Six (er, three) degrees of Braves separation

In 1982 Jerry Willard was one of five players, including Julio Franco, traded from Philadelphia for Von Hayes. Score one for Cleveland.

Willard was released by the Indians four years later and bounced around, first to Oakland, then to the White Sox, before landing in Richmond in ’91. When called upon to pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th of Game 4 of the World Series Willard had just four big league hits since 1986.

The journeyman catcher was pinch hitting for another journeyman catcher, Francisco Cabrera, after Tom Kelly replaced Mark Guthrie with another ex-Brave, Steve Bedrosian. On a 1-2 pitch Willard lofted a lazy fly to right, scoring the Lemmer.

The next day the AJC and the paper I worked for at the time, the Gwinnett Daily News, ran the same headline: Remarkable! Sure was.

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11 Comments on Six (er, three) degrees of Braves separation

  1. PepeFreeUs // October 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm //

    Jack Buck caught a lot of grief for supposedly prematurely calling that a game winner. CBS used it as an excuse to replace him with worthless eyesore/barking mutt Sean McDonough.

  2. Jack Buck was my fave non-Braves announcer. Fantastic at capturing the big moments. Some idiots here claimed he favored the Twins, as if he had a rooting interest in either team. I interviewed him in ’92 and he talked baseball for a good 30 minutes, most of which he reminisced about the ’91 series.

  3. very odd that jerry bailed on the 91 reunion this summer,,others had an excuse he really did not

  4. Sharon Egan // October 24, 2011 at 6:06 am //

    I don’t just want the same stories the AJC is covering, I want the same headlines.

    – Tom Madden

  5. rankin' rob // October 25, 2011 at 10:57 am //

    Apparently Larussa isn’t the greatest manager of the modern era…

  6. PepeFreeUs // October 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm //

    They’re going to try and use Derek as the scapegoat. You can see that coming from a mile away.

  7. rankin' rob // October 26, 2011 at 10:18 am //

    John Lackey makes Derek Lowe look like Greg Maddux.

  8. PepeFreeUs // October 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm //

    Lowe is a lot of things but a lazy, entitled, chicken and bear gorging asshole really isn’t one of them. Lackey is a combo of Beckett’s attitude and Mike Hampton’s durability.

  9. PepeFreeUs // October 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm //

    That should be “beer”

    This template is very, very hard on my eyes.

  10. Pepe, Is it the font or the background? We aim to please.

  11. PepeFreeUs // October 26, 2011 at 10:28 pm //

    It might be a good idea for you to delete those links, since they display my e-mail address.

    I blame LaRussa.

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