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Monday, April 17, 2006

Roy Face

Elligible in 1975.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:03 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:05 PM (#1969062)
The third greatest Elroy (behind Jetson and Hirsch). ;-)
   2. Mike Webber Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#1969122)
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#1969163)
Roy Face versus Stu Miller. Discuss.
   4. Mark Donelson Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#1969236)
I prefer Stu, ever so slightly—peak is just a notch better in my system. Which is interesting, since Elroy was always the name I heard about more.

Neither is close to making my ballot, though.
   5. Paul Wendt Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:45 AM (#1970356)
Roy Face. Does anyone know whether the Face forkball should be considered a type of changeup: thrown with fastball motion but way slower? (From the Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, I know that it is "off-speed" and a breaking pitch.)

Stu Miller. "Slow, slower, and slowest" --a contemporary description repeated by Milt Pappas in his autobiography. The best changeup, according to a poll of 645 players. And, essentially, according to Pierce, Pappas, Dick Hall, and Frank Robinson, quoted in Neyer/James.
   6. Mark Donelson Posted: April 21, 2006 at 04:26 PM (#1979270)
This thread does not appear to have jump-started that talk about relievers we were all hoping for. I guess the Roy Face vs. Stu Miller smackdown doesn't inflame passions too much...

Ah well, guess we have to wait for Wilhelm.
   7. DavidFoss Posted: April 21, 2006 at 05:31 PM (#1979394)
I suppose there is some excitement in Face being the all-time saves leader for a couple of years (1962-63). Saves for this time were all retroactively calculated at a later date, but we can only imagine the media blitz that would have ensued in the 1962 season.

Grandma Murphy had held the record for 15 years and many wondered if that record would ever be broken. Then following the 1961 season there were -- amazingly -- three challengers: Clem Labine, Roy Face and Hoyt Wilhelm. Labine was the closest, but he his career was fading. Fans knew Wilhelm had the makings of a legendary closer, but he had hurt his chances by racking up too many starts (and winning an ERA title) in recent seasons.

Face seemed poised to break the record and with Saves in his first six 1962, he surged past Labine for second place. After a slow May where Face managed only one Save, he went on a tear in June to close in on Grandma's record.

The Pirates went into Houston for a four-game series on July 2nd. Face saved the first two games to tie the record. In the July 4th doubleheader, we can only hope that Grandma Murphy himself was in attendance sitting in box seats with Papa Murphy, Mama Murphy, Uncle Murphy, and little Joe. Vern Law spoiled the drama in game 1 by pitching a shutout. The Pirates had a 4-1 lead in the 7th when starter Earl Francis gave up a walk to Browne and then a single to Aspromonte. Pirate skipper Danny Murtaugh brought in Roy Face to put out the fire. The record breaker would need to be a three-inning save! Face immediately coaxed a double play out of Smith and then retired Amalfitano to retire the side. The Colts went down in order in the 8th, but made it interesting in the 9th. A couple of singles and an outfield mis-hap and the Colts had pulled it to within a run. Then with two outs pinch-hitter Norm Larker singled to put the tying run on first. Then the Colts brought up another pinch hitter Merrit Ranew. Houston fans were on their feet. The camera cuts to the Murphy family sitting in the box. Was history going to be made, or would the Colts come back and avoid a sweep? Its history! Ranew grounds to 2nd and Face has his 108th save!

Fireworks went off around the country commemorating our nations 186th birthday, but on this day they also went off for the new All-Time saves leader, Roy Face! :-)
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 21, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#1979448)
we can only hope that Grandma Murphy himself was in attendance sitting in box seats with Papa Murphy, Mama Murphy, Uncle Murphy, and little Joe.

Even if I was invited to go, I wasn't a corporeal presence yet. :-)
   9. sunnyday2 Posted: April 21, 2006 at 06:44 PM (#1979543)
Though of course it is 1959 for which Face is famous:

18-1, .947, 2.70 (143), 10 saves

And if I recall Roy was something like 16 or 17-0 before getting the loss.

You don't get those 18 wins by hanging around wiating to get a save and indeed he got just 10 saves that year (20 the year before and 24-17-28-16 the years after and 18-17-13 again several years later).

57 games, all in relief, 93.1 IP, almost 1.2 IP per appearance. 91 H, 25 BB, 69 K (not bad for a 5-8, 155 pound guy). OBA .266, OOB .315, nothing too spectacular there.

But then he was surely more effective in that 1962 season:

8-7, .533, 1.88 (209, 28 saves, 91 IP, 74 H, 18 BB, .231, .270, though his Ks were down to 45.

In my Baseball Encyclopedia his career total of 106 IBB is in boldface. Is that the all-time career record or what?

Still for those of us who were corporeal presences at the time, his 1959 was vastly more notorious. Between he and Harvey Haddix it was a big year for Pirate pitchers. I mean, Haddix went 12-12, 3.13, but he threw one of the most memorable games of my lifetime, which I listened to on the Milwaukee Braves radio network. For the Pirates it didn't add up to much, 78-76, 4th place, though only 9 GB one of the weaker pennant winners ever, I would think. And who knew that a year later these very same Pirates would become much more famous for a single swing of the usually not so effective bat of a player better known for his glove. Still, notoriety seemed to follow these Pirates a year earlier.
   10. DavidFoss Posted: April 21, 2006 at 07:03 PM (#1979592)
In my Baseball Encyclopedia his career total of 106 IBB is in boldface. Is that the all-time career record or what?

No. I don't know why that's in bold face. Retrosheet has Kent Tekulve with the all-time leader in IBB (since they've been tracking it) at 179. Gaylord Perry, Greg Maddux, Gene Garber and Steve Carlton round out the top five. Maddux might have climbed up the list since retrosheet is a year behind, but at 158 I don't think he's caught Tekulve yet (could be wrong).
   11. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: April 21, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#1979684)
While we're throwing out Stu Miller jokes, another good line was "You could time his pitches with a sundial."

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