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Monday, December 27, 2010

1987 Donruss: Fathers and No Hitters

David Palmer got off to a good start on April 22, 1984 for the Expos. In fact, it was a perfect start. Through five innings of work, Palmer hadn't let a runner reach base.

Then the rains came.

"I was trying to keep myself mentally ready," Palmer told reporters later. "I was telling myself 'Don't start celebrating.'"

The game eventually was called and Palmer owned the fourth rain-shortened perfect game in history. The rain-shortened perfect game is noted on the back of Palmer's 1987 Donruss card. The card was included in the first 1987 Donruss pack that came among the Christmas gifts from my lovely wife.

Speaking of no-hitters, according to Baseball Reference's Bullpen, that other guy up there, Alan Ashby, caught three no-hitters during his career, from Ken Forsch, Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott. Another player to catch a Nolan Ryan no-hitter? CMC set member John Russell.

There were no Hall of Famers in the pack. But there was one CMC set member: Ozzie Virgil. Virgil was an All Star in 1985, according to his card back. He also played in the 1983 World Series for the Phillies, going 1 for 2. His father, also Ozzie Virgil, played in the major leagues. And he led the Eastern League in RBIs in 1980.

Speaking of players whose father was also a player, here's Steve Trout. His father Paul "Dizzy" Trout. Steve Trout told The Chicago Tribune in 1988 about the only time his father got to see him pitch, in eighth grade. His father died in 1972

The elder Trout hid behind a tree, not wanting to make his son nervous.

"He didn't want me to know he was there," Steve Trout told The Tribune. "But I could see him. He had a big stomach and it was sticking out. He was bigger than the tree."

"I undertand now what a wonderful gesture it was," Trout continued later. "He wanted to watch one of his sons, but he's saying to himself, 'I don't want him to feel he has to do it for me.'"

Trout also had two nicknames, according to Wikipedia, one of them being "Rainbow Trout."
The other guy there, Glenn Wilson, is interesting because of his nickname, which, according to Wikipedia, was Glennbo. That is because Wilson starred in a Phillies television ad in 1986 dressed as Rambo.

These last three featured cards are all pitchers. These two there, Chris Bosio and Curt Young, are both current major league pitching coaches. Young has served as the Athletics' pitching coach. In 2011, he'll be the Red Sox pitching coach. Chris Bosio served this past season as pitching coach for the Brewers.

The other pitcher is not thinking about being a coach. He's still thinking about pitching. It's the ageless Jamie Moyer. He just told The Seattle Times that, despite his Tommy John surgery, he's looking to return in 2012 - when he's almost 50.

"A lot of people have seen signs over the course of my career that I should quit or retire," Moyer told The Times recently. "In all honesty, I just don't feel like I'm ready to give it up. I feel I'm entitled to make my own decision."
1987 Donruss Pack 1
62 Glenn Wilson
66 Will Clark
67 Ozzie Virgil
102 Steve Balboni
164 Eric Show
196 Frank Viola
201 Steve Trout
315 Jamie Moyer
325 David Palmer
332 Alan Ashby
343 Rudy Law
344 Curt Young
421 Joe Sambito
460 Joey Meyer
477 Jim Traber
478 Chris Bosio
Puzzle 31-33; Clemente's right hand

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