Wednesday, June 10, 2009

# 112 -- Greg Luzinski

Greg Luzinski

At 6'1", 215 pounds, Greg Luzinski was a big, burly slugger who didn't move around all that great in the field in the early 1970's. For comparison, Rick Ankiel is listed at 6'1", 210; Hideki Matsui is 6'2", 210; and Vernon Wells is 6'1", 230. I don't think any of those guys would be nicknamed "Bull" but Luzinski was thought of as a mountain of a man back then.

As you can see on his card, he had an outstanding minor league career. He destroyed the PCL in 1971 at Eugene after wreaking the same havoc in Reading the year before and with the beloved Durham Bulls before that. From what I remember of the old park in Durham in law school, it wasn't an easy place to hit 31 homers.

Some guys really hit a wall when they go from the thin air of the PCL to the big leagues. Luzinski adapted very well, hitting 18, 68, .281 in his first full season with the woeful Phillies. By the time the Phillies started winning in 1975, he established himself as a 30 homer, 100 RBI and .300 hitter at a time when that was the elite of the league. I'd honestly forgotten how good his numbers were then. He started tailing off in 1977 and never regained that form. He became a White Sox DH in the 80's. I remember when they won the AL West in 1983 there was a lot of discussion about whether Ron Kittle or Luzinski would have to play the field if the Sox made it to the Series.

Now, he runs a stand at the ballpark in Philadelphia called Bull's Barbecue. I guess now that I've plugged him and Manny Sanguillen, I'll have to find a photo when Boog Powell's card comes up.

In the comments, the Dean Family (of the 1980 Topps blog) reminds of the Bull's Miller Lite commercial from 1988 where he imitates John Daly (before Daly hit the limelight). I had to go back and put this in.

1972 Feature
On June 10, 1972 the A's beat the Tigers 5-2 in a preview of the ALCS. The A's improved their record to a league best 33-13 and opened up a 5 game lead in the West. The Twins had been close, but were fading fast. Today's Game of the Day shows this continuing to happen.

The Twins came into this game in Cleveland having lost 6 of their last 8 since June 1, when they were only 1.5 games behind the A's. Dick Woodson is cruising and has the Indians shut out on 3 hits through the first 7 innings. The Twins innocently pushed 1 across in the 4th when Rod Carew scored on a double play grounder after tripling. That was the only run through 7. In the bottom of the 8th, Del Unser gets it started by dropping down a bunt. An RBI double by Jack Brohamer tied it and, after an intentional walk to Alex Johnson, singles by Chris Chambliss and Buddy Bell make it 4-1. Steve Mingori comes in and goes through Cesar Tovar, Carew and Harmon Killebrew to close it out. The Indians aren't going anywhere, but the Twins pretty well insure they aren't either by dropping their 7th out of 9.


  1. Interesting to see a picture of Greg with a glove. He wasn't exactly known for his defense. :)

  2. Bull's BBQ is absolutely delicious, and I can say this from almost monthly experience. Better yet, Bull is at the ballpark practically every night signing autographs.

  3. Remember the Miller Lite commercial?

  4. Great catch! I'd forgotten all about that commercial. Bull looked like John Daly before John Daly became John Daly.

  5. would NEVER see bats dumped in a cart like that today.