Saturday, December 31, 2022

#3 Bob Tolan

Out of commission for 1971….absence was a cited reason why sports teams have contractual clauses prohibiting “recreational” teams into other sports.....a significant reason the Big Red Machine turned into Big Dead Machine after there juggernaut 1970....Started in the Cardinals system but never seemed to fully mesh with them.....traded to Reds the deal paid out with two great back to back seasons....hit carrer highs in homers and RBIs in 1969....led NL in stolen bases 1970 a formidable task given the golden age of Lou Brock.....Tolan came back as did the Big Red Machine in 1972 but the injury hasten career stat erosion....fortunately Reds were able to return to the WS for 1972.....batted .286 but his numbers went into free fall in 1973.....speed on the base path had exited too....traded to San Diego who were collecting veterans in hopes of recapturing passed glory for their 1974 campaign.... Tolan gave average results at best....travels to Philly mostly as a reserve in 1976 and a fraction of 1977....Still trying to find work, spends remainder of 1977 in Pittsburgh, then overseas in Japan (1978), and a stint in the short lived AAA Inter-American League (1979)....was able to finish career with handful of at bats during a return trip with the Padres.  

Sunday, December 25, 2022

#4 Checklist 1-132

Checklist 1st series....The last checklist of this blog….Per company tradition Card #1 is the defending world champs..... date range of reviews Dec 12 2020 to the end of this blog taking place on January 12th 2023......HOFers are plentiful with Carl Yastrzemski, Willie Mays, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Perez,  Joe Morgan, and Frank Robinson....Plus Red Schoendienst inducted as a player but was manager in 1972 . 

Monday, December 19, 2022

#5 John Bateman

Just this side of the law.....Traded in baseball for softball....and made a lot more coin doing so….after hanging up his MLB spikes joined fabled Eddie Feigner in a barnstorming fast pitch softball act...Team comprised of Eddy, John, and two others ...took on all local all star teams and way more often than not came out on top….Baseball life on the field a bit more pedestrian…..but not off it….. from accounts a tumultuous upbringing with baseball his only positive outlet….a case of arrested development: didn’t get traction towards organized ball until playing at a military base….folklore has it he wrote to all team and Colt .45 organization responded leading to a try out and signing….lied about his age to cover his dirty life and times….Played with one kidney, fabricated a story about losing it due to a football injury....truth was the kidney was lost from a bar fight injury....Also had trouble keeping his weight down, an issue for managers....First professional assignment, Class C California league….determined to make up for lost time put forth strong numbers….in an incredible leap made the Colts team holding down regular work for 1963….hit .210 but did show power and ability to drive in runs....Sophomore and Junior jinxes took over each hitting under .200....each resulting in trips back to minors.....Strong comeback 1966, his best year ever as a pro....going full throttle  17 HR, 70 RBI, and .279 overcoming small injuries with ease.....once again, slumped badly in 1967 with a minor revival in 1968....Initially thought his Astro position was secure but the addition of backstop Johnny Edwards made Bateman expansion draft fodder....quickly selected by the Expos but initial year was a disappointment....Given an ultimatum by Gene Mauch (notoriously known for his fitness demands), lost weight which limited another demotion to the minors....once up had two solid yet unspectacular  campaigns....In his last season Bateman starts by riding the bench in Montreal traded straight up for fellow veteran backstop Tim McCarver….Is the primary Phillie receiver but as Sept call ups roll in surrenders games to prospect Bob Boone….With Boone taking over the helm Bateman was released….No takers to continue his MLB days turning to fast pitch softball....confined to second division teams for career.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

#6 Fred Scherman

Unsung but brief star in Tiger’s fireman corps….a case of being Johnny on the spot….signed by Twins in 1963 but acquired in a first year by Detroit….and toiled in their system….cup of coffee in 69 but got first true light of bigs in 1970….part of bullpen committee that found limited success….Seized opportunity to become head closer in light of the vacancy left by John Hiller’s heart attack and mediocrity of others….a big reason for El Tigre's 22 game upswing in 1971 as he was second in games and third in saves for the Junior Circuit….1972 repeats strong effort but did share bullpen with Chuck Sheelback….status and career took a quick knee to John Hiller’s incredible comeback season in 1973… work, inflated ERA and never fully regained closer status….middle relief and mop up….traded to Astros for 1974 staying a season and a half….packed up his suitcase and in a cash deal headed to Canadian border June 1975….run of the mill work in mop up to finish out his playing days.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

#7 Enzo Hernandez

Memorable season but not in a good way....Came up in Houston then Oriole farm systems without a fall promotion….Traded for Pat Dobson who won 20 games for the Birds.....In return? much or his career near historic  futility at the plate..... A .222 BA and s puzzling paltry 12 RBIs in over 500 at bats in his rookie it the lowest percentage of RBIs to ABs ever recorded?….IDK for most baseball records go the other way….dubious title at best….Never got that much better….his sub .195 mark for his sophomore year made the year prior BA looks like league leading stuff….Despite the failure to steal first, Enzo is the undisputed stolen base leader of the Pads, and an efficient one at that ….undaunted Padres stay with Enzo….1973 is a shortened affair lost to back problems that will plague the rest of his baseball vocation…..1974 is comeback buoyed by a regular work livelihood, a then best .232 BA, and 37 stolen bases….1975-76 are both truncated effort brought on aforementioned back aliments….a humble bright spot, despite pain hits a MLB best of .256 plus one of his two home runs….is out for the overwhelming majority of 1977 with surgery….released after a minuscule handful of games…..signed by Dodgers and is placed in AAA PCL club….a very brief call up avoiding exclusive Padre employment….passed away from an apparent drug overdose 2013.... Venezuela born was a regular on the native winter leagues.