Wednesday, May 14, 2014

no. 291 - george culver

Who is the man: In 1971, George Culver was preparing to enter his first full season with the Astros after coming over from the Cardinals in a mid-season trade in 1970.

Can ya dig it: That is a nice look at the old Astrodome logo. This is the logo that I associate with the Astros. No other one will do.

Right on: Those stadium levels seem to go on for miles in this photo.

You see this cat Culver is a bad mother: Culver pitched a no-hitter against the Phillies while playing for the Reds in 1968. It was the second game of a doubleheader and the Phillies did manage a run in the game, on a throwing error, a ground out and a sacrifice fly.

Shut your mouth: Culver pitched his last year of pro ball in Japan in 1975. He says that he was supposed to get paid for two years, but the team let him go after one and claimed the deal was two one-year contracts, not a two-year contract. Culver was stunned, saying "this was totally out of character for Japanese. Japan is the only place where you can lay your wallet in the middle of your bed in your hotel room and with money laying all over the place and the Japanese people will walk right into your room and not touch a thing."

No one understands him but his woman: Bill James considered the list of everyone who threw a major league no-hitter and how likely it was for that pitcher to throw a no-hitter. He calculated that Culver was one of the 10 least likely to throw a no-hitter.

(A word about the back): 1968 was really Culver's only season of full-time starting. Excluding 1968, Culver started only 29 games in nine years in the majors.

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