Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Looking Back: Zellers Expos Baseball Pro Tips - Pitchers

With the Mets having their big wildcard game tonight...

Let's Go Mets!!!

...I figured that I might as well post a second batch of Zellers Expos Baseball Pro Tips from 1982.

Today we'll look at tips from Expos pitchers found on the following cards:

2A - 2C: Steve Rogers, Pitching Stance
12A - 12C: Woodie Fryman, Holding the Runner - Left Handed
15A - 15C: Bill Gullickson, The Slurve
17A - 17C: Scott Sanderson, Fielding as a Pitcher
20A - 20C: Ray Burris, Holding the Runner - Right Handed

Steve Rogers was a five-time All Star pitcher that pitched for the Montreal Expos from 1973-1985. He won 19 games for the Expos in 1982, leading the National League in ERA at 2.40.

Remember to read the tips from right to left to match the card photo above
As I said last post, I was primarily a catcher when I played baseball. I pitched some Little League games, but I think that was just because I could throw strikes, not because I was a dominating pitcher.

I don't think that I ever used the pitching rubber properly according to these tips. I remember varying my pitching stance many times - sometimes pitching from the corner of the rubber, and sometimes starting in the middle or the rubber looking straight ahead. As I said, I felt that I was in there to throw strikes, not to throw power.

Woodie Fryman pitched two stints with the Expos, from 1975-76, and 1978-83. I remember seeing him pitch in relief a few times, and he was another childhood favorite. He pitched in the majors until the age of 42.

Not only did these tips not apply to me since I threw right-handed, but at my level of Little League when these cards came out we weren't allowed to lead off base with our smaller diamonds. As I got older and progressed to a full-size field, I realized that lefties were harder to judge with their pick-off moves. I also remember a lot of balks being called on lefties that were trying too hard to disguise their pick-of moves and didn't move their leg properly to first base.

Bill Gullickson broke into the majors with the Expos in 1979 and pitched with them through 1985. It is funny that I remember him as being a strikeout pitcher, but that really isn't the case other than his then rookie record of 18 strikeouts in a game in 1980. (Finally broken by Kerry Wood's 20 in 1988.)

I like how the back of card 15A (far right) is written from Gullickson's voice. I also like that the cards warn young pitchers to not throw breaking balls until their arms are fully developed. We heard that as kids but still tried to throw curves, sliders and knuckles with our friends when playing catch.

Scott Sanderson pitched for the Expos from 1978 to 1983, the beginning of his 19 year playing career in the majors. A career 0.959 fielder, he had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 1981, the year preceding these cards.

How many people remember all those practices where they had to learn where to go to back up wherever the throw was going to go? All that running... Now how many people get frustrated when simple things like backing up a throw are not done when you've learned to do that all your baseball playing days? It is funny when you watch games and they miss the fundamentals.

Ray Burris pitched for seven teams in his 15 year major league career, pitching in 99 games with the Expos from 1981-1983. I really only remember him from his baseball cards.

Oops, cut the edge too closely on the right of this scan
I don't remember pitching that much when I got older and runners were allowed to take leads, so I'm sure that I didn't have a very good move to first. I do know that as a catcher I liked when my pitchers could help keep the runners close.

To wrap up this post, it is in the news that Tim Tebow will be playing for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. I will be travelling there at the end of the month for one of my mother's milestone birthdays. I think I'll have to go to one of the games while I'm there.

1 comment:

  1. Did you realize there are multiple bloggers that live here in the Phoenix valley?