Tag Archives: pitcher

Bomback First SP78 Player Out for Season

Having suffered a collapsed left knee that will require surgery, Brewers pitcher Mark Bomback, called up from AAA just ten days earlier, will be out of action for at least two months, and becomes the first player lost for the remainder of the SP78 season.

The injury occurred during the fourth inning of the Brewers-Tigers match-up at Tiger Stadium on August 25th, with Bomback starting for Milwaukee and facing Tigers batter Alan Trammell. On the follow-through of his first pitch, Bomback crumpled to the grass in pain, clutching his knee as the ball sailed high over catcher Charlie Moore’s reach. The stricken pitcher was tended to by the team’s trainer, then helped off the field by teammates Cecil Cooper and Sal Bando.

Bomback, who spent the first four months of the season with the Vancouver Canadians of the Pacific Coast League, will end his SP78 campaign with a record of 1-1 and an ERA of 1.89 in three appearances, two of which were starts. During the actual 1978 season, his first in the majors, Bomback went 0-0 with no saves and a whopping 16.20 ERA, over one start and one relief appearance.

“This really pisses me off,” said Bomback to reporters in the visitors locker room, before being transported to Detroit Medical Center. “I was enjoying this year a lot more than the real one.”

To fill the roster spot left vacant by Bomback’s departure, the Brewers recalled pitcher Randy Stein from Vancouver. During the regular season, Stein was 1-2 with a 4.73 ERA in 21 games before sent to the minor league club on July 31st.

Carbonic Spray: The Sad Case of Ken Holtzman

CHI-N - Ken Holtzman poseFor pitcher Ken Holtzman, it’s a moment from his past he’s not likely to forget: standing in the Cubs’ bullpen between innings, staring up at the scoreboard looming high over the center field seats, and suddenly feeling a misty coolness settle softly on his face, neck, and arms. Above him, leaning over a railing surrounding the bleacher section, was a fan holding a large cup of soda, its bubbly carbonation splattering down onto Holtzman like a drizzly, sticky rain. And before he could do anything about it—before he knew it was even happening, actually—Holtzman had become permanently marked, like a man whose adult case of chicken pox had left his body riddled with scars.

sp78-carbonic-drink-80And so it was with my pristine Statis Pro player card of Holtzman, who during an SP78 match-up that was played sometime in the early-1990s, had been situated a little too close to the rocks glass of cola I’d been drinking during the game, and whose white cardstock had thus become stained with dozens upon dozens of tiny caramel-colored pinprick dots. And like so many other player cards damaged during my season—from creases to rubber band marks to potato chip stains—his was now stricken with this unique blemish for the remainder of his career, a constant and ugly reminder that taking part in a baseball board game is not always as safe as it looks.

Since that fateful day, whenever I’d play a game and would have a glass of Pepsi or Coke Classic with me at the desk or table, I would always make sure to place it at a reasonably safe distance from the board and cards. Thankfully, after 2008, when I stopped drinking soda altogether, the game and its players were never again in danger of accidental carbonation damage. Of course, that’s of little consolation to our tainted friend Mr. Holtzman:

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