Friday, October 11, 2013

no. 222 - bob watson

Who is the man: Bob Watson received the most significant amount of playing time in his young career in 1970, playing in 97 games after trips back and forth from the minors from 1966-69.

Can ya dig it: "Bull" looks like a little kid in this photo, not at all like the large man with tinted glasses that I remember from his later cards.

Right on: This is another one of the first 1971 Topps cards I ever saw. Someone I knew must have had it but I don't remember who. Watson was also one of the first 1975 Topps cards I ever owned. So I became pretty familiar with his career early on.

You see this cat Watson is a bad mother: Watson was the guy who got the crowd on the side of the Bad News Bears in  the movie "The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training." When Watson says "come on, let the kids play!," it sparks a "Let Them Play" chant by the entire Astrodome crowd.

Shut your mouth: When Bob Watson was playing for the Braves in 1983, he said, "we're only one player away from being the best team in baseball -- Steve Carlton."

No one understands him but his woman: Watson worked for MLB as the vice president  in charge of discipline, rules and on-field operations. He handed out penalties after baseball brawls and got a lot of grief for it. Then there was the time when he said that Red Sox manager Terry Francona couldn't wear his pullover during games, calling it a "nightshirt."

(A word about the back): Losing players to military service was a very real fact of life for teams in 1970. This article documents how many teams lost dozens of players for weeks at a time in the middle of the 1970 season. Watson started two weeks of service on Aug. 1 of that year.

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