Former Pittsburgh Pirates hurler Bob Friend is one.
He’s been a friend to autograph collectors for nearly 60 years. On the always-awesome www.sportscollectors.net, hobbyists had logged in 461 by-mail successes with Friend.
He didn’t disappoint me, adding some insightful comments.
Q: Your nickname “Warrior”?
“A Workhorse in all sports. Football and basketball. A classmate in high school gave me the nickname.”
Q: Of your 138 career hits, two were homers. Both on the road.What do you remember?
“Monk Meyer, Dodger pitcher, 1954. We WON the game.
“Warren Hacker, Cubs pitcher, 1956. We WON the game.
Teammates called me ‘Long-ball.'”
Q: You pitched a full nine innings 163 times, plus 11 games of MORE THAN NINE! How do you feel about managers using pitch counts? How often was it left up to you if you stayed in?
“I didn’t like it. Too much control over the pitchers. It was never left up to me. The manager made the decision based on performance.”
Based on his performance with fans, Friend belongs in the hobby’s hall of fame.