Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Angels’

h2h Corner ~ Check You out on the Flip Side: Gary Gaetti

I write a lot for a living and for fun. So I get caught up in wording – both incredibly awesome turns of phrases and the unsuccessful. So, I ask, is it possible Topps got a computer to write the anecdotes for the backs of the 1993 cards? I’ve never heard of anyone enjoying the distinction of something – it sounds like one of those auto-Fantasy team name generators.

Regardless of how the card was worded, it’s a pretty cool footnote on a career to score the 20,000th  run in a franchises’ history.

But it’s just a footnote, because what a career Gaetti amassed. When it was all said and done, he appeared in the 43rd most career games (2507) in baseball history – just behind Bill Buckner.

He finished with the 36th most doubles by a righty, oddly 36 more than Barry Larkin, Steve Garvey and Luke Appling. He also tallied the 42nd most RBIs by a righty — more than Mike Piazza, Hank Greenberg, Hugh Duffy, and others.

Of course, the bane of longevity is the GIDPs – Gaetti created two outs from one hit the 32nd most times in MLB history. He put in play a twin killing 236 times – one more than George Brett. He also swung and missed a lot – the 21st most times in MLB history. Still, with great Ks, comes great power: he has the sixth most HRs by a 3b in MLB history.

In all those games, he ended up participating in the 15th most losses in MLB history and ended 116 of the 1314 games he lost.

In addition to his milestone run scores, Gaetti was part of the seventh most triple plays in MLB history and was part of two in one game!

Still, he is most known for the 1987 post-season. He was the MVP of the American League Championship with a .300/.348/.650 line with two HRs, which happen to be the first time in MLB history that a player hit homers in his first two postseason plate appearances.

Gaetti had a long meandering career worth 37.9 WAR. Hey, he was even used as a reliever twice, by two different teams. He finished with a 7.71 ERA and one strikeout in three appearances.

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Chuck Finley

finley backfinley front

There was a time, not too long ago, when baseball players weren’t as affluent as they are now. Sure career minor leaguers are still paid pennies, but players, like Chuck Finley, who were first round draft picks also needed part-time jobs in the off-season. Apparently, Finley had quite the green thumb as he worked “in the nursery business,” which, in my imagination, involved trucking mulch back and forth and handing little old ladies poinsettias.

This is a pretty serene, or, at least, calm picture. However, for fans of the Surreal Life, we know that his marriage to Tawny Kitaen was anything but calm. He was married to her for five years, ultimately filing divorce after Kitean beat him with a stiletto heel.

His fiery personal life more reflected his mound presence than his off-season work habits. Finley owns a career 7.3 K/9 rate and 2,610 strike-outs. That is more than Warren Spahn, Bob Feller, Don Drysdale, Christy Mathewson, Lefty Groove, Jim Palmer and Vida Blue.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention his not-exactly alter-ego television character, Chuck Finley, who is the alter-ego of Sam Axe, the former Navy Seal played by Bruce Campbell (not this Bruce Campbell). Man, I love Burn Notice.

Like the character, there are some funny aspects of the career of Chuck Finley, the pitcher, namely that he is the only pitcher in major league history to record four strike-outs in an inning more than once and he was once traded for Coco Crisp.

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Bob Boone

Bob Boone 1987 Back

Bob Boone 1987 Front

Sometimes these things write themselves. I’m no grammar Stalin, but the shear amount of broken phraseology on the backs of baseball cards is hilarious. I understand that it’s hard to fit a ton on the back of cards and Bob Boone did no favors by bucking the odds and playing 15 years as a catcher up to this point, but all you’d had to do was write “Bob adheres to a Martial Arts exercise program.”

Regardless of the eloquent-ness, Boone must have had Mr. Miyagi teaching him Martial Arts for him to play 19 years as a catcher. Even in the photo, Boone seems to be in a perfect “wax off” stance.

With all that training, Boone logged an astonishing 2,161 games as a backstop. In major league history, there are only two players who caught more games than Boone, Ivan Rodriguez and Carlton Fisk. Pretty impressive, eh? If you asked a bunch of baseball fans, it’d be a long time before they came up with Boone as the player with the third most mileage behind the plate.

While that is certainly interesting, what’s more interesting is the lineage. Aaron Boone and Brett Boone are Bob’s sons. Their grandfather, Ray, also played 13 seasons of pro ball.

Maybe I should start chai tea lessons if I want my kids to become major leaguers! Or just teach them a knuckleball.

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