Thursday, December 15, 2016

no. 607 - paul ratliff

Who is the man: Paul Ratliff enjoyed the most playing time he received in any of his four major league seasons in 1970. He appeared in 69 games in his first stay in the majors since 1963.

Can ya dig it: This is Ratliff's only solo card. He appears on a four-player rookie card in the 1963 Topps set and a two-player rookie card seven years later (ouch) in the 1970 set.

Right on: Not a bad card for your only card.

You see that cat Ratliff is a bad mother: It's a stretch, but Ratliff was hit by a pitch seven times in 1970 (in just 149 at-bats), which was good for 10th in the American League that year. Had to be a tough guy to do that, right?

Shut your mouth: Ratliff is remembered for a bit of a bonehead play during a game against the Tigers. Pitcher Earl Wilson struck out for the final out of the inning, but Ratliff trapped the pitch, requiring him to either tag Wilson or throw to first. Instead, Ratliff rolled the ball to the pitcher's mound and walked off the field. Wilson proceeded to sprint around the bases, getting all the way past third, before the Twins retrieved the ball and caught Wilson in a rundown between third and home.

No one understands him but his woman: Ratliff, who was traded to the Brewers in the middle of the 1971 season, actually appears on another card, although his photo is credited to someone else, Ellie Rodriguez.

(A word about the back): Ratliff's biggest thrill came during the Twins' 10th game of the 1963 season on April 20. The two-run single only brought the Twins within 10-7 of the White Sox, who entered the ninth with a 10-4 lead. So it's not quite as exciting as it was written.

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