Friday, December 10, 2010

#487 Woody Woodward

#487 Woody Woodward
It truly is a shame that Woody Woodward didn't stick around long enough to be signed by 1970s Cubs GM Salty Saltwell. It's also too bad that the Braves couldn't find larger letters to stitch onto the back of Woody's jersey.

Fun facts about Woody Woodward:

-Miami, FL native Woody Woodward attended Florida State University before signing with the Braves for a $50,000 bonus in 1963.

-He made his major league debut at age 20, less than three months after signing. The young shortstop played in 10 games at the end of the season, mostly as a defensive replacement.

-After batting .208 in part-time duty in 1964 and 1965, Woody hit a career-high .264 with 23 doubles in 1966. It would be the only season in which he batted more than 500 times.

-Woodward joined the Reds via a trade in mid-1968 and lost out on the starting shortstop job twice - first to Darrel Chaney, and later to Dave Concepcion.

-He hit his first - and only - career home run on July 10, 1970 off of Ron Reed. It came in his 684th career game. Afterward he quipped, "If I hit one home run per every seven seasons, it will take me 4,998 seasons to catch Babe Ruth."

-Woody retired after the 1971 season as a .236 hitter in parts of 9 seasons. In addition to his single career homer, he totaled 148 RBI.

-He is the first cousin of Academy Award-winning actress Joanne Woodward, the longtime wife of Paul Newman.

-After briefly broadcasting Reds' TV games, Woodward returned to Florida State as head coach from 1975 through 1978.

-Woody settled into a two-decade career as a baseball executive, serving first as an assistant GM in Cincinnati (1981-1984) and with the Yankees (1985-1986) before serving brief tenures as the general manager in New York (1987) and Philadelphia (1988). The Mariners hired him as GM in July 1988, and he served in that role until retiring in 1999. He had presided over the first winning season (1991) and playoff appearance (1995) in team history. He now works as a part-time scout for the M's.

-Player moves Woody would like you to remember: using consecutive first-round picks in 1993 and 1994 on Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek; acquiring Randy Johnson from the Expos in the Mark Langston trade; swapping Darren Bragg to the Red Sox for Jamie Moyer. Some trades he wishes you'd forget: Bill Swift, Mike Jackson, and Dave Burba to the Giants for Kevin Mitchell and Mike Remlinger; Mike Hampton and Mike Felder to the Astros for Eric Anthony; Omar Vizquel to the Indians for Felix Fermin and Reggie Jefferson; Tino Martinez, Jim Mecir, and Jeff Nelson to the Yankees for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock; and most infamous of all, Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe to the Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb. Ouch!
#487 Woody Woodward (back)

3 comments:

  1. Never knew about the Joanne Woodward connection...

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  2. Neither did I; that's fascinating. I remember Woody as a Braves--he couldn't hit the ground if he fell out of an airplane.

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  3. Doug - Work it into your next game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. ;)

    Marc - Well said. He makes Mark Belanger look like Alan Trammell.

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