Saturday, August 18, 2012

Player Profile: Bob Bailor

I have 21 Bob Bailor cards. This one is from 1980 Topps.

Playing career: An original Blue Jay, Bob Bailor was a decent utilityman between 1975 and 1985, also spending time with the Orioles, Mets and Dodgers. Bailor was the prototypical “scrappy white infielder” – basically, a Wally Backman who wasn’t a jerk. In fact, he was considered one of the friendliest players in the league.

Where he is now: He was a coach with the Blue Jays for many years, and was the only member of the original Blue Jays to win a World Series ring with the team in 1992 and 1993. As the first base coach, he was the first man to shake Joe Carter’s hand after his Series-winning home run. He is now retired and spends his time hunting and fishing.

Interesting stories: For a rather undistinguished player, there are a lot of profiles of Bailor online. Steve at Greatest 21 Days has profiled both his playing and coaching careers.

Josh at Cardboard Gods wrote about a card where Bailor has a huge wad of chewing tobacco, and talks about how he used to chew while he still had braces!

The SABR Baseball Biography Project has a very detailed biography of Bailor, starting with his upbringing in an working-class Polish community in western Pennsylvania (the name Bailor was originally Bialkowski) and through his minor league years in Baltimore, where he witnessed one of his friends and teammates, Mark Weems, drown in Venezuela. Bailor spent three days looking for his body with future major league pitcher Don Hood and future major league manager Ray Miller.

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

Google Autocomplete results: He is eighth when you type Bob Bail, between Bob Bailey TR6, an ignition module, and Bob Bailey Chicken Camp, an animal-training camp (apparently chickens are easy to train and thus are often the first animal a prospective animal-trainer learns to train). There do not appear to be any other prominent Bob Bailors.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Harold Baines.

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