Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Player Profile: Bruce Bochy

First off, check out my second baseball card retrospective of this year's Hall of Very Good inductees. Today's inductee is Tony Oliva.
I have fifteen cards of Bruce Bochy. This one is from 1987 Fleer.

Playing career: Bruce Bochy played nine seasons as a backup catcher for the Astros, Mets and Padres. In 358 games he hit .239 with 26 HR and 93 RBI. A fuller account of his career can be found at the 1980 Topps Blog.

Interesting facts: On the 1980 Topps blog I learned that Bochy’s right eyelashes were dyed permanently blonde in an accident at the furniture refining shop he worked at as a teenager. You can see the eyelashes on that and several other of Bochy’s cards.

In 2011 Bochy ended a 40-year habit of using chewing tobacco through the use of a hypnotist.

Where he is now: Bochy has been a major league manager for the past twenty years. After twelve years and one pennant with the Padres, he moved to San Francisco in 2007, and has already won two world championships with the Giants, in 2010 and 2012. Will 2014 make it three even years in a row? Right now the Giants are 56-44 after last night's 9-6 win in Philadelphia. They are one game up on the Dodgers and have the best record in the National League.

Blog synchronicity: This is the 2006th post on this blog. In 2006 Bochy led the Padres to the NL West title and was NL Manager of the Year, yet after the season the Padres let him interview with the Giants and he took that job, and has not looked back.

My memories: I remember him managing the Padres against the Yankees in the 1998 World Series. I remember he made some tactical error in the first game and he was getting grilled about it by the media afterwards, and thinking that he already looked so defeated. I am glad he ended up having greater success later on in San Francisco. His overall won-loss record is still a little light but he is on the trajectory for a potential Hall-of-Fame-worthy career as a manager.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fourth when you type Bruce Bo, between Bruce Bozzi, owner of the Palm Steakhouse in New York, and Bruce Boudreau, Head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Randy Bockus.

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