Wednesday, January 22, 2014

no. 254 - cal koonce

Who is the man: Cal Koonce was purchased from the Mets by the Red Sox in June of 1970. He pitched for Boston until he was released in August of 1971.

Can ya dig it: Koonce is one of those "before I followed baseball" players who I associate with a team that was only a blip in the player's career. Koonce was mainly a Cub and a Met, but because I saw this card of him as a teenager, I thought he was mainly a Boston Red Sox player.

Right on: This is the final card of Koonce's career.

You see that cat Koonce is a bad mother: Koonce made a semi-decent splash for a really bad Cubs team his rookie year in 1962. He went 10-10 in 30 starts, which was pretty notable on a team that was 59-103.

Shut your mouth: Koonce admitted during his career that he used a doctored pitch. It was actually just sweat from his arm, but pitchers were so freaked out about getting caught using a spitball that they wouldn't even confess to using a little sweat. Koonce thought that was dumb so he admitted it.

No one understands him but his woman: Koonce pitched for the 1969 Miracle Mets, but struggled with a 4.99 ERA and was left off the postseason roster.

(A word about the back): Koonce did indeed win his final six decisions in 1969, with the last one coming on Aug. 24. But Topps doesn't mention that Sept. 1 performance against the Dodgers when he allowed five runs and 10 hits in five innings (starter Jerry Koosman got the loss).

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