APR: THE BASEBALL GURU ARTICLE FROM
TOILERS IN THE SUN A NEW SERIES IN ONE MORE INNING:
HERB ROGOFF LOOKS AT THE EVERYDAY BALLPLAYER
DAVE JOLLY/PITCHER: Dave Jolly spent his whole Major League career with the MILWAUKEE BRAVES. It was brief and so was his life. He was born in 1924 and by the time he passed away in 1963 he was only 39.
took him awhile to get to the big leagues. He was signed as a free
agent by the BROWNS in1946 and didnt come up to
His lifetime statistics are 159 games, 16 wins and 14 losses with 155 strikeouts and a horrendous
198 walks. It was his lack of control that shortened his career in the big leagues. Out of the five years he was in the Majors he had only one with a winning record and one year with a total of one win and one loss. His best year was in1954 when he won 11 and lot six. In that year he did manage to just about even out his walk to strikeout ratio but lost it in the following seasons.
After his career was over he drifted around in the Minor Leagues for awhile and did do some coaching for a few seasons.
MIGUEL CAIRO/INFIELD: There are some journeymen infielders who during their careers remain utility players and never get a chance to become a regular. That was the case with Miguel Cairo and then he came to the Yankees in 2004 and as luck would have it, his fortunes changed.
After the season began and with a good start on his part he pretty much played on a regular basis and what a season he had. He fielded beautifully, hit in a timely fashion game after game, ended up with one of the highest batting averages on the team (.292) and played in 122 games.
The next year though he was let go for Tony Womack and ended up with the Mets.
He has been in
the Majors for eleven years now. Always a flashy fielder with a good arm
and an extensive range, he sometimes lets the easy ones get away from him.
He is the sort of player who will be around for awhile. Teams need people
that can play more than one position.
EDDIE ROBINSON/FIRST BASE: We dont hear much about Eddie Robinson these days. He was a better than average player and after his playing days were over he went on to a great many other positions in the game. PLAYER DEVELOPMENT, FARM DIRECTOR, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, GENERAL MANAGER, and special assistant to George Steinbrenner.
Always one to recognize talent, he developed and signed LARRY DIERKER, JOE NIEKRO, and JIMMY WYNN among others.
He also formed his own consulting firm which handles scouting for teams in the Major Leagues.
But lets not forget him as a player. Over his 13 seasons in the Majors he participated in 4 ALL STAR GAMES, two WORLD SERIES, and a world championship with the CLEVELAND INDIANS IN 1948. He spent almost all his career at first base and was known as a sure fielded, reliable player at the bag.
His lifetime statistics include a .268 BA, 172 Homeruns, 723 RBIs and he played in 1,315 games.
GUS NIARHOS/CATCHER: How would you like to be the back-up catcher to the back-up catcher to the back-up catcher, on your team? Well thats pretty much the position Constantine Gregory (Gus) Niarhos was subject to when he played for the Yankees from 1946 to 1950. His competition consisted of Yogi Berra, Aaron Robinson, and Charlie Silvera.
Things got better when he moved on to the White Sox where he played on a slightly better regular basis.
He was traded often but held on in the Majors because of his defensive abilities. He wasnt much of a hitter. His lifetime average was .252 with just one homerun after nine seasons.
He was born in
After he retired he managed a few Minor league teams. He died in 2004 at the age of 84.
BABY DOLL JACOBSON/OUTFIELD: After spending 10 years in the Minors, William Chester Jacobson came up to the Majors and after 11 seasons there he ended his career with a BA OF .311. Not bad for a burly 63, 215 outfielder.
He spent most of his career with the Browns and most certainly would have gotten more recognition had he been with other teams.
In his first ML game he hit a HR and the band played, Oh You Beautiful Doll. The papers dubbed him, Baby Doll the next day and it stuck.
He became a regular with the Browns at 28. Along with Jack Tobin and Ken Williams he was part of the best known outfield in Browns history.
From 1919 until 1925 he averaged .300 per season. His hitting was always a given but he also surprised people with his fielding which was more than just capable. At various times he held 13 separate fielding marks including 484 putouts in a season.
Born in the coal
mining area of Cable