Friday, April 18, 2014

Player Profile: Rocky Biddle

I have four cards of Rocky Biddle. This one is from 2005 Topps.

Playing career: Rocky Biddle pitched for the White Sox and Expos from 2000 to 2004. In 198 games, he went 20-30 with a 5.47 ERA. His best year was 2003, when as the Expos closer he saved 34 games, albeit with a 5-8 record and a 4.65 ERA.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Rocky Biddle is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Rocky Bi, between Rocky Biography, referring to the fictional boxer, and Rocky Bill Conti, referring to the composer for that movie. There do not appear to be any other prominent Rocky Biddles.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Mike Bielecki.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Player Profile: Eric Bickhardt

I have one card of Eric Bickhardt, from 1990 ProCards.

Playing career: Eric Bickhardt pitched four seasons in the Rangers organization, going 16-12 with a 3.31 ERA.

Where he is now: Compliance Specialist at FINRA.

My memories: Last year he shared some baseball card stories with this blog.

Google Autocomplete results: He is tenth when you type Eric Bick, after Eric Bickerstaff, a former NFL running back. Another prominent Eric Bickhardt plays high school football in Florida.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Rocky Biddle.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Player Profile: Dante Bichette Jr.

I have one card of Dante Bichette Jr., from 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects.

Playing career: Dante Bichette Jr. was the Yankees’ first round draft pick in 2011, and has gotten off to a rough start to his minor league career. In 290 games from 2011 to 2013, he has hit .251 with 18 HR and 155 RBI, striking out 261 times.

Where he is now:So far this season he has cut down on strikeouts, but at the expense of power. In twelve games at Class-A Tampa, he is hitting .333 (12-36) with 0 HR and 3 RBI. He has walked thirteen times and only struck out eight times. Last night he was 2-4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI in an 8-7 loss to Clearwater.

My memories: I remember him as a very highly touted high school prospect. I was pleasantly surprised when the Yankees drafted him. Hopefully his struggles at ages 19 and 20 don’t mean that he peaked in high school.

Interesting facts: Son of former Rockies star Dante Bichette.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Dante B, between Dante Basco, an actor, and Dante Bichette, the former Rockies star. There do not appear to be any other prominent Dante Bichette Jrs.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Eric Bickhardt.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Player Profile: Dante Bichette

I have 93 cards of Dante Bichette. This one is from 1995 Pacific Prisms.

Playing career: Outfielder Dante Bichette was a mediocre ballplayer for the first five seasons of his career in California and Milwaukee, and the last two years in Cincinnati and Boston. However, in between he spent seven years as a hitting beast in the thin air of Colorado, where he was a four-time All-Star and twice led the NL in hits. In 1995 he just missed the Triple Crown, hitting .340 while leading the league with 40 HR and 128 RBI.  In that year’s NLDS loss to the Braves, his only playoff appearance, he hit .588 (10-17) with 1 HR and 3 RBI.

Where he is now: Owns Baseball at the Warehouse, an instructional facility in Orlando.

My memories: I remember thinking that his high offensive numbers in Colorado were due to the altitude. That’s probably mostly true, but doesn’t fully explain why his batting averages, not just power, were so much better there. He was probably better than many critics gave him credit for being.

Interesting facts: He is the father of Yankees prospect Dante Bichette Jr. Dante Sr. and current Yankees manager Joe Girardi were such good friends as Rockies teammates that Girardi named his son Dante.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Dante B, between Dante Bichette Jr, the Yankees prospect, and Dante Bayern, referring to a single-named soccer player on the Bayern Munich team. There do not appear to be any other prominent Dante Bichettes.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dante Bichette Jr.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Player Profile: Cam Biberdorf

I have one card of Cam Biberdorf, from 1991 Line Drive.

Playing career: Cam Biberdorf pitched in the Dodgers organization from 1988 to 1991. In 173 games he went 20-17 with 47 saves and a 3.11 ERA, striking out over a batter an inning. Although he struggled in a mid-season call-up to AA San Antonio in 1991, it is unclear why his career ended when he had such promising numbers. Presumably there was an injury.

Where he is now: Vice President & Senior External Wholesale at Securian Financial in Minnesota.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Cam Bib, between Cam Biblia, referring to the Spanish spelling of the biblical character Ham, and cam biberon fiyatları, referring to Turkish baby bottles. There do not appear to be any other prominent Cam Biberdorfs.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dante Bichette.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Player Profile; Jim Bibby

I have twelve cards of Jim Bibby. This one is from 1982 Fleer.

Playing career: Jim Bibby was one of the best unheralded pitchers of the 1970s. He put up excellent numbers for lousy teams in Texas and Cleveland, highlighted by a no-hitter of the Oakland A’s at the peak of their dynasty in 1973. He signed with the Pirates in 1978 and was a key member of their World Championship team in 1979, leading the NL in winning percentage, a feat he would repeat the following year. Overall in twelve seasons he went 111-101 with a 3.76 ERA.

Post-playing career: After his playing career he was a minor league pitching coach for several teams. He died from bone cancer in 2010.

Interesting facts: Bibby served in Vietnam as a truck driver before his major league career began. His brother Henry Bibby and nephew Mike Bibby played in the NBA.

My memories: Before my time. Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is seventh when you type Jim Bi, between Jim Biber, an architect in New York, and Jim Bissett, a former aquarium owner in Riverhead, NY. Another prominent Jim Bibby is a code enforcement officer in Seattle.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Cam Biberdorf.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Player Profile: Buddy Biancalana

I have nine cards of Buddy Biancalana. This one is from 1986 Fleer.

Playing career: Shortstop Buddy Biancalana played six seasons in the major leagues, mostly for the Royals. In 311 games, he hit .205 with 6 HR and 30 RBI. In 1985, the year Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s hit record, he hit just .188 with 1 HR and 6 RBI in 81 games. David Letterman made fun of Biancalana by setting up a “hit counter” to track Biancalana’s progress in breaking Rose’s hit record. Biancalana responsed good-naturedly that “I'm closer to Pete Rose than he is to Johnny Carson." The joke was on Letterman in the World Series, however, when Biancalana got five hits, including the game-winner in Game 5, and five walks. He was a guest on Letterman’s show after the season, and was profiled in both Sports Illustrated and People.

Where he is now: With Steven Yellin he is the Co-Founder of PMPM Zone Sports Training, where he helps baseball players and golfers with the mental aspects of their swings. Among other testimonials, George Brett credits Biancalana with improving his golf game. Biancalana and Yellin co-authored the book The 7 Secrets of World Class Athletes.

My memories: I started following baseball in 1986 and he was still kind of a big name at that point, though he disappeared from the big leagues pretty quickly after his World Series heroics.

Google Autocomplete results: He is sixth when you type Buddy Bi, between Buddy Billz Instagram, referring to a Haitian comedian, and Buddy Bits, a dog treat. There do not appear to be any other prominent Buddy Biancalanas.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Jim Bibby.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Player Profile: Arnie Beyeler

I have one card of Arnie Beyeler, from 1991 Line Drive.

Playing career: Second baseman Arnie Beyeler spent six seasons in the Tigers organization. In 584 games he hit .254 with 7 HR, 171 RBI and 69 SB. A fuller account of his career can be found at The Greatest 21 Days.

Where he is now: He is the first base coach for the Boston Red Sox.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is ninth when you type Arnie B, between Arnie Berman, who played basketball at Brown, and Arnie Bautista CTM, a sales manager. There do not appear to be any other prominent Arnie Beyelers.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Buddy Biancalana.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Player Profile: PJ Bevis

I have one card of PJ Bevis, from 2003 Donruss. 

Playing career: PJ Bevis pitched eight seasons in the Diamondbacks, Mets and Rockies organizations. In 275 games he went 27-34 with 66 saves and a 4.11 ERA.

Where he is now: A pitching instructor in Las Vegas.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type PJ Bev, ahead of PJ Beverage, a liquor store in Port Jefferson, NY. There do not appear to be any other prominent PJ Bevises.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Arnie Beyeler.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Player Profile: Brian Bevil

I have two cards of Brian Bevil. This one is from 1993 Fleer Excel.

Playing career: Brian Bevil pitched in 60 games for the Royals from 1996 to 1998, going 5-3 with a 6.28 ERA.

Where he is now: A Deputy for the Harris County Sherriff’s Department in Texas, he was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. As of April 2013 the tumor had been contained to a very few cells and he was only undergoing preventive chemotherapy.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is tenth when you type Brian Bev, behind Brian Bevis, an automation engineer. Another Brian Bevil played center on the Arkansas football team and later played semi-pro ball.

Coming up next: The next profile will be PJ Bevis.