Friday, April 9, 2010

#165 - Doug Rader

Card fact: The "green-light green" color combo jumps back into a tie for the lead with "orange-brown" with 17 cards each.

What I thought about this card then: This card was a personal favorite of my brother's because Doug Rader shared the same first name as my brother. I'm not sure what my card equivalent was. Perhaps Greg Luzinski, although I didn't see my first Luzinski card until the 1976 Topps set.

What I think about this card now: It looks very desolate behind Rader.

Other stuff: Where do I begin? Rader is one of the great baseball "flakes" of all-time. People don't talk about him enough anymore. The things that he did when he was a player and a manager could fill a very entertaining book. Among the highlights:

  • Rader would buy ice cream, eat the paper wrapper and throw the ice cream away.
  • He drove his motorcycle into a brick wall. On purpose.
  • While with the Padres on a team flight, young rookie Mike Ivie was known to fear flying. Rader sat next to him and gave him a book. It was called "Death and Dying."
  • He once greeted a teammate and his wife completely naked because he didn't feel like talking to them. They left, and Rader said, "works every time."
  • He threw a beach party for his players when he was a manager with the Rangers. He ordered a bunch of beach towels and sun tan lotion, had the players take a spot in the outfield and the coaching staff served them hot dogs and soda.
  • After losing a game in Kansas City, a reporter's question infuriated him. He slammed his clothing rack so hard that his pants flew off the rack and landed on a reporter's head. The other reporters were so freaked out that the pants remained there until the interview session ended. Afterward, Rader walked the six miles from the stadium to his hotel room. But he took his boots off first and walked in his bare feet.
I guess that's enough for now.

Rader was a perennial Gold Glove-winner at third base during the early 1970s for the Astros. He also played for San Diego and Toronto. He was manager for the Rangers, getting into famous disputes with players on his own team. He also managed the White Sox and Angels.

He was sort of an unpredictable genius. An extremely intelligent person, but I don't think anyone knew what he was going to do next. He was over-the-top, competitive, emotional and funny as hell.

Back facts: We loved our Native American stereotypes in the 1970s, didn't we?

Oldie but goodie: Here is the original Rader card from that first year of collecting:

Other blog stuff: The No. 1 song in the country on this date in 1975 was "Lovin' You," by Minnie Ripperton. The less said about this the better.


Play at the Plate said...

I'd buy a book about Doug if Greg wrote it.

Steve Gierman said...

Kooky stuff. Rader's managerial stint in Chicago was so brief, I have no recollection of it.

"Loving You" is a great song only when sung by Richard Stamos.

deal said...

Rader made his major league debut the day I was born. Glad to learn more fun facts about him.

word verification:


Spiff said...

Don't forget thinking that Ned Yost could replace Jim Sundberg. Among the worst decisions in Rangers' history.

Jim from Downingtown said...

I think Rader's nickname was "Rooster".

The only thing that should be said about "Lovin' You" by Minnie Ripperton is that Eddie Murphy (as Buddy Love) and "Reggie" did a funny version of it in "The Nutty Professor".

MCT said...

I think you've commented on the background in some previous posts on Astros cards. I'm guessing this was a spring training facility in Arizona? Either it was in the middle of the desert or the Astros didn't have the funds to keep the grounds well maintained....