Thursday, November 29, 2012
no. 118 - cookie rojas
Who is the man: Cookie Rojas completed his first season with the Kansas City Royals in 1970. He was traded from the Cardinals to the Royals in June of that season, and was entering the '71 season as the Royals' starting second baseman.
Can ya dig it: This is an often-cited favorite card of the 1971 set with good reason. It's a great double-play action shot with a scoreboard in the background. The game in the photo took place on Aug. 16, 1970. Rojas is retiring the Yankees' Ron Woods at second and throwing to first to get Gene Michael to complete the double play. The Yankees won the game by the score you see on the board, 5-1.
Right on: Topps is being a little cute with the "infield" position listing. True, Rojas played three games in the outfield and two games at shortstop in 1970. But he played 107 games at second base!
You see this cat Rojas is a bad mother: Rojas was suspended for five games after flipping out during the 1999 NLDS while a coach for the Mets. An umpire called a fly ball by Darryl Hamilton foul and Rojas thought it was fair. He was so vehement that he bumped the ump and manager Bobby Valentine nearly fell over trying to hold back Rojas.
Shut your mouth: The umpire turned out to be right. The ball was foul.
No one understands him but his woman: Rojas' actual first name is "Octavio." "Cookie" is an Americanization of the Spanish nickname "Cuqui."
(A word about the back): Still with the "utility man" stuff! Rojas did spread out his position responsibilities early in his career with the Phillies. But he was mostly a second baseman starting in 1967.