Oddball Odyssey: Four Which Have Nothing In Common

I have a laundry list of things I should be doing (this is being written late Sunday afternoon), but instead I’m here writing this post. Please bear that in mind if this post seems a bit short and/or disjointed.

Jim Gentile has a big-enough place in Orioles history that I was surprised to find he only played 4 seasons in Baltimore. Of course, one of those seasons was enough to win over the hearts of any fan base…
In 1961, Gentile hit 46 homers and tied for the league lead with 141 RBI. What else happened in 1961? Oh, just Roger Maris’ 61 homers, that’s all… Maris was the other batter with 141 RBI. Consider some of the other players who had fewer RBI than Gentile: Rocky Colavito (140), Norm Cash (132), Mickey Mantle (128), Frank Robinson (124), Willie Mays (123), Harmon Killebrew (122) and Hank Aaron (120). Orlando Cepeda lead the Majors with 142 RBI. Gentile was tied will Killebrew and Cepeda for 3rd in the Majors in Homers.

As many roles as Joe Torre has had in baseball, sometimes it’s easy to forget he was a player, and a damn good one at that.
Not good enough to make it into the Hall-Of-Fame as a player (he did make it as a manager), but good enough to be the 1971 N.L. MVP and a 9-time all-star. He came up as a catcher, but spent the second-half of his career at 1st and 3rd.

This Reggie comes from the 5×7 1980 “Baseball Superstars Photo Cards” set, more commonly known as “Supers”.
For a couple of years I’ve been toying the idea of a series of posts about players I don’t like. I even have a title: “Shlabotnik’s Hall Of Disdain”. If/when I get around to this, you can be sure that Reggie will be featured… and because I don’t take sides in a certain famous feud of the time, Billy Martin would be featured as well.

“Phelps Face” became something of a meme last summer, but Phelps ain’t got nothing on B.J. Surhoff. (This is a 1991 Panini sticker, BTW)
At first glance, B.J. comes across as a stone-faced guy, but I always used to enjoy watching him bat for the Orioles… between pitches, he’d take a hack or two while going through some entertaining facial contortions. Nothing goofy, mind you, but entertaining nonetheless. I tried finding a video on YouTube but I came up short. Trust me on this one. I also used to enjoy watching him during a post-game celebration. No fist bumps for B.J. Surhoff, he always went for the handshake. Whenever a younger player unthinkingly went to fist bump B.J., and then realize his mistake, Mrs. Shlabotnik & I used to do our own voiceovers for the TV coverage… usually a high-pitched “Oh, sorry, Mr. Surhoff! I don’t know what I was thinking!”

I miss B.J. Surhoff…

OK, I’d better get back to my “Honeydew” list.


4 thoughts on “Oddball Odyssey: Four Which Have Nothing In Common

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