Wednesday, August 27, 2014
no. 323 - billy champion
Who is the man: After appearing in 23 games as a rookie in 1969, Billy Champion spent most of his 1970 season in the minors. What few appearances he had in the majors that year didn't end well.
Can ya dig it: Billy's first name isn't Billy at all! It's Buford! It's right there in the signature! (Champion's middle name is Billy. Not "Bill", but "Billy", like a good North Carolina boy).
Right on: Somewhere between now and 1975, Champion acquired the habit of dotting the I's in his signature with circles.
You see this cat Champion is a bad mother: I have mentioned this at least a few times, but I always thought "Billy Champion" was the best name for an athlete ever.
Shut your mouth: The Phillies traded Billy Champion and Don Money to the Brewers in 1972. That's right, they traded two of the most awesome baseball names of the '70s in the same deal. They deserved to lose all their playoff series that decade.
No one understands him but his woman: Champion worked as a pitching coach for a professional team in Taiwan in 2010.
(A word about the back): As a youngster, Champion was known for impressive strikeout games like the 22-K game. He also struck out 19 in a game for the Gastonia, N.C. Legion team in 1964.