A Head for the Game
New Padre manager Bruce Bochy is a terrific baseball man, but his greatest distinction is that he probably has the biggest head in the major leagues. His hat is a size 8. Bochy, who caught for the Astros, the Mets and the Padres in his nine-year big league career, had to bring his helmet with him when he was traded because it was so hard to find one that fit. Once, after he hit a game-winning home run for San Diego, his teammates ran a red carpet to his locker, where a present awaited: a six-pack of beer, with ice, resting inside his helmet.
Salamis for Everyone
It was quite a week for grand slams. In a 5-1 win over Montreal last Thursday, Met catcher Todd Hundley became only the 11th player ever to hit a pinch-hit, extra-inning grand slam. Also, on May 2, Red Sox John Valentin and Mo Vaughn, who were teammates at Seton Hall, hit grand slams in back-to-back innings in an 8-0 win over the Yankees. According to statistician David Vincent of SABR, that was the first time ever that two grand slams accounted for all the runs scored in a game.
Hats Off to Larry
The majors are a more colorless place now that veteran practical joker Larry Andersen is out of the game, but Andersen, now a player-coach with the Reading Phillies in the Double A Eastern League, apparently is still enlivening ballparks in the minors. He was the leading suspect when the sprinkler system went off at Trenton's Mercer County Waterfront Park just as Trenton Thunder pitching coach Al Nipper arrived at the mound to meet with his pitcher in a game on May 1. Andersen denied wrongdoing, saying, "Anytime something happens that sounds like something I might do, people automatically think I did it. I think I was set up."