Sunday, May 4, 2014

Player Profile: Doug Bird

I have fifteen cards of Doug Bird. This one is from 1983 Fleer.

Playing career: Doug Bird pitched eleven seasons in the major leagues, primarily as a reliever for the Royals, for whom he mostly put up good numbers but is best remembered for giving up a big home run to Thurman Munson in the 1978 ALCS. He later pitched for the Phillies, Yankees, Cubs and Red Sox.  The Cubs attempted to make him a starter in 1982 with very poor results. A fuller account of his career can be found at Cardboard Gods.

Where he is now: He worked for the athletic department of the city of Cape Coral, FL but now appears to be retired.

My memories: Only know him from his card. His 1978 Topps card was one of my few pre-mid-1980’s cards when I was a kid.

Interesting facts: While in college during the Vietnam War he was drafted and ordered to report for immediate induction into the Army. Before he could report the South Pasadena draft board with all the paperwork was blown up by Weathermen and by the time everything was settled they had switched to a lottery system, and his number was high enough that he was never called. Says Bird, “'If I knew who blew up the draft board, I’d thank him, cause otherwise I’d have been gone. End of baseball career.'”

Google Autocomplete results: He is eighth when you type Doug Bi, between Doug Billings, a character from the Hangover movies, and Doug Bittner, a mechanical engineer in Boston. Another prominent Doug Bird is a Partner at Ashurst in New York.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Greg Bird.

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