Wednesday, February 29, 2012

no. 22 - phil roof

Who is the man: Backup catcher Phil Roof arrived in Milwaukee in January of 1970 in a big swap with Oakland. After a little more than a year with the Brewers, he was shipped to Minnesota, where he spent six seasons.

Can ya dig it: Second straight card of a player with a devilish grin. This one doesn't seem as creepy as McGinn's. But Roof looks like he's up to something.

Right on: I like the action going on behind him. It almost has a dream-like quality.

You see this cat Roof is a bad mother: Roof played 16 years in the major leagues, despite a career batting average of .215. How'd he do it? Well, I could say it was the '60s and '70s and you could do stuff like that with catchers then. But I'll just say, "He was bad-ass, that's how."

Shut your mouth: Phil Roof appeared on a baseball card in 1982 even though his career ended five years earlier. Donruss mistakenly put Roof's name on his younger brother Gene Roof's card and didn't correct the error. I'm sure little brother was thrilled about that.

No one understands him but his woman: Roof was the first player acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was acquired two weeks before the 1976 expansion draft. How do you explain that you're part of team that doesn't have any players yet?

(A word about the back): "Phil provided a number of game winning hits for the Brewers in 1970." He had 23 hits! He had to be the most clutch player in history.


  1. He had 73 hits in '70, not 20. Glad I'm not the only one who has trouble reading these card backs.

    1. I was thinking he was a bad ass because of those 23 hits, 13 were home runs!! Truly bad ass! 73 makes more sense.

  2. Ha! 23-for-321 would've been an .071 batting average. Not even managers in the '70s would stand for that.

  3. I remember when Phil was a coach with the Mariners and he tossed me my first MLB ball.

  4. I remember one year he didn't get into a game until late summer.

  5. In 1974, Roof did not make his first appearance until June 4. That may be the year Jim is thinking of. I don't know if he was injured or if there is some other explanation, but he wasn't in the minors, because he didn't play in the minors that year (or any other year afer 1964, with the exception of a 10-game stint at AAA in 1976).

    Phil and Gene had three other brothers who played in the minors without ever making it to the majors. Of the five, the three oldest were born between 1936 and 1942, the two youngest in 1953 and 1958 (not sure if all are from the same marriage, or if the two groups may be half-brothers to each other). Gene is the youngest of the five; there are 17 years betwen him and Phil. Gene also has three sons who play or have played in the minors.

    Did Gene ever have any cards that had his name correct, or is that '82 Donruss that misidentifed him as Phil his only one?

  6. Gene Roof appears on a 1983 Fleer card (I know because I have it). It looks nothing like Phil, so I assume Fleer at least got it right.

  7. Phil is under consideration for our 2012 class of the Backup Catcher Hall of Fame.

  8. One of three players to appear in a game for both the Milwaukee Braves and Milwaukee Brewers. The other two...Hank Aaron and Felipe Alou.