Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pack Fifteen

Pack 15 +15
256 Steve Farr
26 Jack Clark
345 Wade Boggs
188 Dennis Martinez
621 Rich Yett
422 Ed Lynch
410 Bobby Thigpen
524 Mike Scioscia
624 Oakland’s Power Team
538 Ron Gant
561 Mike Griffin
460 Gerald Young
370 Scott Bradley
642 Major League Prospects (Damon Berryhill, Jeff Montgomery)
59 Larry Herndon

Let's hope I can get this one in before it starts storming again, and judging by the humidity and how fast my beer just got warm should be any second.

This wasn't a bad pack... several rookies, a Hall of Famer, two childhood heroes for many kids in the '80s and a foot note in the history books.

We'll start with the Hall of Famer:

I've always thought Wade Boggs resembled Roy Underhill of "The Woodright's Shop" fame.

At some point since my re-entry into the hobby, I mentioned that Wade Boggs pitched in two games, and I thought I talked about it over at '88 Score, but for the life of me I can't find it. Maybe it was in a comment on another blog, or maybe it was a draft post and I killed it.


When I pulled this card, other than the Roy Underhill comment, I thought I'd talk a little bit about his pitching performances (and I was going to use that old post as a lead in, but this'll have to do as a lead in).

It's pretty uncommon to see such a big name player take the mound, even in a blowout. I think it's just flirting with injury. We all remember what happened when Jose Canseco tried to pitch so I don't think it's worth the risk.

But twice in his career, for two different teams, Wade Boggs pitched.

The first time was August 19, 1997 against the Angels.

With the Yankees on the losing end of a 12-4 score in Anaheim, Joe Torre, instead of using his bullpen, called on 39 year old Wade Boggs to pitch the bottom of the 8th (David Wells had started and lasted only three innings, replaced by Graeme Lloyd who threw four innings).

Boggs started the inning by walking Luis Alicea. He then got Tim Salmon to hit a ground ball to the shortstop who forced Alicea out at second. Garret Anderson then grounded out moving Salmon to second. The inning ended when catcher Todd Greene struck out swinging.

Boggs' line for his first attempt at pitching: no runs, no hits, one walk. His second try at pitching didn't end as well.

On August 10, 1999, Boggs was brought in to pitch with two outs in the top of the 8th with the Orioles leading the Devil Rays 16-1. As an interesting aside, Boggs was inserted into the DH spot in the line up (he batted once) and had the game progressed past the 9th -which was very unlikely- the Devil Rays forfeited their right to use a DH.

Charles Johnson was the first to face Boggs, and he flew out to right ending the inning. First up in the ninth against Boggs was Delino DeShields who struckout looking. Not too surprising, Boggs won a few Gold Gloves in his career so he had a pretty accurate arm.

Up next was Ryan Minor who grounded out to short. Rich Amaral then doubled to center but advanced to third on an error. Mike Bordick singled driving Amaral in, making the score 17-1. Jeff Conine then singled and with two on and two out Albert Belle flew out to center.

Tampa Bay got one hit in the bottom half, but failed to score.

The line for his one and a third innings of work: one run on three hits, one strikeout. 6.75 ERA.

For his pitching career: 3.86, 2.1 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts. 123 ERA+, 1.714 WHIP.

And here's that footnote in the history books:

Until last season, Bobby Thigpen was the saves in a season leader. In 1990 Thigpen saved 57 games for the White Sox with a 1.83 ERA. But with Francisco Rodriguez saving 62 last season Thigpen's career will be soon forgotten.

We do get a nice full frontal look at the old numbers-on-the-pants ChiSox uniform.

Two rookies:

Damon Berryhill was a light hitting catcher who spent most of his career as a backup. He played most notably for the Cubs, who won the division in '89, and then for the Braves in the early years of their 1990's dynasty.

Before seeing this card, I never realized that Jeff Montgomery began his career as a Red. In 1987 he pitched in 14 games (2-2, 6.52 ERA) for Cincinnati. In February 1988, the Reds traded him to Kansas City for Van Snider (oops). In KC, Montgomery went on to have a pretty good career, saving 304 games (19th all time) with a 3.27 ERA.

I'll let this card speak for itself. Try to think of yourself as a young baseball fan in 1988 and read the back of the card. Then take off the rose colored glasses and read the back of the card.