Monday, October 20, 2014

PURSUE THE PENNANTS: #109 WALT BOND

THE INDIANS SCREWED HIM OVER.


WHAT'S KNOWN AS A 10 GALLON HAT, I RECKON.


WHO'S THE HERO?

  • Walt Bond had one of the best late-season call-ups in major-league history. And it left absolutely no impression on the clueless Indians of the 1960s. In 50 games in '62, he hit .380 with six homers and 17 RBI and slugged .800. The Indians never gave him a chance to start in '63 and traded him to the Astros in the off-season. In '64, his first full season, he hit 20 homers and drove in 85 for Houston. His career tragically lasted only six seasons in which he hit 41 homers with 179 RBI.

WHY IT'S SLICK

  • This was one serious physical specimen at 6-foot-7, 228 pounds. He'd blend right in today.

GROOVY BITS

  • The Indians' handling of Bond was a joke. He was 25 when he debuted in '62 but they brought back 35-year-old Joe Adcock to play first in '63.
  • Bond played nine years in the minors, slashing .299/.341/.488 with 116 HRs and 400 RBI.
  • Diagnosed with leukemia in '62 while in the Army and died from the disease in '67.

BACK IN '65

  • On March 8, 3,500 Marines arrive in South Vietnam, the first American combat troops to join the civil war in the easternmost country in Southeast Asia. The conflict would end 10 years later at an extraordinary cost of human lives, including 58,220 Americans.


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