September gurl? Well, John D’Acquisto was a big star…and has some great stories here to prove it.
I was informed that so long as everything went as expected, I would be a mainstay in the rotation in 1974. Question was, who had to go? There was the bulldog Tom Bradley, who would make 35 starts in ’73, Jim Barr, a young stud from the USC Baseball factory the organization was extremely high on. Of course, Ron Bryant was considered an emerging star with his 20-9 season to that point, plus he was only 25, only making $25,000. The process of elimination and Baseball economics made it clear that I would be replacing the one of the starters in this four-man rotation, the one who happened to be making $135,000 a year, one of the highest-paid players in the game. On a money-losing ballclub. Who was 35 years old. A fan-favorite, an immortal in the midst of a 1-5 skid that would extend to 2-9 over the remainder of the season.
Someone named Marichal.
Business was business.
...Marichal was sold to the Red Sox two months after the season ended. Storeham packaged Stretch McCovey with another player and sent him down to San Diego about three weeks after the final out of 1973. Bobby Bonds would be gone in a year. Kingman was purchased by the Mets (who were interested primarily on the recommendation of Willie Mays, a New York coach at the time, by the way.) Maddox went to Philadelphia, where he became a popular local star for over a decade. Gary Matthews drank the free agency Kool-aid and was pursued by nearly every ballclub. All the veterans from the late ‘60s, early ‘70’s were gone, replaced by guys like me, Count Montefusco, Halicki, and Gary Lavelle. The San Francisco winds had indeed begun to change as I suspected, but for that month, that September, it felt like the greatest April spring a ballplayer could ever experience.
Posted: August 31, 2012 at 05:59 AM | 6 comment(s)
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