Monday, September 27, 2010

#21 - Bob Gallagher

Okay, no knock on Bob Gallagher, but this is about the nastiest card photo I have ever seen. It looks like it was taken behind a stable or a prison and there is just no way the back of the Astrodome was that ugly. It must be a spring training shot and it looks like a dreary day. That coupled with the scowl on Bob's face really sort of short-changes him on his initial card, doesn't it? Maybe it was part of the rite of being the new guy. Bob had been picked up by Houston in the Rule 5 draft at the end of '72 from Boston, the second time he'd been moved that way. A good spring training got him on the Astros roster on Opening Day and for most of the season, Bob's primary role was as pinch hitter before taking a regular outfield gig in mid-August, after Cesar Cedeno and then Jimmy Wynn got hurt. While Bob would do pretty well during that stretch, hitting .278, it would prove to be pretty much his only time in a regular role up top. So while it wasn't always green, at least there is some grass in the photo.

Bob Gallagher was born in Massachusetts, moved to California as a kid and after graduating high school in '65 went to Stanford, where he continued to play ball. He was drafted by the Dodgers after his junior year of '68 but opted to play summer ball and then finish his degree so he didn't get rolling professionally until '69. A first baseman/outfielder in school, Bob moved nearly exclusively to the outfield and had a decent first summer in A ball, stealing 18 bases. In '70 and '71 he moved up the ladder to Double A and Triple A, respectively, raising his average substantially on two powerhouse teams. A top of the order guy, while his stolen base totals declined - he had five that second year - he maintained an OBA of about .380 over that time. Still, after the '71 season he was plucked for the first time in the Rule 5 draft by Boston,put up a pretty good Triple A season and then had a cup of coffee in '72. After that year he moved to Houston.

In '74 though the Astros traded Jimmy Wynn to LA, Houston had some new guys vie for outfield time in Greg Gross, Wilbur Howard, and Cliff Johnson, all of whom had better sticks than Gallagher. So Bob reprised his early '73 role for the team and hit .172 on only 87 mostly pinch-hit at bats. Just after that season he was traded to the Mets for Ken Boswell. He would spend most of the '75 season in Triple A, where he hit .264, before putting in minimal outfield time for the Mets, and shortly after the season was traded again, going to the Giants for Leon Brown. After one year at Phoenix, San Francisco's Triple A club - .258 with 61 RBI's in his busiest season - he was done. Bob finished with an MLB average of .220 and in the minors hit .288.

Gallagher had received his Stanford degree in '69 in education and pretty much immediately after his playing career ended he became a social studies high school teacher back in California, an occupation it appears at which he is still active.

The back of the card indicates that Bob was some player during his Stanford days and what he did between semesters. He was a tall guy st 6'4' which matches the tallest we have seen so far. Bob hit a bit above .300 during his Goldpanners career - so that was the summer ball he did after being drafted - and had some big deal teammates up there in the Nettles brothers, Bob Boone, Brent Strom, and Dave Kingman, most of whom have cards in this set. Lastly, his cartoon refers to his grandfather, Shano Collins. Any baseball historians will recognize that name: Shano was an outfielder on the 1919 Black Sox. He was purchased by the White Sox in 1910 from Springfield, an independent minor league team, and played for them through 1920. He was not one of the players indicted and subsequently thrown out of baseball (he hit .250 in the '19 Series). He played for Boston through '24 and retired with about 1,700 hits and a .264 average. He then played a couple years in the minors, putting up over .300 averages until he was 42. He passed away in '55 at age 69. His photo on baseball-reference does show a resemblance to Gallagher.

For the degrees exercise, I don't think his Mets stay warrants going that route, which would shorten the trip. Therefore I go through the Astros so here goes:

1. Gallagher and Skip Jutze '73 Astros;
2. Jutze and Leroy Stanton '77 Mariners;
3. Stanton and Nolan Ryan '72 to '76 Angels.

No Yankees.

No comments:

Post a Comment