Tuesday, January 25, 2011

#591 Bob Skinner

#591 Bob Skinner
It's a shame that baseball fashion has trended toward loose and baggy in the past 20 years. There's something I really dig about the ultra-short sleeves look that Bob Skinner is sporting here. It gives him a blue-collar, rolling-up-the-sleeves image.

Fun facts about Bob Skinner:

-A native of La Jolla, CA, Bob signed with the Pirates as a 19-year-old in 1951.

-As with many players of the era, he spent two years in military service (1952-1953).

-Skinner was the Pirates' regular first baseman as a rookie in 1954. He hit a so-so .249 with 8 home runs and 46 RBI. Suprisingly, only two players on the 101-loss club outhomered him, and he led the team with 9 triples.

-After spending 1955 back in the minors and hitting only .202 in the bigs the following year, the light bulb went off for Bob. He hit .305 in 1957 and paced the Bucs with a .370 on-base percentage and a .468 slugging mark. Only Frank Thomas topped his 13 home runs.

-In 1958, he was an All-Star for the first time (he would repeat the feat in 1960). At .321, he was the leading Pittsburgh batter and fifth-best in the N.L., and he also established career highs of 33 doubles and a team-best 12 steals and 93 runs scored.

-His finest all-around season was 1962, when he belted 20 home runs, drove in 75, and put up averages of .302/.395/.504. At age 30, it was also his last full season as a Pirate and his final season as an everyday player.

-Skinner spent parts of two seasons with the Reds before finishing his career with a three-year stint as a pinch hitter for the Cardinals. He reached base three times in four pinch-hit appearances in the 1964 World Series, collecting an intentional walk, a double, and an RBI single. Although he appeared in three St. Louis losses, the team beat the Yankees in a seven-game thriller.

-He retired after the Cards released him in October 1966. In parts of 12 big league seasons he hit .277 with 103 home runs and 531 RBI.

-Bob won championships as a minor league manager with the 1967 San Diego Padres and 1991 Tucson Toros, the AAA affiliates of the Phillies and Astros, respectively. In mid-1968, the Phils fired Gene Mauch and promoted Skinner to the big leagues. He won only 43% of his games (92-123) and was cashiered the following August. He spent the next 20 years coaching with the major league Padres, the Pirates, the Angels, and the Braves. Currently he is a scout for Houston.

-His son Joel was a catcher for the White Sox, Yankees, and Indians (1983-1991), and served as Cleveland's interim manager in 2002, going 35-41 after replacing Charlie Manuel. He has also managed several Indian farm teams and spent several years on the club's big league coaching staff. The Skinners and the Sislers (George and Dick) are the only two father-son duos to manage in the majors.
#591 Bob Skinner (back)

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