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BETWEEN THE LINES
Peter Gammons
September 07, 1987
KING OF THE CROUCHWhen Bob Boone crouches behind the plate for the 1,919th time in his 16-year career this month, he will break Al Lopez's major league record for games caught. Lopez, a 19-year veteran (1928-47) who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977, had his busiest year in 1934, when he caught 140 games for the Dodgers. The 39-year-old Boone has topped that figure seven times. Since he turned 34, Boone has averaged 144 games a season; Lopez, after turning 34, averaged 88. Boone's .251 lifetime batting average is 10 points lower than Lopez's, but he has more homers (98 to 52) and RBIs (731 to 652) and will have played more big league games at the sport's toughest position than anyone—likely qualifications for the Hall of Fame. Not bad for a guy who was moved from third base to catcher at Reading in 1971, leaving the hot corner for the Phillies' second-round draft pick that year, another Cooperstown-bound fellow named Mike Schmidt.
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September 07, 1987

Between The Lines

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KING OF THE CROUCH
When Bob Boone crouches behind the plate for the 1,919th time in his 16-year career this month, he will break Al Lopez's major league record for games caught. Lopez, a 19-year veteran (1928-47) who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977, had his busiest year in 1934, when he caught 140 games for the Dodgers. The 39-year-old Boone has topped that figure seven times. Since he turned 34, Boone has averaged 144 games a season; Lopez, after turning 34, averaged 88. Boone's .251 lifetime batting average is 10 points lower than Lopez's, but he has more homers (98 to 52) and RBIs (731 to 652) and will have played more big league games at the sport's toughest position than anyone—likely qualifications for the Hall of Fame. Not bad for a guy who was moved from third base to catcher at Reading in 1971, leaving the hot corner for the Phillies' second-round draft pick that year, another Cooperstown-bound fellow named Mike Schmidt.

THE FIELDER'S CHOICE

Jack Clark has a good chance to become the first player in major league history to leave the batter's box 300 times in a season without having hit a fair ball. Through last weekend Clark had been walked 128 times and had struck out 127 times. Houston's Jimmy Wynn set the record of 293—148 walks, 142 strikeouts and three hit by pitches—in 1969. Babe Ruth's highest total was 263 in 1923, featuring 170 walks.

"Is that anything like the 30-30 club?" Clark asked.

HEY KIDS, WHAT TIME IS IT?
It's just too much for the owner to pass up: a chance to needle both American League president Dr. Bobby Brown and the Yankee rightfielder. Each day the notes provided to the press by Yankee p.r. director Harvey Greene—surely on orders from above—contain this reference to Dave Winfield: "Since playing 13 innings in the All-Star Game, Winfield is batting...." The ravings are aimed at Brown—no pal of George Steinbrenner's—because of his obsession to win the All-Star Game and at Winfield...just because. Oh yes, since the All-Star Game, Winfield has batted .223 with 3 home runs and 16 RBIs.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
?Reds owner Marge Schott, on Cincinnati's season: "The only good thing about it is that if it doesn't work out, it isn't my fault."

TRADE WINS
Doyle Alexander is 3-0—and the Tigers are 4-0 in his starts—since the pitcher was acquired from Atlanta on Aug. 12. Toronto, on the other hand, is 0-3 in Phil Niekro's starts; the Yankees are 1-5 in Steve Trout's starts; the Twins are 4-9 in Joe Niekro's starts and 1-4 with Steve Carlton on the mound.

MISCELLANEOUS

?Prior to the September call-up, the Pirates used 43 players, the Yankees 42 (5 short of their 1982 club record), including 12 starting pitchers, while the Texas Rangers used 19 pitchers and 17 positional players. The Giants used 40 players. Since Al Rosen became the San Francisco G.M. on Sept. 18, 1985, the Giants have used 66 players; only 8 remain from Rosen's original roster.

?Even though he was an active player as recently as 1985, Kansas City's John Wathan is only the third-youngest of the majors' 37-year-old managers. Minnesota's Tom Kelly is three months younger than Texas's Bobby Valentine, who is seven months younger than Wathan. There are now 12 managers younger than 46-year-old Pete Rose.

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