Friday, February 17, 2012

#335 - All Star Shortstops

This is the first All-Star card without at least one Hall of Famer on it. Back then shortstops were almost exclusively fielders so an absence of impressive offensive stats won't be so surprising. But these two guys had mustered some decent stats by then. Bert Campaneris hit 22 homers one season and Chris Speier, though only in his third season, had already put up a 15 homer, 71 RBI, and .361 OBA season in '72. These two guys played across the bay from each other but their teams were moving in different directions. Oakland after a mixed start was preparing for another division title and the Giants, close to the top the early part of the season, were doing their big fade. Now for those stats. For the AL guys:

Bert Campaneris - .280 with 1 homer and 27 RBIs
Ed Brinkman - .251 with 4 homers and 27 RBI's.

Freddie Patek probably should have been given the nod ahead of either of these guys but Bert had been close to .300 earlier in the year. Ed was close to the end of the line but he'd recently set a couple of error-less game records and got some MVP votes in '72.

Chris Speier - .268 with 9 homers and 45 RBI's
Bill Russell - .291 with 2 homers and 41 RBI's
Dave Concepcion - .287 with 8 homers and 46 RBI's.

I take back what I said up top. These are all pretty good numbers by a bunch of pretty young guys. Plus they were all NL West guys. Speier was the new hot guy and Russell was one of six Dodgers Sparky Anderson named to the team. Those are pretty good props from their biggest competitor. Concepcion was already the best guy Cincy had seen at the position since Leo Cardenas was in his glory years. Again I gotta give the nod to the NL guys.

Not too much to say about these puzzle pieces any more. Let's move on to the music and Watergate stuff.

On this date in '73 the band Free, whose biggest song was "All Right Now", perform their last concert in Hollywood, Florida. Singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke will soon form a new band that would go on to bigger heights, Bad Company.

Picking up the timeline for Watergate:

6/19/72 - The Washington Post announces the James McCord connection to CREEP. The head of the organization, former Attorney General John Mitchell, in the same article denied any link by either him or CREEP to the burglars.

8/1/72 - The Post, which by now gave reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward principal responsibility for Watergate coverage, reports that a $25,000 check made out to CREEP landed in the bank account of Bernard Barker, one of the Watergate burglars.

8/30/72 - President Nixon announces that an internal investigation conducted by White House counsel John Dean found no White House involvement in the Watergate burglary.

9/15/72 - Indictments are formally made against the five Watergate burglars. Indictments are also filed against E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy. Hunt was a former CIA agent and Liddy a former FBI supervisor who were both linked to the break-in. They would later be generally regarded as co-heads of the plumbers.

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