Sunday, August 5, 2012

1977 al bumbry

al bumbry was the first ballplayer that i knew of who had served in vietnam, thanks to (i believe) a 'this week in baseball' piece.  these days, i know about roy gleason, and that bill campbell, phil hennigan, jim holt, and bobby jones also served.  anyway, the facsimile autograph on bumbry's 1977 o-pee-chee card is in a different spot than it is on his 1977 topps card.  see for yourself.  here is bumbry's 1977 o-pee-chee card:
here's the topps front:
after debuting in the minor leagues in 1969, bumbry served in the military for two years and earned a bronze star during for his service.  bumbry returned to the orioles organization in 1971 and made his big leage debut in 1972.

now the o-pee-chee back:
and the topps back:
bumbry hit .317 in 1977, good enough for 7th in the american league that year.  he made the switch from left field to center that year as far as his primary position was concerned, and he committed just one error in the 8 spot.

i tried (although not too hard) to find a friday night game in bumbry's career in which he lead the game off with a first-pitch triple.  i remember watching what i believe was a saturday morning game of the week broadcast in the late 1970's/early 1980's in which the broadcasting team was discussing the oddity of a leadoff hitter swinging at the first pitch as bumbry had done the night before.  they even talked to him about it, and he said that he probably wouldn't do it again.  after the first pitch of the telecast game, which bumbry took, he looked up at the broadcast booth as if to say 'see - i took that one'.  just a moment from my youth i was trying to capture, but i took a look through most of his game logs, and while i found a few leadoff triples, i didn't find what i was looking for.  maybe he had done it earlier in the week, and not on the night before the telecast.  oh well, at least i have (i think) my memories.

voici à vous, 1977 al bumbry!

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