Wednesday, December 7, 2016

no. 604 - john gelnar


Who is the man: John Gelnar enjoyed the most productive season of his five-year career in 1970, appearing in a career-high 53 games for the Brewers, the most on the staff.

Can ya dig it: It's another Brewer in Yankee Stadium. We must've come across a dozen of these by now.

Right on: This is Gelnar's final card. He had only two solo cards for Topps (1970, 1971).

You see that cat Gelnar is a bad mother: Gelnar was the first relief pitcher in Milwaukee Brewers history. He came on in relief for starter Lew Krausse in the fourth inning against the Angels on April 7, 1970. Unfortunately, he didn't do so well, turning a 4-0 deficit into a 7-0 deficit in four batters.

Shut your mouth: Gelnar, who went 3-10 for the Pilots in 1969, is a figure in some stories in Jim Bouton's "Ball Four". In one anecdote, Gelnar was recounting a conversation on the mound with manager Joe Schultz. The Tigers had two men on base and Gelnar wondered about the next batter, Tom Matchick: "Any particular way you want me to pitch him, Joe?" Gelnar asked. "Nah, bleep him," Schultz said. "Give him some low smoke and we'll go and pound some Budweiser."

No one understands him but his woman: Gelnar helped the Royals get Lou Piniella away from the Pilots. Seattle traded Piniella for Gelnar and Steve Whitaker.


(A word about the back): Gelnar's first major league games were with the Pirates. His first strikeout victim was the Cubs' Billy Williams.

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