Tuesday, April 15, 2014
no. 282 - jose pagan
Who is the man: Jose Pagan was a part-time player and superb pinch-hitter for the Pirates in 1970.
Can ya dig it: Pagan is listed as playing shortstop on this card, but the record shows that he didn't play a single game at short in 1970.
Right on: This photo, in which Pagan appears to be in the middle of a conversation with the photographer, is a lot like the photo on his 1969 Topps card, right down to the black batting glove on his right hand.
You see this cat Pagan is a bad mother: Pagan delivered what would be the game-winning hit in Game 7 of the World Series in 1971. With the Pirates ahead 1-0 in the eighth inning, Willie Stargell led off with a base hit against Mike Cuellar. Pagan followed with a double to score Stargell with the Pirates' second run. The Orioles would score in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 2-1, but that would be the final.
Shut your mouth: Pagan was the starting shortstop for the Giants when they went to the World Series in 1962. "People talk about shortstops and don't mention Jose Pagan," Orlando Cepeda said after Pagan's death in 2011. "He was a hell of a shortstop."
No one understands him but his woman: Pagan wanted to manage after his playing career ended and set his sights on being the major leagues' first Puerto Rican manager. But he didn't get a chance, coaching with the Pirates in the 1970s and managing in winter ball.
(A word about the back): Pet peeve of mine. The first sentence connects years a decade apart, yet they have no connection whatsoever. OK, carry on.