Monday, September 08, 2008

#427 Bob Saverine

Bob Saverine by you.
Today we put utility player Bob "Rabbit" Saverine under the microscope, a player who would be traded to the Astros in April of 1965 for former World Series history-maker Don Larsen. Pity poor Bob; as the stats on his card back show, he was unable to duplicate his decent minor league batting performance once he got to the majors, which probably contributed to his fairly brief career. Discounting his short stints in 1959 and 1962, the Connecticut native lasted just four years in the bigs. While with the Senators in 1966, he set a dubious American League record by going 0-for-12 in a double header against the Orioles. He was 0-for-7 with two strikeouts in the first game, and 0-for-5 with one strikeout in the nightcap (which must have seemed like an improvement!). To compound the frustration, the Sens dropped both games to the O's by one-run margins.

But there were some highlights to Bob's career, to be fair. He logged time at six different defensive positions, and wasn't a slouch at any of them. He played twice as many games at second base as he did at any other position, but also held down all three outfield positions, third base and shortstop. In 49 career games at short, he made just two errors. Saverine also turned in his best hitting performance as a major leaguer in the only season in which he got semi-regular playing time. In 120 games for Gil Hodges' 1966 Senators, he batted .251 with 19 extra-base hits and 54 runs scored. Maybe he just needed a manager who believed in him.

Fun fact: Bob scored the only run in the Orioles' win over the Athletics on September 12, 1964. He entered in the bottom of the eighth as a pinch runner for catcher John Orsino, who had doubled. Saverine advanced to third on a bunt and touched home on a Jackie Brandt sacrifice fly. The game was a rare duel of one-hitters, with Frank Bertaina gritting out the win and Bob Meyer taking the hard-luck loss.
Bob Saverine (back) by you.

NOTE: I have three more cards waiting for scans, and (believe it or not) eighteen cards making their way to me through the mail. So now that I'm back in the habit of posting regularly, there should be no shortage of updates for the next few weeks!

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