leading the team in HRs…went on total shutdown in WS going 0-16….traded to Siberia Texas in off season and career quickly sank afterwards… Was known for his considerable vocabulary.

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