Thursday, February 19, 2015
no. 381 - fred gladding
Who is the man: Fred Gladding remained one of the top relief pitchers in the National League in 1970. After saving an NL-best 29 games in 1969 for the Astros, he saved 18 in 1970.
Can ya dig it: I wonder how comfortable it was wearing a windbreaker under a uniform jersey?
Right on: Gladding looks a lot older than his 34 years in this photo. I just watched video of him being interviewed in 2012 and except for a few extra pounds and less hair, he looks the same.
You see that cat Gladding is a bad mother: Gladding was the first pitcher in the National League to be recognized officially as a season save leader, as the save wasn't made an official stat until 1969. (Ron Perranoski for the Twins was the first official AL save leader).
Shut your mouth: Gladding was traded for Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews in 1967. Mathews was at the end of his career and would play in 67 games over 1967-68 for the Tigers. Meanwhile, Gladding did well for the Astros, but missed out on the Tigers' World Series championship in 1968.
No one understands him but his woman: Gladding was the Tigers pitching coach when Mark Fidrych came up with Detroit in 1976. In the video I watched, he recalls Reggie Jackson jawing at Fidrych before the famous Monday night nationally televised game on June 28, telling Fidrych he was going to take him into the upper deck. But Jackson didn't play in that game.
(A word about the back): I see Gladding was still wearing those horned-rim glasses, which were on their way out of fashion in the early '70s.