March 21, 1947
Like Pat Corrales, Bill Plummer spent much of his career as a backup to the greatest catcher of all-time, Johnny Bench. Unlike Corrales, Plummer completed more than one game behind the plate for the Reds. He also extended his baseball life as a coach, and managed the Seattle Mariners to a 64-98 record in 1992. In 2016 he served as the catching coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
March 20, 1941
Pat Corrales played for the Reds from 1968 through 1972. Also playing for the Reds during that time was some guy from Binger, Oklahoma, named Johnny Bench. Needless to say, Corrales didn’t see a whole lot of action. In 134 games for the Reds, Corrales only played one from start to finish. He went into coaching after his playing career ended, and is the only manager in major league history to be fired while his team was at the top of the division. In 1983, with a 43-42, the Phillies fired Corrales. The Phils went on to lose to the Orioles in the World Series that October.
March 19, 1974
Jason LaRue played eight seasons for the Reds before the Royals purchased his contract. After one year in Kansas City, LaRue signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and spent three years there. LaRue suffered a concussion in 2010 when Johnny Cueto kicked him in the head during a bench-clearing brawl between the Reds and Cardinals, forcing him to retire from the sport.
March 19, 1977
David Ross retired a Champion, hitting a home run in his final major league at-bat in the Game 7 of the World Series last year. What a way to go out! Despite only playing three years for Cincinnati, he played more games, had more at-bats, more hits, home runs, and RBI with the RBI than with any other team.
March 18, 1965
Geronimo Berroa only played for one big league team before coming to the Reds for the 1992 season, but he spent time with four different organizations. He was drafted by the Blue Jay sin 1983, the taken by the Braves in the Rule 5 draft in 1988. He made his major league debut for Atlanta and played in parts of two seasons for them before his release in 1991. The Mariners was the next team to take a chance on him, but the Indians purchased his contract from Seattle before the 1991 season began. He spent the year in Colorado Springs, was granted free agency in October, then signed with the Reds. He only played 13 games for Cincinnati, while getting some decent playing time in Nashville. After his time with the Reds, Berroa also played in the bigs for Florida, Oakland, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, and Los Angeles. That’s nine teams in 11 major league seasons.
March 18, 1976
Fan favorite Corky Miller spent the past two seasons as a coach for the Dayton Dragons. It appears from the Reds website that he is now the “Roving Catching Instructor” for the entire organization. Others who are employed in the club’s player development department include Eric Davis, Mario Soto, Miguel Cairo, Milt Thompson, and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.
Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s by Jason Turbow (2017)
Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic is the story of the Oakland A’s, a team stocked with some of the best players in baseball in the early 1970s. Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Dave Duncan, Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers…they all played a key role in the team’s dominant run of three straight World Championships from 1972 through 1974. None was a bigger star—in his own mind, at least—than owner Charlie O. Finley. The businessman moved the A’s from Kansas City shortly after securing the team, and shrewdly managed his personnel until baseball’s labor laws broke down, causing an exodus of not only the A’s but many major league rosters in the late 1970s. Finley’s first major loss came when his star pitcher Hunter jumped ship, just a few years after the owner stood his ground against another young pitcher (and kept him, at the time).
But Hunter’s departure came later; from 1972-1974, nothing could stop the Oakland powerhouse. Their three-year reign saw them defeat the Cincinnati Reds, the New York Mets, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it was not all smooth sailing. Contract disputes, poor attendance, arguments over playing time, and Finley’s manipulation of players play a major role in by Jason Turbow’s historical account. The author freely admits that Finley, if living, “wouldn’t likely appreciate his portrayal here.”
Besides the verbal clashes with the front office, there were a number of physical fights in the clubhouse as well. Turbow says, “I detail the major dustups in the book, but omitted many others that didn’t fit into the narrative. I had a recurring experience during my interviews: Player says that it was all overblown and the team didn’t fight as much as the media made out; I recount to a player a litany of the most prominent skirmishes; player goes quiet, shakes head and grudgingly agrees that maybe there’s something to it after all.”
Dynastic. Bombastic, Fantastic is a great way to get your blood pumping for another great season of baseball.
March 17, 1917
Hank Sauer only made two All-Star teams, despite hitting 288 home runs in his 15-year career. “Honker” smacked 35 longballs for the Reds in 1948, his first full season. Six times he topped 30 homers, including 41 in 1954 with the Cubs.
March 17, 1965
For a guy named Smiley, this guy didn’t seem very happy, especially early in his career. John Smiley meant business and he wanted everyone to know it. He seems to have mellowed later on, occasionally grinning when the camera was pointed at him.
This is where I store my tradable cards, sorted by team. I started using this system more than a decade ago, when the Nationals were still known as the Expos and the Marlins claimed the entire state of Florida their home, rather than just Miami. Every drawer has something in it, even the six blank drawers. And I want to get rid of it all, a little bit at a time.
So let’s play a game. If you want the contents of one of the drawers, follow my Twitter page (@REALjtCarter) and retweet the pinned tweet (which links to this post). Then reply to the tweet with the team you want, or if you want one of the unlabeled drawers (1 through 6). I will randomly select one retweeter and reveal the contents of the drawer live on Periscope, then send it to you.
Every drawer contains something. It may be one card, or it may be twenty. Or it might be something else altogether. And one of those drawers contains a jersey card of a current major leaguer. Also scattered throughout the drawers are some autographs obtained through the mail of several former major league players. In addition, there are a handful of parallels here and there. Whichever drawer you pick, you get everything in that drawer!
A couple of things to keep in mind: the Expos and Nationals are in the same drawer. Other defunct teams are generally included with their current location (i.e., the New York Giants and San Francisco Giants share their space). If a card is misfiled, it doesn’t matter; whatever is in the drawer you pick goes to you. The unlabeled drawers may include baseball cards or non-baseball trading cards, or may include something else entirely. This game is open only to US residents. Oh, and you can only pick one drawer, so choose wisely.
If you want to play (and I think it will be fun), click here, make sure you follow me, then retweet this tweet, and respond with the drawer you want. You have until Sunday night to make your selection. I will go live on Periscope with the drawing and reveal at 11 p.m. eastern on Sunday, March 19.