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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Don Drysdale Scouting Report by Branch Rickey

The Library of Congress offers treasures like that:

“And here is a secret for you Bob.  Rather than lose him, I would sign him to a Pittsburgh contract, for I think he would come within the three years, but his first contract must not be above $4,000, for he should go out of course.  If he were to stay with our club, however, his salary would be the minimum in the major leagues,..., $6,000”

Dave_Rouleau Posted: April 02, 2008 at 05:28 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: April 02, 2008 at 07:41 PM (#2728079)
I just love this sh*t. My absolute favorite part of the traveling HOF exhibit was Al Campanis's scouting report on Roberto Clemente.

I wonder who that Danglois (sp?) character was.

I wonder what Rickey meant by "come within the three years." Someone here can surely enlighten me.
   2. kubiwan Posted: April 02, 2008 at 07:56 PM (#2728118)
Al Campanis's scouting report on Roberto Clemente.

Please tell me it read something like "Incredible raw talent, could be a great player with proper coaching, lacks intelligence to be a future coach".
   3. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 02, 2008 at 08:00 PM (#2728122)
There was a Don Dangleis who signed with Pittsburgh in 1952. The Sporting News (via Paper of Record) says he went 14-0 with a .89 ERA in high school.
   4. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 02, 2008 at 08:06 PM (#2728137)
I wonder what Rickey meant by "come within the three years." Someone here can surely enlighten me.
I don't know what that meant either, but the ladies loved his staying power.
   5. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: April 02, 2008 at 08:08 PM (#2728144)
Please tell me it read something like "Incredible raw talent, could be a great player with proper coaching, lacks intelligence to be a future coach".

He rated him all A's and A+'es, raving all the while.

Campanis, BTW, was really a good guy who didn't deserve what happened to him.
   6. BDC Posted: April 02, 2008 at 08:21 PM (#2728174)
I like the line about "good breeding." Do you suppose Rickey meant that Drysdale was polite, or that he had a good pedigree? It's an odd word with two opposite meanings, not much in use anymore.

It's also interesting that Rickey says "Fine pitching hand .. . let him alone on all his fingering." IIRC from Drysdale's memoir Once a Bum Always a Dodger (which is BTW a mostly-terrible book, well worth avoiding), Drysdale said that he had an unusual delivery, a habit of bending his wrist all the way back ("hooking" the ball? "slinging" it? I can't remember) that some coaches were critical of when he came up with Brooklyn. It sounds like Rickey noticed it and tried to anticipate and prevent people messing with Drysdale's delivery.
   7. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: April 02, 2008 at 08:27 PM (#2728189)
Possible future Hall of Famer, depending on the size of your Hall and whether you adjust for era... Attracted to female basketball players... Has the makeup to inspire the oldest of a bunch of children in suburban Los Angeles to become obsessed with baseball to the point he will neglect his family and his schoolwork, but prospect's sensible views on life will eventually re-direct the child to focus on his academic and social responsibilities...
   8. KingKaufman Posted: April 02, 2008 at 08:55 PM (#2728285)
I wonder what Rickey meant by "come within the three years." Someone here can surely enlighten me.

I took that to mean he thought he could make it to the big club within three years. Come to Pittsburgh, in other words.

Drysdale said that he had an unusual delivery, a habit of bending his wrist all the way back ("hooking" the ball? "slinging" it? I can't remember) that some coaches were critical of when he came up with Brooklyn.

Saberscouting.com, linked a few spaces down, writes that that very thing can lead to just the kind of arm woes that forced Drysdale to retire young.
   9. Babe Adams Posted: April 02, 2008 at 09:02 PM (#2728308)
I like the line about "good breeding." Do you suppose Rickey meant that Drysdale was polite, or that he had a good pedigree?


Rickey means it in exactly the same sense he would mean it if he was looking at a young Labrador Retriever.
   10. BDC Posted: April 02, 2008 at 09:04 PM (#2728312)
arm woes that forced Drysdale to retire young

Well, young perhaps, but after 3,400 innings.
   11. Charter Member of the Jesus Melendez Fanclub Posted: April 02, 2008 at 09:16 PM (#2728348)
I wonder what Rickey meant by "come within the three years." Someone here can surely enlighten me.

I assumed someone would know for sure by now, but I'll half-ass it. I think teams probably could hold a player's rights in the minors for 3 years. So Drysdale should make it to the majors before they have to decide whether to protect him (did they have 40-man rosters then?) or possibly expose him to other teams.

Giving him less than $4000 -- does that refer to the bonus baby rules, whereby players given a certain amount of $ had to be kept on the major league roster. He needs minor league time.
   12. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 02, 2008 at 09:44 PM (#2728414)
Nothing to do with anything, but when I saw that the Yanks had just set a new record for 11 straight home opener wins, I wasn't surprised.

And then I looked at the team that they'd previously been tied with, and I did a complete doubletake. It was the 1945-54 Pirates.

That stretch included 8 teams that won 63, 62, 71, 57, 64, 42, 50 & 53 games over the course of a season.

Is that the most insanely incongruous record imaginable? It's like finding out that Joe Dimaggio had broken Ray Oyler's 44 game hitting streak.
   13. Steve Treder Posted: April 02, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#2728421)
I think teams probably could hold a player's rights in the minors for 3 years. So Drysdale should make it to the majors before they have to decide whether to protect him (did they have 40-man rosters then?) or possibly expose him to other teams.

I'm pretty sure that's right; the 3 years means the amount of time you could keep a guy on your 40-man roster and have options to send him to the minors without exposing him to waivers or drafts.

Yes, they had 40-man rosters then; that is a feature that goes back at least to the 1920s.
   14. Steve Treder Posted: April 02, 2008 at 09:59 PM (#2728428)
Giving him less than $4000 -- does that refer to the bonus baby rules, whereby players given a certain amount of $ had to be kept on the major league roster.

Yes.

The funny thing about that, though, is that teams flouted the $4,000 limit all the time with various forms of under-the-table payments, including hiring the prospect's dad as a "scout," etc.
   15. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 02, 2008 at 10:09 PM (#2728438)
One of the pages that mentioned Drysdale on Paper of Record/ TSN had a 1955 quote from pitcher Tommy Lasorda about Chuck Dressen. "He'll have enough trouble on his own (censored) club without trying to cut this one."
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: April 02, 2008 at 11:50 PM (#2728541)
the Dodgers had a minor league team in Pittsburgh?

seems odd to have an affiliate in a competitors' city
   17. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: April 03, 2008 at 12:14 AM (#2728585)
Rickey worked for Pittsburgh at the time. Drysdale's dad, however, worked for the Dodgers. :)
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: April 03, 2008 at 12:31 AM (#2728603)
thanks, you can see why i would be confused though

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