Friday, October 25, 2013

PURSUE THE PENNANTS: #360 ORLANDO CEPEDA


NICE DAY FOR AN EARTHQUAKE.




THOSE WERE SOME AWESOME STATS THROUGH '64.


WHO'S THE HERO?

  • A seven-time All-Star who was the 1958 NL Rookie of the Year and '67 NL MVP, Orlando Cepeda became the second Puerto Rican to be elected to the Hall of Fame, joining Roberto Clemente in '99. Because of a drug conviction in '78, Cepeda didn't get the call to Cooperstown until he came off the writers ballot and went to the Veterans Committee for review. It liked what it saw: a 17-year player who hit .297 with 379 homers and 1,365 RBI and was top-20 MVP finisher seven times.

WHY IT'S SLICK

  • Cepeda demonstrates immense grace under pressure, striking a stoic pose as the stadium collapses behind him.

GROOVY BITS

  • While Cepeda won that NL MVP with the world champion Cardinals with a line of .325/25/111, his best season was in '61 when he was runner-up at .311/46/142.
  • A lingering knee injury suffered in the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League sidelined him '65, when he played in only 33 games and was traded to the Cardinals the next season.
  • Batted .300 or higher 10 times in 15 seasons and was named the AL's first Designated Hitter of the Year in '73 with the Red Sox.

BACK IN '65 ...

  • On Aug. 22, one of the nastiest brawls in baseball history takes place at Candlestick Park between the Dodgers and Giants. #50 Juan Marichal's brushback pitches sparks it and escalates when Dodgers catcher #405 Johnny Roseboro throws the ball back to #300 Sandy Koufax close to Marichal's face when he at-bat. Marichal then hits Roseboro over the head with his bat three times and a 14-minute melee ensues. Roseboro receives 14 stitches and Marichal a nine-game suspension.



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