Tuesday, January 27, 2009

#18 - Juan Pizarro

Juan Pizarro

Juan debuted with the 1957 Braves. What a team to get started with. He won a World Series ring his rookie year and went back the next year when the Yankees got revenge on the Braves. He didn't sniff the post-season again until 1974, when he got 2 outs in a playoff game for the Pirates against the Dodgers.

As you can see from the back of his card, he had a lot of stops. I couldn't find anything to say for sure, but it looks like he hit some arm trouble in the mid-60's and never was the same. Juan was a good lefty starter, going 19-9 in 1964 for a punchless White Sox team and was a 2-time All-Star. His 1965 season was cut short and he was mostly out of the pen after that. In 1972 he was a part-time spot starter for the Cubs.

In September 1971 he beat Tom Seaver 1-0, with the only run being his homer in the 8th. He hit 8 homers and had a lifetime batting average of .202, so he could take care of himself. Today, in a scoreless tie, would a starter (1) be allowed to work in the 8th inning and, if so, (2) would he be allowed to bat for himself? How things change.

1972 feature

The 1972 Winter Olympics were held in Sapporo, Japan. Sapporo was supposed to host the Winter Olympics in 1940, but had to resign that because of this little matter of invading China. Then the whole 1940 Olympics was called off.

I don't remember much of this Olympics, if anything. Our "darling" of the ice skating rink was Janet Lynn. She couldn't match Peggy Fleming's 1968 gold and took bronze. She also couldn't match the crush I had on Dorothy Hamill in 1976. The real star of figure skating in that Olympics was Soviet Irina Rodnina. She won the first of her golds. Her more famous gold came later when she paired with Alexander Zaitzev, even skating without music when there was a technical glitch in the 1973 World Championships.

The Damn Commies won the most total medals (16) and most gold (8) of this Olympiad. We only won 8 medals, 3 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze. Our ice hockey team (with Robbie Ftorek and Mark Howe) took silver, but Canada didn't send a team in protest of the professionals used by the Soviets. We also took 2 gold a silver and a bronze in women's speed skating.

We kind of sucked at this Olympics. I'll have several posts about the Summer Olympics, but the Winter Olympics that year were pretty much a big dud all the way around.

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