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Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Bobby Bolin, former Giants pitcher, dead at 84

Bobby Bolin, a former Giants pitcher who was one of the original inductees to the team’s Wall of Fame, died June 2 at 84, according to an online obituary.

A cause of death was not given.

Bolin was a right-handed starter and reliever in the majors for 13 seasons with the Giants, Brewers and Red Sox.

A reliable pitcher, Bolin finished in the top 10 in the National League three times for ERA and twice for shutouts and winning percentage.

“I was never classified as a starter or as a reliever, so I mostly sat on a tarp between the bullpen and the dugout because I didn’t know which one I’d be doing,” he once said.

In 1968, a season known as The Year of the Pitcher, Bolin went 10-5 with a 1.99 ERA in 34 appearances, including 19 starts, with six complete games and three shutouts.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 06, 2023 at 12:40 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: obituaries

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   1. The Duke Posted: June 06, 2023 at 06:08 PM (#6131693)
I couldn't remember Bobby Bolin. Had to go back and leak at some baseball cards. I vaguely remember him
   2. Tony S Posted: June 06, 2023 at 06:53 PM (#6131701)
He would show up a lot in the Topps cards we would swap around as kids, and I'd look at his stats, which were very good, and I wondered why I never heard about him in the media. Sonny Siebert was another one of those.

A fine pitcher, a very solid career. RIP.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: June 06, 2023 at 07:39 PM (#6131711)

1961 - BOBBY Bolin (rookie card)
1962 - BOB Bolin
1963 - BOB Bolin
1964 - BOBBY Bolin
1965 - BOBBY Bolin
1966 - BOB Bolin
1967 - BOB Bolin
1968 - BOB Bolin
1969 - BOBBY Bolin
1970 - BOBBY Bolin (Seattle Pilots!)
1971 - BOBBY Bolin
1972 - BOBBY Bolin
1973 - BOB Bolin

"Bobby" wins it, 7-6, as the "Bob" bullpen coughs up a late lead.

RIP, Bob(by).

P.S. Bob(by) never pitched for the Pilots - he was traded to them in December 1969, but of course the team moved to Milwaukee in March.

there are 30 Pilots cards in the 1970 set, including manager Dave Bristol and the team card - which was taken from a photo in early March in Arizona, so they still were wearing Pilots uniforms. that's how Bobby's picture came about.

it's a weird set. ok, Tommy Davis isn't in it because he left for Houston late in the 1969 season.
but INFs Ray Oyler and Gus Gil each got more than 200 (admittedly terrible) PA, yet aren't in the set. but Diego Segui, was was in the same trade in Dec 1969 that sent both he and Oyler to Oakland, he got a card.

similarly, Ron Clark was traded with Don Mincher to Oakland in Jan 1970, and Mincher got a Pilots card but Clark did not in spite of (ok, awful) 180 PA.

backup C Jim Pagliaroni (bizarre but true; he later became the direct boss of a 1990s girlfriend of mine in the consumer goods industry) had a 122 OPS+ in 127 PA as the backup C, but no card. he was released in November, though. Pags immediately became a sales rep and I no doubt made way more money as an executive for a Fortune 500 company than the measly 30 grand he got as a catcher in 1969. (maybe a few of you saw him talking Pilots as a speaker at the 2006 SABR convention in, of course, Seattle.)

Future Cy Young Award bionic RP Mike Marshall didn't get a card, either, in spite of going 3-10 and making 14 (often terrible) starts.

Ageless George Brunet made 11 starts for the Pilots, but he was shipped to Houston in December so no card for him.

finally, Jim Bouton understandably didn't get a card because he was traded to Houston in late August - but that's still a damn shame.

"rabbit hole" conclusion (and I have most of these cards in my closet, still): if you were a youngster in Seattle for that glorious/infamous season and you expected to see all your heroes on cardboard - yeah, not so much.

this was more a 1970 preview set and a nostalgic look back at the year that was.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 07, 2023 at 12:25 AM (#6131764)
I instantly pictured his 1970 Pilots card when I saw the headline. I must have had it in my childhood collection. Even as an 11-year- old in 1988 I thought the Pilots cards were fascinating.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2023 at 01:46 AM (#6131767)
off to sleep, but it only takes one reaction for me to clean up a couple of items from that 1970 Topps Pilots set (and yes, me too on those cards).
   6. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: June 07, 2023 at 10:06 AM (#6131786)
He was Bob as a 1973 Red Sox, the team that made 7-year-old me a baseball fan.
   7. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 07, 2023 at 10:09 AM (#6131787)
ISTR Bolin and his wife are/were high ranking Amway distributors from a sales pitch a friend of mine gave me some 30+ years ago trying to sign me up. He and 1970's Dolphins defensive back Tim Foley.
   8. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 07, 2023 at 11:59 AM (#6131794)
is he the guy still trying to catch Timmy Smith?
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2023 at 12:46 PM (#6131805)
so it turns out that you CAN enjoy cards most of your favorite Pilots - just take a combination of the 1969 set and 1970 set.

while Tommy Davis, Mike Marshall, Gary Bell, Ray Oyler, and Gus Gil played for the Pilots in 1969, they aren't in the 1970 set but ARE in the 1969 set.

"Ball Four" author Jim Bouton pitched in 73 games combined for the Pilots and Astros in 1969 and in 29 more for the Astros in 1970, yet did not appear in the 1970 Topps set. Bouton oddly had been sold by the Yankees to the Pilots in June 1968, before the Pilots ever played a MLB season. He could have been in the 1969 set, considering that non-entities like John Morris, Roland Sheldon, Jose Vidal, and Mike Ferraro got cards.

Ferraro had hit .181 in 89 PA for the Yankees in 1968, and went 0-for-4 as a Pilot. Morris had a 6.39 ERA in 6 games. Vidal went 5-for-26 before being released in May. Sheldon's final MLB appearance came in 1966 !

Ron Clark had 180 PA for the Pilots, but the 3B was acquired in a trade in June 1969 and shipped away in another one in January 1970. OF Steve Whitaker got a 1969 Topps card with the expansion AL - oops, Kansas City Royals. He was taken from the Yankees in the Dec 1968 expansion draft, and not traded to the Pilots until April Fool's Day (with John Gelnar for - wait for it - Lou Piniella). Whitaker had 130 PA as a Pilot but was traded in December 1969, so he's a 1970 Giant for Topps (3 for 27, and that's a wrap on his career).

Pagliaroni - who had a sac fly in his lone appearance as a Red Sock back in 1955 at age 17 - got 127 PA after arriving from the A's in May and as noted above was released in November. He's an A in the 1969 set.

Fred Talbot made 16 starts for the Pilots, but he started the season as a Yankee and ended it as an A.

Brunet, the AL loss leader in 1967-68 for the Angels - and a former Kansas City A, Milwaukee Brave, and Houston Colt .45 - became a Pilot in July 1969 and was traded away that December.

summing up, it's incredible how many trades the 1969-70 PilotBrewers made.

   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 07, 2023 at 01:03 PM (#6131811)
so it turns out that you CAN enjoy cards most of your favorite Pilots - just take a combination of the 1969 set and 1970 set.
Yeah, but aren't almost all of the 1969 Pilots cards head shots with no cap or the logo airbrushed out? I think only a handful in the last series actually showed Pilots uniforms. Most of them are PINO cards.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2023 at 01:08 PM (#6131812)
Jack Aker, Gus Gil, Marty Pattin, Jerry McNertney, Jim Gosger, and John Kennedy (not that one) appear to be the only ones in Pilots uniforms - from the cards in the 400s, 500s, and 600s that came out after the 1969 season started.

Gosger hit .109 for the Pilots in 63 PA before rebounding to a sizzling .133 mark (2 for 15) for the 1969 World Champion Mets (Gosger was traded for Goossen ! #ducksforcover).

Gosger also played for the 1973 Miracle Mets who reached Game 7 of the World Series, with a 60 OPS+ in 102 homerless PA. He was not on either postseason roster.

the others who played for the Mets in 1969 and 1973:
Seaver Koosman McAndrew McGraw
Grote Dyer Boswell Harrelson Garrett CJones Kranepool
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 07, 2023 at 01:08 PM (#6131813)
Dork cheers.
   13. Froot Loops Posted: June 07, 2023 at 01:33 PM (#6131817)
Bob(by) never pitched for the Pilots - he was traded to them in December 1969, but of course the team moved to Milwaukee in March.

It is just insane that this happened so soon before the season started, although I guess there was a similar situation a couple of years later when the Padres almost moved to Washington. Had the Pilots sold any tickets to people in Seattle at that point? Was there TV or radio coverage set up in Milwaukee? And how did the American League manage to award a franchise to an ownership group that went bankrupt within a year?
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2023 at 01:53 PM (#6131820)
weird and weirder:

Piniella appeared on three different rookie cards before being named Rookie of the Year - for a 4th team !

1964 Topps Rookie - Indians, with C Mike Brumley
1968 Topps Rookie - Senators, with OF Richie Scheinblum
1969 Topps Rookie - Pilots, with INF Marv Staehle
1969 AL Rookie of the Year - Royals

a 5th team - Orioles - is where Piniella gets his first MLB AB, in 1964 at age 20.
he had been Indians property, but is traded to the Orioles in August 1964 and gets his (unsuccessful) AB on Sept. 4.

traded to Indians March 1966, finally surfaces with the big club in Sept 1968 and goes 0 for 5.
As noted earlier, becomes a Royal on April 1, 1969 and immediately thrives.

Brumley? he was the Senators' top C in 1964 with 112 starts. but OPS+ of only 74 OPS+.
splits the C duties in 1965 with Doug Camilli and Don Zimmer (!), who in his final season made the only 27 starts of his MLB career behind the dish (for manager Gil Hodges, his old Brooklyn Dodgers teammate).
Brumley manages 2 singles in 18 AB in 1967, and it's over.

sort of.
here comes Mike Brumley (2.0), his son, who somehow gets 635 AB of 48 OPS+ for six teams in eight years - mainly at SS.

Brumley 2.0 was drafted in 1980 and in 1983, and traded in 1984 with throw-in HOFer Dennis Eckersley to the Cubs for Bill Buckner.

traded in 1988 to the Padres with throw-in Keith Moreland for HOFer Rich Gossage.

traded to Tigers in 1989 for Luis Salazar, and in 1990 for Larry Sheets.

then the fun begins, as Brumley 2.0 signs as a free agent with the Mariners in 1990, the Red Sox in 1991, the Astros in 1993, the A's in 1994, the Marlins also in 1994, and the Astros again in 1995.

ok, I need a nap.

but learning that Zimmer factoid made it all worthwhile. from his SABR bio:

"Zimmer hit a home run in his first game [as a Senator], and during his stay with the Senators he added two more positions to his résumé.

"In 1964 he played a few games in the outfield, and near the end of the season, Hodges wanted to pinch-hit for his catcher, Mike Brumley, and asked Zimmer if he could catch.

"Zimmer responded honestly: 'Well, I caught in fast-pitch softball in Cincinnati when I was a kid, but that was the extent of it, sure!'

So Zimmer pinch-hit and caught the last four innings of the game. After the season, Hodges suggested he take catching seriously and recommended going to the Instructional League that fall."
   15. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 07, 2023 at 04:15 PM (#6131841)
Bouton oddly had been sold by the Yankees to the Pilots in June 1968, before the Pilots ever played a MLB season.

Bouton played the remainder of the 1968 season for Seattle Angels in the PCL, so the Pilots must have had some kind of arrangement with the Angels, who were of course a California farm team.
   16. TJ Posted: June 08, 2023 at 08:39 AM (#6131983)
I still confuse Bobby Bolin and Frank Linzy...
   17. Jay Z Posted: June 08, 2023 at 02:44 PM (#6132031)
The cards at that time were issued in series. Sometimes things happened between one series and the next. For example, Lee May and Joe Morgan were involved in the same trade after the 1971 season. But Morgan was in an early series so he is shown as an Astro. Lee May is in a later series so he is also shown as an Astro. Then in the last 1972 series they did some "Traded" cards and Joe Morgan is shown as a Red. They even had a picture of him, not an airbrush job. The last series typically had less airbrushing because Topps could get spring training pictures.

Topps also tried to guess who would actually be with the team on opening day. The 1970 sets were supposed to represent the 1970 teams. Players who played a lot in 1969 may have been dropped if they didn't figure into plans for 1970. Oyler did play some in 1970 but not for the A's. Gil did play some for the 1970 Brewers but he was in the minors at the start of the season. So Topps guessed correctly there. As the series went on certain players may have been dropped because of this in favor of rookies.

   18. Walt Davis Posted: June 08, 2023 at 03:49 PM (#6132051)
There have been way too many Bobby's for me to tackle anything close to a proper all-Bobby team but, at a glance, it looks like Bolin easily makes the rotation (the pitching is not deep -- Shantz, Witt, probably some old-timers). The 2B decision is a tough one though:

Grich 8220 PA, 125 OPS+, 71 WAR, 6 AS
Doerr 8030 PA, 115 OPS+, 51 WAR, 9 AS but actually in the HoF

Doerr missed 1945 but otherwise played through the war but he also maintained his wartime WAR in his post-War career. (Yes I know that sounds silly.) He put up 2.7 WAR in his final year at 33, retiring due to back problems.

Anyway, Grich wins it easily on WAR but benching an HoFer is rare for an all-name team. Other 2B Bobby's -- Richardson, Avila, Knopp, each an All-Star -- that might normally start for such a team don't even get a nod. Grich did play a bit of SS early on but you've got HoFer Bobby Wallace (70 WAR) there.

(Listed as "Bobby" not "Bob" or "Robert" or "Roberto" at b-r.)
   19. sanny manguillen Posted: June 08, 2023 at 04:18 PM (#6132056)
Mathews (297 wins), Jones of the Mets

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