Sunday, January 25, 2009

# 16 -- Mike Jorgensen

Mike Jorgensen

Mike is very appropriately shown in a fielding pose. His glove was his greatest baseball weapon. His card even talks about him being valuable as a centerfielder. I had to look that up to make sure it was right. Sure enough, the Mets usually trotted him out to start in center 20-25 games/year. Usually a first baseman has to take a corner outfield spot (think Willie Stargell or Greg Luzinski), but there are rare guys like Jorgensen and Wes Parker that can play center. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Carlos Delgado or Albert Pujols in center, but I could see the Dodgers put James Loney out there in a pinch.

Jorgensen was an adequate hitter, but not good enough for a regular first baseman. He found himself on several teams, mostly with the Mets and Expos. Just as the 1972 season began, he was traded to the Expos with Tim Foli and Ken Singleton for Rusty Staub. The Expos sure plugged a few holes with that trade. Jorgenson played first allowing Ron Fairly to move into Staub’s old position in right field; Foli replaced .200 hitting Bobby Wine and Singleton replaced a revolving door in left field. Mike missed out on being a part of the 1973 Mets team that went to the Series, but was a bit player on the 1985 Cardinals team that went to the Series. Since his retirement, he’s been a part of the Cardinals front office, working with the guy on the next card.

1972 Feature

There are many reasons I prefer baseball to football. One of the sillier is that baseball is the only major professional team sport (sorry World Team Tennis and Major League Soccer) that has their entire season in the same calendar year. When I think about the NFL in 1972, I obviously think about the Dolphins perfect record. That occurred, but the Super Bowl was in 1973. The 1972 Super Bowl, or Super Bowl VI, was for the 1971 season.

The 1972 Super Bowl was the first one I remember. I may have watched a previous one, but I don't remember it. This one had the Dallas Cowboys against the Miami Dolphins. The Cowboys seemed to be the Red Sox of the NFL. They could get to the championship game, but they hadn't won. They made it to the previous Super Bowl, only to lose to the Colts on the last second field goal of Jim O'Brien. They made it back the next year and they were loaded. The Dolphins were making their second run to the playoffs under Don Shula.

The Dolphins finished 10-3-1 in 1971, losing 2 of their last 3. To make the Super Bowl they had to outlast the Chiefs in double overtime in the longest game in NFL history (I watched that game on the black & white TV in my bedroom on Christmas night.....I learned to hate tie salesmen named Yepremian) and a rematch with the Colts who'd beaten them down the stretch. Paul Warfield caught a couple of bombs from Bob Griese, who threw only 8 passes in the conference championship. The Dolphins strength was a backfield of Jim Kiick, Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris.

The Cowboys had a 10-3 regular season, winning their last 7. They got to the Super Bowl stuffing the Vikes and the 49'ers. They were led by Roger Staubach, in his second year at quarterback, with Craig Morton as a backup. They had a solid rushing game with Duane Thomas, Walt Garrison and Duke All-American Grant Hill's daddy.

What really defined the Cowboys was their defense. Jethro Pugh, Bob Lilly, Chuck Howley, LeeRoy Jordan, Herb Adderly, Mel Renfro and Cliff Harris. They were brutal. In the Super Bowl they held the Dolphins to 80 rushing yards and forced Griese to chuck it 23 times. I know, those numbers don't make any sense in today's game. The Cowboys won decisively 24-3. They punctuated the game with Mike Ditka catching a TD pass. They ran for 252 yards. The one play I can remember from the game was Bob Lilly chasing Griese all over the field and finally sacking him for a 29 yard loss. Yep, you read that correctly.

Facts from that Super Bowl:
  • Coach Landry said the Dolphin defense concerned him, but he didn't know the names of any of the players, leading to the famous nickname "No Name Defense"

  • Dolphin safety Jake Scott had a broken left hand. During the game he broke his right wrist, but wouldn't come out. Later, having casts on both hands, he realized that "You find out who your true friends are when you have to go to the bathroom."

  • President Nixon called Coach Shula after the win over the Colts and gave him a play. Shula used it late in the first half, but the pass was broken up.
Finally, if you put "super bowl vi" into YouTube, you'll find a couple of cool videos, one showing interviews with some hippies to see who they thought would win and the other has game film, showing goalposts on the goal line, linemen who went about 260 and straight on kickers.


  1. Great blog, check out mine sometime. You can get cheap tickets under $100.00 plenty left but not for long!!

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  2. From the expression on his face looks like Jorgensen pulled a hammy posing for this shot.

  3. The Cowboys were 11-3 during the regular season. I can't believe Landry did not know the names of the defensive players. Landry was notorious for studying game film. He helped revolutionize NFL preparation by doing this for the Giants in the 1950's.