Thursday, January 10, 2013

no. 132 - jose laboy

Who is the man: Jose "Coco" Laboy was coming off a sophomore slump season as 1971 began. The runner-up to the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1969, Laboy hit just .199 in 432 at-bats in 1970.

Can ya dig it: This is not a bad card, but it's a come down from Laboy's 1970 card.

Right on: Look the ball into your glove, sir.

You see this cat Laboy is a bad mother: While playing for the Cardinals' minor league team in Raleigh in 1964 (Laboy had a 10-year minor league career before he hit the majors), Laboy got into an ugly on-field incident. He believed the opposing pitcher was throwing at him. So in the 5th inning, he bunted down the first base line. When the pitcher came over to field the ball, Laboy charged at him with his bat, kicking off a brawl. Laboy was arrested and charged with assault. He was fined in court and suspended by the league.

Shut your mouth: During a winter league game in Puerto Rico in 1962, Laboy was playing third for San Juan. The team was beating their opponent very badly and according to the book "The Puerto Rican Winter League," the fans on the San Juan side of the stands stood up and lit matches. Teammate Marv Stahle looked at Laboy and asked what was going on. Laboy said, "A funeral. We're burying them and they're holding a funeral."

No one understands him but his woman: It would be nice if just once Topps referred to Laboy as "Coco" on his cards.

(A word about the back): I just get the feeling from reading the write-up that Topps is overcompensating for that .199 average.


  1. He was typical of the Expos of the 1970s. So many of them had good rookie seasons and bad sophomore years.

  2. "CoCo" Laboy....... one of the most fun baseball names ever!