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Saturday, December 07, 2019

Dave Parker’s larger-than-life legacy is one MLB fans should never forget

Few baseball players made a bigger impression during the 1970s and 1980s than Dave Parker.

That was in part due to his impressive physical stature. At 6-foot-5, Parker towered over his peers while bringing an intimidating presence to the baseball diamond.

More than anything, though, it was Parker’s larger-than-life personality that captivated the national pastime over his 19-year career.

Parker was the heart and soul of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ World Series championship team in 1979, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. He was an offensive anchor and a veteran leader for the Cincinnati Reds and Oakland Athletics, which included another championship with Oakland in 1989. He was among the very best of his generation, combining strength and athleticism like very few during the height of his career.

I have some pending commitments and don’t think I’ll be able to see this documentary- could those in a position to do so let us know how it went?

 

QLE Posted: December 07, 2019 at 10:19 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dave parker, documentaries

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 08, 2019 at 06:27 AM (#5906746)
He was close to pathetic in the early 80s, chasing like mad in the outfield but covering little ground due to bad knees and weight.
   2. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: December 08, 2019 at 06:37 AM (#5906747)
He was really maddening to watch at the plate as well. He seemed to be perenially late on every pitch. They always seemed to pitch him away, either off speed or fast. His tremendous girth seemed to get in the way of his swing and "...there's goes another foul ball the other way..."
   3. salvomania Posted: December 08, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5906765)
Xxxxxxx was the heart and soul of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ World Series championship team in 1979

I think if you ask anyone who was around at the time who "Xxxxxx" was in the quote above, they wouldn't answer "Parker."
   4. Dock Ellis Posted: December 08, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5906796)
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: December 08, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5906804)
I think if you ask anyone who was around at the time who "Xxxxxx" was in the quote above, they wouldn't answer "Parker."


Yeah, the guy who won a share of the MVP primarily based on his leadership of the family kind of takes that honor.
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: December 08, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5906812)
Stargell's OPS+ in 1979 for Pirates was 139 in 480 PA. MVP

Parker's OPS+ in 1979 for Pirates was 140 in 707 PA. he finished 10th

Pirates 1st-place MVP votes in 1979:
Stargell 10 (out of 25)
Kent Tekulve 1 (he finished 8th)
Parker 0

fyi, teammate Omar Moreno got a share of 15th place

Parker finished 2nd in the 9th-10th-11th place "Dave-off," nosed out by Concepcion but edging Kingman. but the best Dave of all was Winfield, who placed 3rd. Dave Collins settled for 27th.
   7. Darren Posted: December 08, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5906836)

Like Ali, Parker often trash-talked anyone who would listen, and more often than not backed it up. He once promised “when the leaves turn brown, I'll be wearing the batting crown” and sure enough that was true too.


This.... this needs work.
   8. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 09, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5907099)
Remember when Parker thought he would just kind of matter-of-fact-ly bowl over John Stearns at the plate and ended up with a busted face?

Good times...
   9. . Posted: December 09, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5907108)
Stargell's OPS+ in 1979 for Pirates was 139 in 480 PA. MVP

Parker's OPS+ in 1979 for Pirates was 140 in 707 PA. he finished 10th

Pirates 1st-place MVP votes in 1979:
Stargell 10 (out of 25)
Kent Tekulve 1 (he finished 8th)
Parker 0


Parker's "swag" and doing #### like wearing a Star of David necklace because his name was David and he was a star is one of those things that have aged well, but was not popular -- at all -- at the time. The idea then was that people like Stargell were domesticating people like Parker, an idea that is pretty much rightly held to be pretty much preposterous by 2019 sports culture.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 09, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5907111)
doing #### like wearing a Star of David necklace because his name was David and he was a star is one of those things that have aged well,
It has?
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: December 09, 2019 at 01:14 PM (#5907113)
It has?


Forget it, he's rolling.
   12. . Posted: December 09, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5907128)
It hasn't? I'd suggest a closer attention to sports and music and entertainment culture and the showy, quippy bravado attendant thereto. The Star of David thing was far ahead of its time.(*) Kudos to him for it.

(*) Sort of like if he'd wore his hat backward while taking BP, only about a hundred times cooler. Today, of course, he'd have likely gotten a Star of David tattoo when he was like 19 and it would just be melded in with the others.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 09, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5907131)
Of course I'm familiar with the much greater bravado - but with regard to the Star of David thing specifically, I'm not so sure appropriating the iconography of a religion other than your own for such purposes would go over very well.
   14. . Posted: December 09, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5907137)
Of course I'm familiar with the much greater bravado - but with regard to the Star of David thing specifically, I'm not so sure appropriating the iconography of a religion other than your own for such purposes would go over very well.


Oh, brother. Yeah, I'm sure there are some people somewhere that would whine about it, but there are some people somewhere that whine about literally everything. I've obviously known about this for 40 years now and I've never thought for a single second in all that time that he was doing anything in the same ZIP code as "appropriating the iconography of a religion other than his own."

My reasons are simple -- because he wasn't doing anything in the same ZIP code as that. He was no more doing that by wearing the necklace than he would have if he'd put whitefish on his bagel.


   15. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: December 09, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5907147)
there are some people somewhere that whine about literally everything


Wish I knew where I could find one.
   16. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5907168)
The idea then was that people like Stargell were domesticating people like Parker, an idea that is pretty much rightly held to be pretty much preposterous by 2019 sports culture.


If by "domesticating" you mean handing out lines of blow, then yeah I guess.
   17. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:06 PM (#5907172)
Parker was the heart and soul of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ World Series championship team in 1979, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.


Putting aside the hilarious riffs on this. TO be honest it was a total team effort and it always reminded me of the 69 Mets less then outstanding pitching. IT was lots of guys having career years or so it seemed.

Bill Robinson it wasnt a career year per se, but he was in a golden period of his career after the first half of his career which was totally forgettable.

MIlner. I think it was a career year for this guy who played maybe half the games.

Moreno I think hit .305 and he usually hit .220. It was totally nutzo what got into him.

Foli when he came to PIT went like 0 for 25 or something but then he turned it on too.

Even guys like Steve Nicosia were getting timely hits. It was glorious to have lived through it.

There was a game I think it was in July they were down like 8 runs in the 8th, and the tied in the ninth on a Milner grandslam and went on to win. They were almost fated to win.

Parker was so not the star of that team. He was good, he contributed a lot of course, but that's not where the story was that year.
   18. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5907175)
I was looking at the 69 Mets the other day, and they were nearly the same roster they were in 1968, a team which was like what 72 wins? the only new player added I think is Tug McGraw, and Boswell at 3rd instead of Ed Charles. But Charles was like a 5 WAR player the year before so they didnt really add to that position. I know Agee had a career year in CWS in '66 and Cleon JOnes went on to have a great year later, but what got into them? Do people have any takes on them? Was it Hodges playing voodoo with the lineup? or just everybody gelling at the same time?
   19. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5907186)
My aunt grew up in Pittsburgh and was there for the 1979 Pirates. So I just texted what does she remember about that team. Her answer across several texts

The Parrot!!!!!! (her use of exclamation points. I guess this mascot would visit schools and hand out free tickets to games)
Willie Stargell
Kent Tekulve (had to correct her spelling of his name. Also visited schools and was super nice)
We are family theme song
Omar Moreno
Enrique Romo (I guess he had some interesting facial hair? She couldn't remember if it was a beard or moustache or both but it clearly made an impression on a kid in grade school)
   20. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5907188)
I asked her what she remembered about Dave Parker in 1979. She said the all star game he made some awesome throws. I texted anything else? She wrote back 'he thought he was hot #### and let everyone know it. Pirates Reggie Jackson'
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5907200)
Kent Tekulve (had to correct her spelling of his name. Also visited schools and was super nice)
That was probably just a chemistry teacher in a Pirates painter's hat. Wouldn't have been distinguishable to a kid.
   22. Itchy Row Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5907204)
Nobody knew about it then, but Stargell was 9th on his own team in WAR that year. It was a simpler time.
   23. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: December 09, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5907221)
22--I thought maybe Stargell had got super hot in September but his OPS dropped almost 30 points in the last month. He hit some dingers but his batting average which was .304 on September 1st finished at .281. Why have I not read more about this MVP outcome because this is really weird. Guy is terrible at defense. Can't run. Doesn't have a monster finish. WTF?
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 09, 2019 at 04:11 PM (#5907225)
22--I thought maybe Stargell had got super hot in September but his OPS dropped almost 30 points in the last month. He hit some dingers but his batting average which was .304 on September 1st finished at .281. Why have I not read more about this MVP outcome because this is really weird. Guy is terrible at defense. Can't run. Doesn't have a monster finish. WTF?

"We are famileeeee!"

Case closed.
   25. Cris E Posted: December 09, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5907231)
The 1979 All-Star Game would like to file an amicus brief.

EDIT: Oh, wait, I thought we were still doing Parker.
   26. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: December 09, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5907232)
24--From a Pittsburgh article. This is why he won the MVP???

Second baseman Phil Garner, who batted an incredible .500 in the World Series, said Stargell — or “Pops,” as he was affectionately called — was the man who made the Pirates a family.

“He was so well-loved and respected by everybody,” Garner said. “We had guys from Panama, black players from the ’hood, white players from the ’hood, we had all kinds of socioeconomic backgrounds. I think Willie Stargell’s presence and leadership held all that together.”

Stargell, who played first base, was the MVP of the World Series and the National League that season. He gave out “Stargell Stars,” gold stars that attached to a baseball cap, to players who made great contributions. And he gave virtual kicks in the butt to guys who needed them.

Like the time he reportedly told a struggling closer Kent Tekulve in one of the World Series games, “If you want to go play first base, I’ll pitch if that’s the way you’re going to throw to this guy.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me that Willie would say something like that,” said John Candelaria, a left-handed starting pitcher who combined with Tekulve to shut out Baltimore, 4-0, in Game 6. “Willie was the silent leader of the team. I still miss him. Great man. Great team.” Stargell died in April 2001.

“This team was much different than any team I played for,” Candelaria continued. “There were some teams that I won’t name that I can’t believe how quiet it was in their clubhouse, as opposed to the lunatics I dealt with here. We were boisterous in the clubhouse, but when we crossed the lines, the guys played. We believed in ourselves.”

“And the song ‘We Are Family’ helped,” added Garner.
   27. Itchy Row Posted: December 09, 2019 at 05:29 PM (#5907266)
And he didn't even play enough to qualify for the batting title.
   28. Greg Pope Posted: December 09, 2019 at 07:08 PM (#5907292)
There was a game I think it was in July they were down like 8 runs in the 8th, and the tied in the ninth on a Milner grandslam and went on to win. They were almost fated to win.

Was it this game?
   29. Eric L Posted: December 09, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5907293)
#18. Boswell was a platoon 2B.
McGraw was finally free of his service commitment. It helps that he matured into who they thought he would be.
Charles opened the year as the 3B, but had turned into a corpse over the winter. Rookie Wayne Garrett got the bulk of the playing time, hitting .218 with 1 HR.
Agee and Jones were both talented players with fragile personalities. Their top years mostly coincided with Hodges.

I was rabid 10 yr old met fan in 1969. It was a dream that for me cannot be repeated. One of my obsevations is that Hodges leaned a couple of thing from losing to Stengel. He platooned heavily and had a strong commitment to up the middle defense. He worked his staff a lot harder, however.

   30. Jay Z Posted: December 09, 2019 at 09:39 PM (#5907322)
Mets record, pythag, and WAR 1967-1971
1967 61-101 59-103 15.6
1968 73-89 77-85 34.5
1969 100-62 92-70 41.2
1970 83-79 88-74 39.3
1971 83-79 86-76 43.1

1967 Mets also had higher WAR than 1966 Mets, but worse record.

1969 Mets had only 0.8 WAR in improvement from returning players. Agee and Jones were offset by poorer seasons from Charles, Swoboda, and Cal Koonce.

1969 Mets got 5.8 WAR from new players (McGraw and Gentry were the best of that) and lost basically nothing from departures. Dick Selma and Larry Stahl were offset by negative WAR players.

1970 saw a drop of 5.9 WAR from returning players. That was mostly Cleon Jones. Other players were up and down. That team added 2.2 WAR, mostly Joe Foy. Again no significant departures.

Most of the work building the team was done in 1968, not 1969. Bad pythag and other luck made the 1969 Mets seem like more of an outlier.
   31. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: December 10, 2019 at 01:01 PM (#5907466)
#28; Greg I think so. HOw many grandslams could Milner have possibly hit?
   32. DanG Posted: December 10, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5907493)
Parker sims. 1B, DH and corner-OF with similar WAR, OPS+ and PA:

Player        WAROPSRfield    PA From   To
Mickey Vernon 34.5  116  
-21.7  9838 1939 1960
Steve Garvey  38.1  117    0.1  9466 1969 1987
Chili Davis   38.2  121  
-14.6  9997 1981 1999
Harold Baines 38.7  121  
-11.5 11092 1980 2001 H
Dave Parker   40.1  121  
-20.8 10184 1973 1991
Al Oliver     43.7  121  
-38.3  9778 1968 1985
Rusty Staub   45.8  124  
-56.2 11229 1963 1985
Mark Grace    46.4  119   76.0  9290 1988 2003
Dale Murphy   46.5  121  
-33.4  9041 1976 1993
Joe Judge     46.9  114   35.0  9178 1915 1934
Jim Rice      47.7  128   24.2  9058 1974 1989 H 
   33. Itchy Row Posted: December 10, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5907495)
Milner hit ten grand slams, which seems like an incredibly high number for John Milner, with his 131 career HR. For comparison, Stargell had 11 GS in 475 HR and Parker had 8 GS out of 339 HR.

Milner's only other 1979 GS was in this game. It was in the ninth inning, but the Pirates never trailed by more than a couple of runs during the game.
   34. Karl from NY Posted: December 10, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5907577)
For those 1969 Mets, is there any impact that it was an expansion year? Does replacement level drop when the leagues got bigger by four teams worth of replacement level players?
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: December 10, 2019 at 05:59 PM (#5907602)
the Mets were 13-5 against the expansion Expos and 11-1 vs the expansion Padres - so 76-56 against the rest.

the only team to win the series vs the Mets was the 81-81 Astros, who went 10-2 against the Amazin's.

the Mets were under .500 on June 1 and 10 games back of the Cubs on Aug. 13. then they channeled their inner "Secretariat at the Belmont" (four years before the horse did it) by finishing at a 38-11 clip.

Mets grabbed the lead on Sept. 10 in the midst of a 10-game winning streak.

then - 4 games up with 10 to play - the Metsies stepped on the Cubs' throats, winning the first 9 to grab an 9-game lead. they finally removed the foot for the finale, a 5-3 Cubs win.
   36. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: December 10, 2019 at 07:51 PM (#5907617)
what does it mean that CLeon JOnes and Agee were "fragile personalities?" Is this something that affects a lot of ball players?
   37. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 10, 2019 at 09:04 PM (#5907629)
“And the song ‘We Are Family’ helped,” added Garner.

Somehow a group of Pirates wives wound up sitting in Baltimore's upper deck during the 1979 World Series games, and they drove us Orioles fans crazy with their neverending choruses of that Sister Sledge song. It didn't help that Memorial Stadium didn't have a roof, and during those four games there was an almost constant drizzle. It also didn't help that the Pirates won games 6 and 7 to add to the overall misery. Worst World Series ever.
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: December 10, 2019 at 09:56 PM (#5907638)
what does it mean that CLeon JOnes and Agee were "fragile personalities?" Is this something that affects a lot of ball players?

not quite relevant, but the widowed Mrs. Agee told a story at a Mets 1969 remembrance game this year.

she met Agee after he retired and never heard of him as a baseball player. at their wedding, Cleon was supposed to be best man. with him a seeming no-show, Agee asked ex-teammate Art Shamsky at the church to step up a notch to best man status. Shamsky agrees - and then at the last second before the music plays, here comes Cleon and his wife.

Mrs. Agee said Cleon told Agee, "I wanted to give you as long as possible to change your mind."

she told the story fondly, though.

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