Sunday, April 17, 2011

#141 - Pat Bourque

Pat Bourque gets his first solo card in Comiskey. There are only a couple candidates for who that might be behind him. He's too dark to be Reggie and Vida was a lefty. That leaves either Blue Moon Odom or Angel Mangual. I'm going with the latter since you can see the beginning of the name on the back of the uniform. If so, that's nice because Angel doesn't have a card in this set. As for Pat, he's pretty happy. He has only been in town less than a month - if I'm correct the photo was taken either September 22 or 23 of '73 - and he's back in Chicago with a winner this time, about to go to his first Series. Better to be on the ride up instead of the ride down.

Pat Borque was a pretty big boy who was drafted out of Holy Cross by the Cubs in '69. In college he was a star linebacker and played first base. His first year in the minors he switched to the outfield but was back at first by year two . He hit pretty well while moving up and had a reputation for displaying some power. In '71 he had 83 RBIs at Double A and his '72 scouting report mentioned his hitting with fair speed but that he needed work on his fielding. In '72 he was MVP of Chicago's Triple A team at Wichita and got pretty much the same scouting review. Both those years he got some late season time with the Cubs. In '73 he began the season in Chicago and by early June was hitting over .300 with 6 homers. He returned to Wichita when things got crowded at first and was back in Chicago by mid-summer. But his average tanked as the Cubs piled up losses and he only hit one more out. Late that August he was sent to Oakland for Gonzalo Marquez. Card-wise that was a pretty ironic trade since the two of them - along with Enos Cabell - shared a rookie card in the '73 set. For Oakland Pat would mostly pinch hit the rest of the way, a role he again played in the postseason (a .333 average and .600 OBA in five plate appearances). In '74 Pat would play first and DH a bit. He was hitting .286 early in the year when he was benched at Finley's behest, pissing off some of his fellow players (even the reserves couldn't stay away from the controversy). By late August, though, he was hitting around .230 and he was sent to the Twins for Jim Holt. In Minnesota he finished the season at first. Following the season, Pat was sent back to Oakland for a guy named Dennis Myers and Dan Ford. Bad trade for Oakland: Pat wouldn't play a game again in the majors while Ford became an All-Star outfielder.

Bourque would still play some baseball, however. Beginning in '75 he went south of the border to play for the Mexico City Diablos Rojos and in his first season he would win the batting title, hitting around .370. He played down there through '78 and after playing would work his way to Arizona. According to a Holy Cross alumni site he works for Waste Management down there. There is a Patrick Bourque who has been running waste management for the city of Flagstaff for a bunch of years, but I cannot tell if it's the same guy. There are some very good instructional videos by Pat on YouTube - I've linked to one here - for what appear to be high school kids that are pretty interesting and insightful. He seems like a nice guy.

I guess Pat was captain of his baseball team although it could have been football as well. I have been unable to get any specifics on his years at Holy Cross but the couple times I've seen them mentioned, he gets props for his football play. He apparently played closer to 220 which would have been pretty big for six feet.

Rico Carty or Orlando Cepeda would be quick ways to link these two but each only got a couple at bats in Oakland so let's go elsewhere:

1. Bourque and Bill North '73 to '74 A's;
1. North and Earl Williams '77 A's;
2. Williams and Darrell Evans '71 to '72 Braves.

1 comment:

  1. I think the player in the background might be Odom. To reflect his name, Blue Moon donned a blue glove. It's difficult to tell, but I think that might be a blue glove on his hand.