Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#81 Lloyd McClendon

About the Front: This is one of the finest photos in the set. Lloyd McClendon is motoring around third base in Shea Stadium, trying to score the winning run in the top of the tenth inning as coach Rich Donnelly waves him around. All that, and some major air time for that Diet Coke billboard, too! There are enough context clues on the scoreboard to identify the date: August 12, 1992. McClendon pinch hit for Gary Varsho with two outs in the top of the tenth. Facing John Franco, he beat out a grounder to third for an infield hit. One batter later, Jay Bell tripled to score McClendon, and the Bucs held on for a 7-6 win.

About the Back: This is the first three-position designation we've seen. That's when you know a guy is a big star. Lloyd's catching days were effectively over by this time, though. He was behind the plate for only two games in 1991 and none from 1992 on through the end of his playing days in 1994.

Triple Play: 

1. He starred in the 1971 Little League World Series, hitting five home runs in as many at-bats. In the championship game against Taiwan, he hit a three-run shot in his first at-bat and was intentionally walked each time he stepped to the plate afterward. The strategy worked, as Taiwan prevailed.

2. McClendon was one of three players dealt from the Mets to the Reds in December of 1982, with Tom Seaver making his return to New York.

3. He returned to the Pirates as a coach (1995-2000), and was named the team's manager in 2001. His four-plus year tenure produced a 336-446 record and a paltry .430 winning percentage. In an infamous moment, he literally stole first base and walked away with it. He's currently the hitting coach of the Tigers.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: My tastes have changed a lot over the past 20 years, but one thing that hasn't changed is my dislike for diet soda. I can't stand the strong chemical taste of artificial sweeteners.

Bill James Said: "In the past, when his career has been in jeopardy he has come through with a big season, but that's harder to do at 35." Lloyd hit just .239/.278/.413 in 51 games in 1994, his final big league season.

On This Date in 1993: October 2. Greg Maddux wins his 20th for the second straight year, as the Braves pound the Rockies 10-1. The Giants also squeak by the Dodgers 5-3, so Atlanta and San Francisco remain tied atop the National League West Division entering the season's final day.

No comments:

Post a Comment