Wednesday, January 21, 2009

#11 - Bobby Valentine

Bobby Valentine

The temptation is there to draw Groucho Marx glasses/nose on him, but this was taken when Bobby Valentine was The Next Big Thing. He was young, handsome, talented and a hustler. His hustle allowed him to meet a wall and break his leg with the Angels in 1973 and it didn’t heal right. His career was never the same.

At this time, he's a young guy on the rise. At least that was the perception. He seemed to be one of the better Dodger hitters of 1972 (3, 32, .274 in only 119 games), but his OPS+ was a hollow 88. He was also either a versatile player or a man without a position. His 1972 mirrored his career. For his career, he started between 100 and 170 games at short, outfield, second and third. His fielding stats were average to slightly below.

Bobby was a flashy guy and that helped him stay around as a player. It probably also helped him as a manager. His Ranger teams were solid, but never better than second. His Met teams never won the division, but went to the Series once as a Wild Card. He won over 500 games with the Rangers and Mets, but then wore out his welcome. He's on a 4 year contract with Chiba Lotte in Japan and won a championship, but I saw a story where his contract wasn't being extended beyond this year. I wonder if Bobby is the opposite of an "acquired taste"?

1972 feature

I don't have a fond recollection of any 1972 cars. It was the first year of the Honda Civic, which makes it a bad year for American auto makers. Ford came out with their "Better Idea" line, including the Pinto, Mustang, elongated Thunderbird, Cougar and Maverick. Chevy had the Monte Carlo, Chevelle, Malibu and the Corvette. The Volkswagen Beetle was still a popular car and that year became the world's most popular car.

1972 also marked the first time there were more cars than drivers in the USA. The gap has continued to increase. I remember in the early 1970's, my folks had a Monte Carlo and a pick-up. The pick-up was more of a work truck than anything. It was probably in the late 70's before we had 2 cars we could use a lot.

Cars have come a long way. In 1972 seatbelts were usually there, but seldom used. Didn't really have to because the cars were built out of steel and they'd withstand a crash pretty well. Of course, you'd fly around in the car.... We were just starting to think about emissions controls. Cars then ran on Regular or Ethyl. I don't remember Unleaded gasoline being one of the choices, but with gasoline costing about a quarter a gallon, it wasn't a big deal.


  1. We had just one car for a long time when I was growing up. I can't remember when we got two cars, but it had to be in the early '80s.

    I always wondered what Bobby Valentine was like when he was young as a player. I just know him from his manager stints and being an analyst. I just saw him on the MLB Network. He was quite entertaining, but as usual seemed almost uncontainable.

  2. Those Dodgers teams were loaded. They seemingly had potential starters as backups at every position.

  3. Johngy, the '72 Dodgers had a lot of good players, but they were kind of in between at that point. They really didn't have a regular at any position, except Willie Davis in center. It was a lot of depth, but that makes playing them for a season in Strat-O-Matic kind of difficult.

  4. Heheh Bobby Just left town.