Saturday, February 21, 2009

#541 White Sox Rookie Stars: Greg Bollo and Bob Locker

White Sox Rookie Pitchers by you.
From the Department of Redundancy Department, Greg Bollo is a young 22-year-old, according to the card back. According to the card front, he has a gigantic hat, which may block your view of the bunting on the stadium facade in the background. As for Bob Locker, I swear he doesn't have a rare skin condition; that pink bubble on his cheek is a printing irregularity.

Fun facts about Greg Bollo:

-A product of Western Michigan University. Another WMU pitcher was Jim Bouton, who also has a connection to Bob Locker.

-Went 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 98 innings for the Class A Clinton C-Sox in 1964. It was doubly impressive considering that it was his first professional season!

-In just his second year of pro ball, the 21-year-old pitched 15 games in relief for Chicago as a result of the bonus baby rules, compiling a 3.57 ERA and allowing less than a base runner per inning.

-Made his big league debut on May 9, 1965, tossing two perfect innings in a 6-1 win over the Twins.

-Started his only major league game on October 2, 1966. Gave up one run in four innings and took the loss, as the Yankees triumphed 2-0. It would be his first career loss, in his final career game.

-Pitched in the White Sox farm system for four more years after his brief time in the majors, hanging it up after the 1970 season.

Fun facts about Bob Locker:

-Graduated from Iowa State University in 1960 with a B.S. in geology.

-In 1961, a year after being signed by the White Sox, he led the Three-I League with 215 strikeouts while going 15-12, 2.57.

-Missed all of 1962 and 1963 due to military service.

-In his rookie year of 1965, the 27-year-old sinkerballing reliever ran off a 10-game scoreless streak and finished with a 3.15 ERA.

-Was one of the most-used pitchers in Chicago, including a league-leading 77 appearances in 1967. Had six seasons of double-digit saves, including four straight from 1966 through 1969. His 20 saves in 1967 were second in the American League behind Minnie Rojas of the Angels (his 2.09 ERA that year was pretty good, too).

-A midseason trade in 1969 brought him to the pitiful Seattle Pilots, but allowed him to turn things around on an individual level. His 6.55 ERA with the White Sox dropped to 2.18 with the Pilots.

-Won a World Series with Oakland in 1972, pitching a single scoreless one-third of an inning in the Fall Classic.

-Won 10 games in relief for the Cubs in 1973 and saved 18 more, posting a 2.54 ERA.

-Posted a better than league-average ERA in each of his first nine seasons; a year removed from elbow surgery, his 4.96 mark with the Cubs in his farewell season (1975) broke the streak. He finished with a 2.75 career ERA and attributed his success to his faithful consumption of honey.

-Post-baseball, Bob became a real estate broker in California.
White Sox Rookie Pitchers (back) by you.

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