Wednesday, December 21, 2016

no. 609 - leo durocher

Who is the man: Leo Durocher, in his fifth year as the Cubs' manager, led Chicago to a second straight second-place finish in the NL East in 1970. The Cubs finished five games behind the Pirates, but one game ahead of the Mets, who frustrated the Cubs in 1969.

Can ya dig it: This card is way off-center, but it's much more obvious here. I don't even notice it when it's in my '71 binder.

Right on: Durocher looks like someone's drunk uncle in this photo. The photo also is suspiciously similar to his photo on this card.

You see that cat Durocher is a bad mother: Durocher managed the Dodgers to their first pennant in 21 years in 1941, the Giants to their first pennant in 14 years in 1951 and won the Giants a World Series in 1954. Oh, and he also said "nice guys finish last." That's pretty bad-ass, although not very nice. (He actually said something like "the nice guys are all over there, in seventh place" but why let a quote get in the way of a good story?)

Shut your mouth: Durocher was nicknamed "The Lip" early in his playing career because of his nonstop talking. He famously did not get along with his fellow Yankees when he started with them in the late 1920s. Babe Ruth called him "the All-American Out".

No one understands him but his woman: Durocher was married and divorced three times. His third wife, Laraine Day, divorced him in 1960, but accepted his Hall of Fame award on his induction day in 1994. Durocher had died three years earlier.

 (A word about the back): I mentioned on the last manager card how odd it was to see someone born in 1911 on the back of a card. Well Durocher was born in 1906!

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