Thursday, December 07, 2006
Pickoff Moves, Lunchtime Edition
Bo Belinsky LAA b. 1936, played 1962-1964, d. 2001-11-23 The story of the early Angels, Top 100 Angel Belinsky was as famous for his exploits off the field as for what he did on it. He pitched the first major league no-hitter on the West Coast and won his first five decisions as a rookie, a feat unmatched until Jered Weaver won his first nine this year. Off the field, Bolinsky led a colorful life as a pool shark, and dated many a star(let), including Ann-Margaret, Connie Stevens, Tina Louise, and Mamie Van Doren. An episode in which he suckerpunched 64-year-old Los Angeles Times reporter Braven Dyer for a story he didn't even write led to an instant demotion to the minors, and eventually a trade to the Phillies. His career stumbled on after that, and he eventually succumbed to alcohol dependency, from which he later recovered.
Paul Dade CAL b. 1951, played 1975-1976
Alex Johnson CAL b. 1942, played 1970-1971, All-Star: 1970. Johnson was one of four players the Angels sent to the All Star Game that year, but incredibly, it wasn't as many as they sent in 1979, when the team forwarded Don Baylor, Rod Carew, Mark Clear, Brian Downing, Bobby Grich, and Nolan Ryan to the midsummer classic. Surly and unmotivated, he was a natural contact hitter but spent no time honing his skills; after declining to .260 in 1971, he was traded to Cleveland. Never again did he hit over .300, and retired after 1976.
Tom Lovett BRO b. 1863, played 1890-1891, 1893, d. 1928-03-19
Luis Gonzalez Is A DodgerHere's The official notice and the SportsTicker story, the latter telling us it's a 1-year/$7.5M deal. Look, this theoretically blocks Ethier and/or Kemp, but the fact is that Gonzalez is more of an insurance policy than anything else at this point. BTF Transaction Oracle snark is that this is a blockety-block-block problem, while Christina Kahrl hates the deal, claiming this will be the worst-armed outfield in the division at least ("this could end up an especially tantalizing tactical opportunity for every other team’s third base coach."). Jon is not excited, and neither is Andrew Grant.
J.T. Snow Retires, To Join GiantsFormer Angel J.T. Snow has retired, and will join the Giants organization in some yet-to-be-defined capacity.
OT: Happy Pearl Harbor Day!Uh, stay away from any battleships.
> off the fielda s for what he did on it.
Precocious young teenager that I was (I was 13 when Bo pitched his no-hitter, and listened to the last 2-3 innings of it), I had nothing but admiration for a guy who publicly stated his desire for "booze and broads." This in the pre-Ball Four and Broadway Joe era, when athletes were clones, all professing to be God-fearing choir boys---except for Bo.
As for Mamie Van Doren, she was married briefly to a pitcher in the Angels' minor league system, Lee Meyers, who was about half her age. (I've mentioned my connection to the Meyers family here before, so I won't belabor the point.)
Ironically, in his later years, Bo---who was raised Jewish---converted to the born-again variety of Christianity and preached against the very life style he personified for so long.