Tuesday, October 18, 2016

MISSING IN ACTION "IN ACTION: #61: WES PARKER

It’s been a little while since I added to the missing 1972 “In Action” series, so today I post one up for former Gold Glove first baseman Wes Parker, aka “Mr. Steady” of the Los Angeles Dodgers:


Parker was just a season off of his fantastic 1970 campaign when he hit .319 with 196 hits with 10 home runs and 111 runs batted in with a league-leading 47 doubles.
Really an anomaly since before that he never batted higher than .278, or drove in more than 68 runs.
Nevertheless the man was a fantastic defensive player as evidenced by his six consecutive Gold Glove Awards between 1967 and 1972.
After the 1972 season Parker, then only 32 years old, retired from baseball, cutting his then nine-year career short.
I can’t really find anything online as to why, since it doesn’t seem to be injury, but it did open up the position for a young stud out of Michigan (and SHOULD-BE Hall of Famer) Steve Garvey.
Anyone know why Parker retired?
I do remember him becoming an actor and even appearing on The Brady Bunch once, but as to why he left the game so early on is beyond me...

10 comments:

  1. Nice card. Looks like early days of Riverfront Stadium

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  2. Definitely at old Riverfront Stadium.

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  3. Actually, the more I look at it, the more it looks like the wall at Three Rivers Stadium. The yellow strip doesn't look quite like Riverfront and the wall in Cincy was a bit darker than the backdrop behind it.

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  4. Can recall Wes making an appearance on the Brady Bunch as the boyfriend of Greg's teacher, whom he had a crush on.

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  5. Wes got a farewell cameo on Steve Garvey's 1973 Topps card - well, his back did anyway.

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  6. From an interview with Tony Medley:

    Then at the peak of his career, when he as only 32, he quit. Why?

    “Three reasons:

    We were no longer winning. I played in the World Series the first two years I was a starter, ’65 and ‘66; I was spoiled
    There was only one player left from 24 who were there when I started 9 years earlier, Willie Davis; I didn’t want to transition to a new team;
    I didn’t want my skills to begin declining. I would have been 33 and was already starting to lose interest and didn’t want to cheat fans or myself.
    “Campanis and Peter O’Malley tried to talk me out of it. ‘We need you,’ they said, ‘to help with our transition with younger players. You have at least 5 more good years.’

    “I said, ‘No, this is the right time. I’ve thought about it and this is the right time’.”

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    1. But then it was weird that he played in the Japanese League in '74.

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  7. RAJ...I always thought Three Rivers had more of a green color. Riverfront was more like a Slate Grey. Oh well nice card either way.

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    1. Ok, I just confirmed that it is Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium. On another photo of Parker taken the same day, you can see the wall with a distance marking at the top like they did at Three Rivers. Riverfront Stadium's markings were always on the bottom.

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  8. Yeah, it's still unresolved in my mind. Could be Cincy.

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