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.

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