Wednesday, July 2, 2014

#243 Rob Deer

About the Front: There's so much to like here. Rob Deer taking a big, powerful swing, as was his wont, while wearing his jersey half-unbuttoned and practically streaking his eye black from cheek to cheek. Few cards in this set or any other capture the essence of their subject so well.

About the Back: Those low batting averages. All those dingers. All those whiffs. Deer, Adam Dunn, and Mark Reynolds are all kindred spirits on the same all-or-nothing plane.

Triple Play:

1. Rob's game-tying three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth on Easter Sunday, 1987 spurred a walkoff win, the 12th straight to open the season for Milwaukee. It was his second longball of the game and landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

2. Some fun Rob Deer tater facts: 21 career multi-homer games, five grand slams, four pinch-hit jobs, four walkoff shots. He also hit one round-tripper from the leadoff slot in the batting order, though sadly, it was as a mid-game substitute for Tony Phillips. Not even Sparky Anderson was adventurous enough to make Rob his leadoff hitter for a full game.

3. Deer had an unsuccessful 70-game stint in Japan with the Hanshin Tigers in 1994, then spent most of 1995-1996 riding the buses in AAA with the Angels' and Padres' farm clubs. His last glimpse of the majors was a 25-game swing with San Diego in 1996; he hit a positively Deerian .180/.359/.480 in 64 trips to the plate, with four homers and three doubles among his nine hits. 30 of his 41 outs came on strikeouts.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: A little bonus Bill James: in his 1994 Player Ratings Book, he said that Steve Balboni "strikes out like a Deer and runs like a file cabinet". I thought that was hilarious...still do.

Bill James Said: "I wish somebody would let him play 162 games, just to see how many times he could strike out." This was after Rob fanned a league-leading 169 times in just 128 games in his final season as a regular.

On This Date in 1993: July 2. In a seesaw game at Mile High Stadium, the Cubs outslug the Rockies 11-8. Sammy Sosa has a 6-for-6 day with a double, two runs scored, two RBI, and three steals in four tries. The teams combine for 34 hits (including 21 by Chicago), and the Rox lose despite rapping eight doubles.


  1. Funny how ahead of his time Rob Deer was. Back then he was an anomaly, now? Just about every team has one dude who hits the way he does, the Three True Outcomes method.

  2. Rob Deer would've been a good fit on the early 2000s A's.