Thursday, March 22, 2018

#505 Mike Hargrove and Rene Lachemann

About the Front: I like Rene Lachemann's 1984 Topps Traded card better. Check out that hair!

About the Back: Ah yes, Joe Robbie Stadium, former home of the Marlins and still the home of the NFL's Dolphins. Later it would be known as Pro Player Stadium, Dolphin(s) Stadium, Land Shark Stadium, Sun Life Stadium, New Miami Stadium, and finally (for now) Hard Rock Stadium. Aren't corporate naming rights just the best?

Triple Play:

1. Mike Hargrove had a productive 12-year playing career with the Rangers, Padres, and Indians (1974-1985). He was the 1974 AL Rookie of the Year and made his only All-Star team the following season. Nicknamed "the Human Rain Delay" for his constant tics while batting, he had a stat line of .290/.396/.391 (121 OPS+) with 80 home runs and 686 RBI.

2. Hargrove had managerial stints with Cleveland (1991-1999), the Orioles (2000-2003), and the Mariners (2005-2007). He led the Indians to five straight postseason appearances and made the World Series in 1995 and 1997, but never could capture the big trophy. His overall record was 1,188-1,173 (.519).

3. Rene Lachemann played for the Athletics in 1965 and briefly in 1966 and 1968. In 118 major league games, he batted .210/.245/.345 with nine homers and 33 RBI. He was not quite 28 when the A's convinced him to start his managerial career in the minors in 1973, a path that led him to big league jobs with the Mariners (1981-1983), Brewers (1984), and Marlins (1993-1996). He had a record of 428-560 (.433). Lachemann spent 53 consecutive years as a player, coach, and manager in pro baseball, until he was dismissed by the Rockies when they fired manager Walt Weiss in 2016. His older brother Marcel was also a longtime player, coach, and manager, and pitched for the A's (1969-1971) and managed the Angels (1994-1996).

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I've read oodles of baseball books in the quarter-century that I've been a fan, but one of the few I struggled to finish was Men at Work by conservative political columnist George F. Will. I started it in the mid-90s, put it down, and didn't finish it for more than a decade. One of the few things that I remember about it was the segment in which Will was following around then-Oakland manager Tony LaRussa and his coaches. Rene Lachemann had an impressively profane vocabulary, even by baseball standards.

On This Date in 1993: March 22. The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium computer processing chips. They have a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64 bit data path.

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