Thursday, November 1, 2012

no. 109 - steve hovley

Who is the man: Steve Hovley was an original Seattle Pilot, who was traded to the A's from the Brewers in the middle of the 1970 season.

Can ya dig it: Nice work by Topps getting Hovley in an A's uniform -- in the first series no less -- given the short turnaround time, especially for that time period.

Right on: I call this pose "The 1981 Donruss pose," since it seems like one-fourth of all cards in that set show a player with a bat on his shoulder.

You see this cat Hovley is a bad mother: Hovley is most famous for his several mentions in the book "Ball Four," and I guess he's bad ass for being one of the players that writer Jim Bouton liked. As you know, there were a lot of players that Bouton didn't seem to like, judging from the book.

Shut your mouth: Hovley's famous quote in Ball Four is: "To a pitcher, a base hit is the perfect example of negative feedback."

No one understands him but his woman: Teammates ridiculed Hovley for his long hair and intelligence. He was a counterculture type in the baseball world. His nickname was "Orbit," which Hovley said he didn't mind, "In fact, I get reinforcement from it," he said in Ball Four. "It reminds me I'm different from them and I'm gratified."

(A word about the back): The photo on the back is used again on the front of Hovley's 1972 Topps card, except with him airbrushed into a Royals cap.

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