Today is a league-wide day off in baseball. I wonder how many ballplayers are going fishing? I listened to the Baseball Beyond Batting Average Podcast over the weekend*, and the ‘casters made reference to a few players with fishy names. That got me to wondering if I could fill a team of players with fish-themed names. Sure enough, I came up with quite a roster that includes Hall of Famers, All-Stars, Gold Glovers, Silver Sluggers, Most Valuable Players, and even a Cy Young Award winner. Unfortunately, I don’t have any lefties in the bullpen.
Without further ado, here’s the fishiest team in major league history, complete with WAR and honors.
CF: Mike Trout 70.1, 8xAS, 2xMVP, ROY, 6xSS — Three Hall of Famers on the team, but this guy is by far the best and he’s not even done playing.
A.J. Pollock 19.5, 1xAS, GG
Lip Pike 14.3 — Could double as the team’s manager.
Snapper Kennedy -0.1
RF: Tim Salmon 40.6, ROY, SS — Never made an All-Star team. Unbelievable.
Oscar Gamble 22.9 — The ‘fro.
Kevin Bass 14.8, 1xAS
Oscar Mercado 0.8 — He’s the “Rated Rookie” of the bunch, the youngster is batting .281 in his first season with the Indians.
RHP: Dizzy Trout 49.6, 2xAS
Jim “Catfish” Hunter 40.9, 8xAS, CY, HOF — If he didn’t already have a plaque in Cooperstown, I’m not positive I would support his induction. But I don’t go against the voters very often.
Ray Fisher 20.8
Cherokee Fisher 15.5
Jeff “Shark” Samardzija 12.6, 1xAS
George Haddock 9.9
Jack Fisher 4.4
RP: Eddie Fisher 10.1, 1xAS — He had a very good year in 1965 and finished 4th in AL MVP voting. Probably didn’t deserve quite that much support, though.
Art Herring 3.2
Brian Fisher 0.8
Brad Salmon 0.3
Anthony Bass 0.0
Down on the farm: Zander Clarke (1B, LF) — Currently in the Giants’ organization. He attended UCLA.
Zander Wiel (1B, LF) — A product of Vanderbilt, Wiel was a 12th round pick for the Twins and is currently in Rochester with the AAA Red Wings. He has a bit of pop in his bat; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Minnesota next year.
* If you don’t listen to the Baseball Beyond Batting Average Podcast, you’re missing out. A lot of great, entertaining baseball talk. They are currently doing some team “Mount Rushmore” themed shows, which is really fun to think about. The show is available on just about every podcast app, so search in whichever player you use.
- PC Holy Grail Alert! When you find a card with a piece of your childhood inside it! [TanManBaseballFan.com]
- 1987 All Star Game Honorary Captains: Catfish Hunter & Billy Williams [Cards That Never Were]
- Respect for ’74 [Night Owl Cards]
- Vintage Base Ball [n j w v]
- The 80 Greatest Movies of the ’80s [Consequence of Sound]
- very rare 35mm scan of the original teaser trailer for THE GOONIES [Annapurna Pictures on Twitter]
- Literary Book Title Generator [Writers Write]
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.
Talk about a killer rotation…how would you like these Hall of Fame pitchers on your staff, being caught by this Hall of Fame catcher?
Juan Marichal, San Francisco Giants
Marichal had an impressive streak of eight consecutive All-Star seasons from 1962-1969, winning 20+ games in all but two of those years. When he retired in 1975, he had compiled 243 wins with a 2.89 ERA and 2303 strikeouts. Marichal had to wait until his third year on the ballot for the Hall of Fame, going from 58.1% to 73.5% to 83.7% in 1983. His son-in-law, Jose Rijo, never had the personal success that Marichal enjoyed, but he did do something Juan couldn’t do during his career: win a World Series.
Carlton Fisk, Boston Red Sox
Catfish Hunter, Oakland A’s
Bert Blyleven, Minnesota Twins