Tom Seaver Screams, ‘Not Chris Bando!’

Donruss featured both
Bandos in the 1982 set.
Why not a card of
the brothers together?

Faith and humility. They served catcher Chris Bando through the 1980s as a major leaguer.

Today, the devout believer embraces the same values as head coach of the San Diego Christian College Hawks.

I asked for memories of his older brother Sal Bando. Chris Bando replied:

“I was never 1/2 the player my brother was. I only had vision in one eye which paralyzed me at times, but no one knew this.”

Bando blossomed in 1984, posting career highs for the Indians. How?

“Tom, I received a chance to play every day, which allowed me to not worry, knowing I’d be in there the next game if I didn’t hit.”

Future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver became a meal ticket for Bando. The catcher batted .714 off “Tom Terrific.” Admirably, Bando downplayed his mastery of the veteran, explaining:

“Tom Seaver was on his way out and he threw high ’80s and FB was straight. He threw a lot of FB and I was a FB hitter.”

The San Diego Christian College website offers a detailed biography of Chris Bando and a look at the coach today.


Coming Wednesday: Witnessing Casey Blake’s big heart.

 

Marc Hill Thanks Candlestick Park

Taken in a place warmer,
less windy than Candlestick!

You know you’re getting a special letter when the former player apologizes:

“Sorry about my writing. I had my left hand smashed. Finger still sore.


Best wishes,
Marc Hill

Despite the pain, the autograph has the same sparkle as it did during his career.

I asked about Candlestick Park. Hill replied:

“The ballpark was cold and windy, but gave me six years in big leagues. Pop Ups [his emphasis!] could start off behind the plate and end up down 1st base or 3rd base line. It was tough.”

Did he have a best home run memory? Hill chose three:

“The first homer was the best. [Against Carl Morton, April 12, 1975.] Got it behind me.


Then, when we played the Cardinals, my former team, hit homer off John Denny.


And home run off Tom Seaver.”

Best wishes to Marc Hill and all his fingers.

Tomorrow: how much did a no-hitter pay in 1974? Learn from Dick Bosman.  

Walter Alston & Casey Stengel Successful Today? Not Likely, Says Pitcher Larry Miller


Back in 2001, former pitcher Larry Miller still threw strikes.

Verbal strikes, that is.

Miller didn’t sugar-coat his opinions when asked about hurling for two
Hall of Fame managers in a three-year career. Furthermore, Miller slung
a high, hard one at the 1960s Mets organization.

“I never got to know either Alston or Stengel as people,” Miller began. “As managers, they had similar skills as far as making proper strategic moves during a game. Neither spent much effort trying to connect with the players. My belief is that neither would be very successful managing today’s players who require and demand special considerations.”

When coach Wes Westrum took over the Mets following Stengel’s retirement, Miller felt that the new manager was doomed.

“Westrum took over a team still brimming with expansion players. The core of the ’69 Mets (Seaver, Ryan, Koosman, McGraw, etc.) were just coming into the organization as minor leaguers. The best manager in baseball at that time would have had difficulty improving the Mets record.

“The old saying ‘You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s – – – ‘ applies here.”

Walter Alston & Casey Stengel Successful Today? Not Likely, Says Pitcher Larry Miller


Back in 2001, former pitcher Larry Miller still threw strikes.

Verbal strikes, that is.

Miller didn’t sugar-coat his opinions when asked about hurling for two
Hall of Fame managers in a three-year career. Furthermore, Miller slung
a high, hard one at the 1960s Mets organization.

“I never got to know either Alston or Stengel as people,” Miller began. “As managers, they had similar skills as far as making proper strategic moves during a game. Neither spent much effort trying to connect with the players. My belief is that neither would be very successful managing today’s players who require and demand special considerations.”

When coach Wes Westrum took over the Mets following Stengel’s retirement, Miller felt that the new manager was doomed.

“Westrum took over a team still brimming with expansion players. The core of the ’69 Mets (Seaver, Ryan, Koosman, McGraw, etc.) were just coming into the organization as minor leaguers. The best manager in baseball at that time would have had difficulty improving the Mets record.

“The old saying ‘You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s – – – ‘ applies here.”

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