Saturday, June 07, 2008

#192 Jim Coker

Slowly but surely, I'm plugging along with the bunch of cards that I received from Ed a while back. We've got another of Topps' Hatless Wonders, but my favorite part of this card is Mr. Redlegs, a fine logo if ever there was one. When it comes to baseball mascots, I say the more maniacal, the better.

As for Jim Coker, he was the fringiest of fringe players: his major league career consisted of 233 games spread out over nine seasons. As you can see below, he made it onto a card in 1965 despite playing in just 11 games the previous year. Then again, someone at Topps may have had a soft spot for Jimmie, as he's billed on He made their All-Rookie team in 1960 on the strength of a .214 average, 6 home runs, and 34 RBI, not eye-popping numbers by any standard.

As you can see, he showed much more promise with the bat in the minor leagues, and it's not fair to judge him on his MLB stats, considering that the aforementioned 1960 season was the only true shot he had. You may notice that his first stop in pro baseball was Mattoon, Illinois, which is also the hometown of Deadspin editor Will Leitch. Another Jim Coker fun fact: he spent one month as Oriole, in a manner of speaking. In November 1962, Baltimore purchased him from the Phillies, only to send him to the Giants with pitchers Jack Fisher and Billy Hoeft on December 15. In return, the Birds received pitchers Stu Miller and Mike McCormick and slugging catcher John "Horse" Orsino. That deal worked out pretty well for the O's!

1 comment:

  1. i love third string catchers who last around around ten years without playing in a lot of games......buck martinez and henry blanco come to mind right away...martinez had a few decent years blanco can't hit to save his life....corky miller following along on that path