Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A couple additions to my Ball Four collection

I don't collect much aside from Padres and Joey Cora, but one side collection I have is of guys who were mentioned in my favorite book ever, Ball Four.
Fritz Peterson didn't pitch for either the Pilots or the Astros in 1969, but gets mentioned a few times in Ball Four due to the fact that he and Jim Bouton were roommates back in the Bulldog's Yankees days. While being included in such a groundbreaking book is the main claim to fame for most of the players, Peterson earned his own unique spot in baseball history independent of his inclusion in Ball Four. He's best known for trading lives with teammate Mike Kekich: wives, families, the whole nine. It happened around the same time this 1973 Topps card was released, and Peterson has been happily married ever since.

I took a look at Peterson's Wikipedia page to double-check the date of the swap, and found a couple interesting bits of trivia I had no idea about:
During the final game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, September 21, 2008, ESPN Sports announced that Fritz Peterson had the all-time lowest earned run average at Yankee Stadium, with a 2.52 ERA. Whitey Ford was second with a 2.55 ERA...
In 1969 and 1970, Peterson had the best strikeout-to-walk ratios in the American League. Peterson also led the league in fewest walks per 9 innings pitched 5 years in a row, 1968-1972. The last pitcher who did that 5 years in a row was Cy Young...
Peterson was an All-Star in 1970, like Marty Pattin was in 1971, not that anyone remembers that about either one of them. My main recollection of Marty Pattin is that he did a spot-on Donald Duck impression.

I really should make note of every player mentioned in the book next time I start it from the beginning. Less than halfway through that sentence, it occurred to me that someone else has most likely done that by now. I guess either way I'll see which players I need to be an at-least-one-card-of-each-guy completist.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea for a collection! Ball Four is my favorite baseball book of all-time.