Showing posts from January, 2021

Rudy Meoli: Former Italian / American Player Who Helped Preserve Nolan Ryan's First No Hitter (1971-1979)

Rudolph Bartholomew Meoli was born on May 1, 1951, in Troy, New York. The five foot nine, left hand hitting infielder was drafted in the fourth round of the 1969 draft by the California Angels. After playing in only seven games in 1971, he was given the Angels regular shortstop job in 1973. With the departure of Jim Fregosi to the New York Mets in 1972, five time All Star Leo Cardenas had taken over the position but was at the end of his career. Meoli was suppose to be the future of the teams infield, but only hit .223 with two HRs 12 doubles & 23 RBIs (all career highs). He lost lost his job to Dave Chalk, who would have a fine career the next season. Nolan Ryan No Hitter: On May 15th, 1973 Meoli was in the lineup against the Kansas City Royals when Nolan Ryan pitched the first of his seven no hitters. Meoli made a fine over the shoulder catch off the bat of veteran; Gail Hopkins on a bloop to shallow left field. It was the closest thing to a hit the Royals had all day.

Rick Ownbey: One of Pitchers Traded To Get Keith Hernandez (1982-1983)

Richard Wayne Ownbey was born October 20th 1957, in Corona, California. The six foot three, right hander attended Santa Anna College. He was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, as forth round pick but he did not sign. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the 13th round of the 1980 draft. In his first year at the A ball & AA ball combined he impressed at 9-1 with a 1.80 ERA. After going 10-7 at AA Lynchburg, he was promoted to AAA in 1982. After a solid start there he was brought up to a poor Mets pitching staff in August. Ownbey made his MLB debut on August 18th, 1982 in a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium. He gave up five runs in six innings in the Mets loss. His next start was in Atlanta & he gave up four runs in three innings. On August 28th he made his third start of the season, it went better than the others, seven innings two runs on two hits. By September, Ownbey quickly matured. He threw two straight complete games, the first was

Remembering Hank Aaron

  This post is about my memories of Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron, during my favorite era of baseball. centerfieldmaz remembers: I was a kid when Hank Aaron broke the All Time HR Record in 1974. He was still one of baseballs best players, he had hit 40 HRs in 1973 at the age of 39. I always said that he was probably the most productive player of anyone after the age of 35 (not in the steroid era). And to me Hank Aaron is still the all time HR king. Hank Aaron was not only the all time HR king, but one of the best hitters & all around players of all time.  In those days, I got to see Willie Mays, at the end of his career too. Since he was a Met & former New York Giant, was always more popular with me. Willie was a better outfielder & base runner than Aaron.  Henry Aaron, ended the 1973 season needing two more HRs to break Babe Ruth's all time record. The anticipation for the next season to start, so Aaron could do that, seemed like a lifetime for MLB.  Aaron threw o

Remebering Don Sutton (Pitcher 1966-1988)

 Donald Howard Sutton was born April 2nd 1945, in Cilo, Alabama. The tall six foot one right hander would pitch 24 for seasons, winning 324  games (324-256) making the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sutton came up with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966. That year he went 12-12 on a legendary staff with Sandy Koufax & Don Drysdale, as well as the lesser known Claude Osteen.  The Dodgers got the Word Series but lost to the Baltimore Orioles. Sutton would spend 16 years with the Dodgers, winning three pennants with them & making four All Star teams. He was the starter in the 1977 All Star Game. Sutton was a consistent pitcher who always put up wins. He had double figures in victories, eleven or more wins every year for 21 seasons, all but two seasons, including his last.  Sutton won twenty games, just once in his long career, but did win 15 or more games a dozen times.  He would win 15 or more games for eight straight seasons. He won 19 games twice (1972 & again in 1974). Sutton would h

Remembering Italian / American Baseball Legend -Tommy Lasorda

Thomas Charles Lasorda was born September 22, 1927 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia.  Lasorda originally signed a baseball contract with the local Philadelphia Phillies back in 1945, but then went off for two years of military service. He returned to play minor league baseball & got noticed by the Brooklyn Dodger organization when he struck out 25 batters in a 15 inning game setting a semi-pro record. That day, Lasorda even drove in the game winning run. The Brooklyn Dodgers then bought out his contract from the Phillies. Lasorda was mostly a career minor leaguer, spending 14 seasons in the minors, nine of them at AAA Montreal. The right handed pitcher, went 107-57 record in those seasons. He had  his best year in 1954, going 17-8 with a 2.41 ERA.  MLB Call Up: He earned a late season call up to Brooklyn, pitching in four games, allowing five runs in nine innings.  In the Brooklyn 1955 Championship season he pitched in just four games during the regu