Tuesday, July 4, 2017

#677 - Wally Backman

What a card: Wally Backman was coming off a breakthrough season when this card was issued. He had disappeared off of cards in 1984, but won the starting second base job that season and appeared in more than 100 games for the first time in his career, batting .280.

My observation on the front: You can see Backman's slap-hitting style in this photo as evidenced by his bat follow-through. He liked to go the opposite way.

More opinion from me: Backman was one of several rascally guys on the '86 Mets. I envisioned Backman and teammate Len Dykstra engaged in endless expletive-filled spitting contests when they weren't playing. I don't know if that's true, but it seems about right.

Something you might know: Backman and fellow infielder Tim Teufel were known as the table-setters for the New York Mets during their 1986 championship season. Backman hit .300 twice during his career, once in 1986 and once in 1988 (he also did so in 1980 but in only 93 at-bats).

Something you might not know: Backman ranked among the top 10 best baseball rants in a Sports Illustrated article last month. Backman's tirade was aired during a documentary on the independent league team he managed, the South Georgia Peanuts, which lasted just one season. The rant is NSFW.

My observation on the back: Dave Kingman's grand slam came on July 31, 1971 off of the Pirates' Dave Giusti in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was part of a seven-run seventh in an eventual 15-11 victory for the Giants.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.

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