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Monday, November 11, 2013

Dave Parker on success, failure, fight of his life

Cobra…still spitting to all fields.

“I know when I was younger people use to want to come up to me and talk about being the best player in the game in the seventies. I said you’re doing the right thing if you want to know how good I am ask me cause I believe in my ability.”

He began his major league career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, taking over right field after the death of Pirates’ legend Roberto Clemente.

“I just went in trying to play within myself I had won three batting titles in the minor leagues. I felt like I could do the same things up here as Dave Parker not as the second Roberto Clemente,” Parker said.

...Despite his stellar career, the Baseball Hall of Fame has eluded him.

“It was frustrating because I know I was a great player. I knew I had my thumbprint on the game and I think it was all because of that 1985 drug trial that set me back with writers and possibly the general public,” Parker said. But baseball is supposed to be so forgiving and this is a forgiving country why didn’t they forgive me.”

He’ll know in one month if baseball is forgiving. The veteran’s committee votes on new Hall of Fame members.

“I stood accountable for I never pointed the finger at anybody else I thought that infringed on me getting into the hall a lot sooner.”

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2013 at 05:45 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof, pirates

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   1. GEB4000 Posted: November 11, 2013 at 07:58 AM (#4597791)
It wasn't the cocaine trial; it was the cocaine and jelly donuts that has kept Parker out.
   2. gef the talking mongoose Posted: November 11, 2013 at 08:52 AM (#4597816)
It wasn't the cocaine trial; it was the cocaine and jelly donuts that has kept Parker out.


Vile calumny.

He was more of an eclair man.
   3. The Tarp That Ate Vince Coleman Posted: November 11, 2013 at 08:53 AM (#4597817)
What crazy numbers in 1977.

Led the league with 26 assists, but also led the league with 15 errors. Still earned the Gold Glove.
Stole 17 bases, but got caught 19 times.
Also played second base (for the only time in his career) during a 14-inning game that saw Terry Forster play RF.

And in 1985, when he finished second in the MVP vote, he went 5 for 18 on steals while leading the league in doubles and GIDP.
   4. just plain joe Posted: November 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4597892)
Also played second base (for the only time in his career) during a 14-inning game that saw Terry Forster play RF.


That was enough to get him a second base rating in the next season's SOM cards. It was the worst possible rating for the position but it was there.
   5. Publius Publicola Posted: November 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4597903)
I'm looking at his WAR numbers. He had 40 WAR for his career. After the age of 29, he accumulated 7.1 WAR. Total. And that's including a 4.7 year in '85.

Wow.

And look at his salaries. He first made big money in '79, when he was paid $775K. And he fell right off the cliff after that. Talk about taking the money and running.
   6. GregD Posted: November 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4597940)
Yeah it is easy to make a narrative that would lead you to believe Parker was an HOFer. If you said this guy was one of the 2-3 best players in baseball in his mid-20s and then had a near-MVP season in his mid-30s and was a respected clubhouse leader, you'd naturally fill in some 2-3 WAR seasons to fill the gap and picture an HOF player. It was a fine peak. Top 3 MVP finishes 3 of 4 years, 2 batting titles, 2 slugging titles, an OBP title, 21 WAR in 3 years, 31 in 5. He had a better peak and a better late bounce than Jim Rice, for example. But in the between was ugly!
   7. GEB4000 Posted: November 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4597956)
PP Parker took the money and ate.

He was really good. Few players can take a five year mid-career vacation and come back and play well enough to hang around till they are forty.
   8. Publius Publicola Posted: November 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4597976)
He had a better peak and a better late bounce than Jim Rice, for example.


Did he? Or maybe it just seems that way because Parker was rebounding from a lower baseline. Rice had two WAR seasons north of 5 after the age of 30, Parker none. Rice also had the highest single season WAR of the two - 7.6.

I think they were comparable players but Rice had a better career because he stayed in shape and kept his nose clean.
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4597987)
Parker is one of my favorite players, mainly because when playing PTP baseball as a kid I had the '85 Reds and he was one of my best players.

He had a very good career, with an excellent peak and some bulk value. It didn't amount to a Hall of Fame career but there's no shame in that. Too many people feel that by not supporting a player for the Hall of Fame you are denigrating his career. That's not at all the case, but anyway since the steroids hysteria engulfed the Hall of Fame it's become irrelevant who makes it and who doesn't.


   10. GregD Posted: November 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4597988)
Did he? Or maybe it just seems that way because Parker was rebounding from a lower baseline. Rice had two WAR seasons north of 5 after the age of 30, Parker none. Rice also had the highest single season WAR of the two - 7.6.
I forgot Rice was 30 in 1983. With that, he definitely had a better 30s than Parker.

I'd give Parker the peak, since he had 21 WAR in 3 and Rice's best 3-year-run was 19 but it's closer than I would have guessed.
   11. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4597994)
He began his major league career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, taking over right field after the death of Pirates’ legend Roberto Clemente.


The Pirates first choice to replace Clemente in 1973 was Manny Sanguillen. Milt May was a good catching prospect, Parker started the season in Triple A after playing in A ball in 1972 (I think he won a Caribbean batting title that offseason?). It surprises me now to see that the Sanguillen experiment lasted as long as it did, until mid-June. He had committed eight errors, but also had six assists, and was hitting well. The team was doing badly, though, and so there was a shakeup with Sanguillen going back behind the plate. It seems to me that Sanguillen was never the same defensive catcher after the failed shift.

Gene Clines had hit over .300 in 1971-72, and he got the next shot at right field, but he didn't hit. Richie Zisk then took over, and solidified the position in August and September, and for 131 games in 1974. Parker did take over in right in 1975.
   12. Morty Causa Posted: November 11, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4598232)
Parker for the HOF? That's crazy talk. The guy isn't even as good as Fred Lynn in 2000 more at bats, much less Dwight Evans.
   13. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 11, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4598267)
He had a very good career, with an excellent peak


Like a number of posters here, I remember him when he played and there were times when he was considered the best player in the game. Had a great, short peak, but just not enough long term compiling to make a compelling case. If you are going in as a peak candidate, the numbers need to Koufaxian to be considered.
   14. tfbg9 Posted: November 11, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4598310)
5-yeah. He basically had the Strawberry career.
   15. BDC Posted: November 11, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4598327)
Compare Vladimir Guerrero's MVP season to Parker's; then for more fun, compare Parker's 1989 to Vlad's 2010 (both led a pennant-winning team in RBIs in those seasons as elder statesman). They had very similar profiles and were similarly highly regarded (though they hit from different sides, which somewhat spoils the comparison). I'd say they were roughly as good as each other talentwise, except Vlad didn't take that "vacation."
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 11, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4598380)

Whoever transcribed those quotes should be fired.

   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 11, 2013 at 09:35 PM (#4598403)
it was me boss
archy the cockroach
forgive my lack of
punctuation or sentence breaks
accuracy plays havoc on
the old cranium
diligence leads to aspirin
maybe i should switch
to a pc or tablet
but i guess you can t teach
an old cockroach new tricks
   18. LargeBill Posted: November 11, 2013 at 10:43 PM (#4598443)
“It was frustrating because I know I was a great player. I knew I had my thumbprint on the game and I think it was all because of that 1985 drug trial that set me back with writers and possibly the general public,” Parker said. But baseball is supposed to be so forgiving and this is a forgiving country why didn’t they forgive me.”


Is it just me, or does he not understand what forgiveness is all about. Not that I have anything to forgive him for, but if I did it wouldn't change the past. If someone assaulted me and was in prison for the act my forgiveness wouldn't change their prison sentence. Beyond that, Parker not getting elected to Cooperstown has nothing to do with whether he is forgiven or not for his past mistakes. He isn't in the HoF because the totality of his career falls short of HoF standards. Forgiving his drug usage doesn't add 100 homers or 350 RBI or whatever might have impressed the voters.
   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 11, 2013 at 11:53 PM (#4598477)
5-yeah. He basically had the Strawberry career.


Sadly, Griffey Jr. had this career also. 76 WAR through age 30, just 8 WAR thereafter.

I wonder if this happens more to outfielders than to infielders.
   20. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 12, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4598482)

I wonder if this happens more to outfielders than to infielders.


I don't think so. For every Parker, Straw or Griff Jr. you've got a Sisler, Nomar, Petrocelli or Fregosi.

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