Tuesday, March 29, 2011
#494 - Pete LaCock
Card fact: This is Pete LaCock's rookie card. I think it's safe to say the world was never the same after this.
What I thought about this card then: I vaguely remember seeing it. Perhaps a friend of mine had it. I remember it as one of those goofy-faced players that we relentlessly mocked. I also remember being amused by his name, but having no idea why.
What I think about this card now: That sure is a majestic shot for a guy who was hitting .204 on the back of this card.
Other stuff: LaCock is a legend on the sophomoric humor circuit. In fact, LaCock and a future '75 Topps subject, Dick Pole, have starred in front of standing room-only crowds for years. The mere presence of their cards throw collectors into giddy fits of hysteria.
Aside from that, LaCock was a part-time player for the Cubs and Royals between 1972-1980. He actually worked his way into a starting role at the end of his career with the Royals. In fact, LaCock has the honor of hitting a home run in the first major league game I ever saw in person on July 15, 1978 against the Yankees. Yes, the first home run I ever saw in person was hit by LaCock. It was all downhill from there.
LaCock later played in Japan, and has worked as a coach in the minors and in independent leagues, most recently in 2009 for the Tucson Toros.
LaCock is the subject of a famous quote by Bob Gibson. On the occasion of his retirement, Gibson said, "When I gave up a grand slam to Pete LaCock, I knew it was time to quit."
Back facts: LaCock's father was the longtime host of "Hollywood Squares." Peter Marshall's given name was also Ralph Pierre LaCock. I often wondered why LaCock didn't go by Pete Marshall, too.
Then again, I suppose he wouldn't be the legend he is now if his name was Marshall. Dad knew what he was doing.
Other blog stuff: The pink-yellow border combo has crossed the 40 threshold with this card. It's the third combination to do so, and could have a real shot of taking over first place by the time this blog is done.