What if Catcher Lance Parrish Never Was…

Posted January 27th, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Bill Freehan, Detroit Tigers, Lance Parrish, Les Moss
Imagine the card without
the well-known Tiger!

a catcher?

Once, the Detroit Tigers believed Lance Parrish belonged at the hot corner.

The conversion wasn’t a huge shock, Parrish told in an insightful letter.

“The transition to catcher was not a big deal to me after rookie ball, as I had caught quite a bit since Little League. I was used to playing a lot of different positions, so to make the switch was OK with me. Les Moss, who was my double A and triple A manager in the minors, as well as instructional ball, probably played the biggest role in my development as a catcher. Bill Freehan also helped me out quite a bit.”

Parrish’s transformation wasn’t immediate. He led the league in passed balls in 1979. However, by 1983, he began a three-year reign as the junior circuit’s Gold Glove receiver.

He explained:

“I worked very hard at becoming the best catcher I could be. Although passed balls were my nemesis throughout my career, I worked very hard to refine my game. I will say that I thought a lot of the passed balls I was charged with were unjustified in my opinion. It seemed as if when a ball deflected off my glove no matter how far I had to reach for it, I was charged with a passed ball. (But that is my opinion.)


Nevertheless, I was still proud of my career fielding average and my ability to throw out would-be base stealers. Also felt like I worked well with the pitchers I handled.


Hope that works for you.


Best wishes,
Lance Parrish”

Tomorrow: enjoy a letter from catcher Bob Didier, who reveals how he handled two superstar knuckleballers in his rookie season.

One Response to “What if Catcher Lance Parrish Never Was…”

  1. kregg says:

    I was a big fan of Lance Parrish while growing up in the '70s and '80s. What's he doing these days?

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