Darrell Porter

Darrell Ray Porter (January 17, 1952 – August 5, 2002) was an American professional baseball player.[1] He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers.[1] He was known for his excellent defensive skills and power hitting.[2] He was also one of the first American professional athletes to publicly admit he had a problem with substance abuse.

Darrell Porter
Darrellporter1988
Porter with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1983
Catcher
Born: January 17, 1952
Joplin, Missouri
Died: August 5, 2002 (aged 50)
Sugar Creek, Missouri
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 2, 1971, for the Milwaukee Brewers
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1987, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Batting average.247
Home runs188
Runs batted in826
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Biography

Playing career

Born in Joplin, Missouri, Porter was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft.[3] He made his debut on September 2, 1971 with the Brewers at age 19.[1] He finished third in the 1973 Rookie of the Year voting.[4] Porter was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1974, but had his best years after he was traded in 1976 to the Kansas City Royals, where he was selected to the All-Star team four times.[1] In 1979, Porter became only the sixth catcher in Major League history to score 100 runs and have 100 runs batted in.[5] The feat had previously been accomplished by Mickey Cochrane, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Johnny Bench and Carlton Fisk, all in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Only Porter and Cochrane had 100 walks, runs and RBI in a single season.[6] He became a fan favorite for his intensity; teammate George Brett once said of Porter, "Darrell always played like it was the seventh game of the World Series."

Drug problems

Porter told the Associated Press that during the winter of 1979-1980, he became paranoid, convinced that baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, known to be tough on drug use, knew about his drug abuse, was trying to sneak into his house, and planned to ban him from baseball for life. Porter found himself sitting up at night in the dark watching out the front window, waiting for Kuhn to approach, clutching billiard balls and a shotgun.

During spring training in 1980, former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe paid a visit to the Kansas City clubhouse. He asked the players ten questions, the point of which being if a player answered three or more of the questions with an affirmation, the player might have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Porter affirmed all ten questions and checked himself into a rehabilitation center, admitting he had abused alcohol, cocaine, Quaaludes, and marijuana.[2]

Later career

After checking into the rehab center, Porter became a born-again Christian, married, and became a spokesman for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His production on the field declined after rehab, never again approaching his 1979 levels. He went on to play in three World Series, in 1980 with the Royals and in 1982 and 1985 with the St. Louis Cardinals, winning both the 1982 National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award and the World Series MVP Award in 1982.[1][7] At the time, Porter was only the second player in baseball history to win both awards in a single postseason, following Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979. After the 1985 season, the Cardinals released Porter, and he wound up his career with two seasons with the Texas Rangers as a part-time player.

Over 17 major league seasons, Porter had a career batting average of .247 and an on-base percentage of .354 with 188 home runs, 826 RBIs and a .982 fielding percentage.[1] As of the 2009 season, he ranked 21st on the all-time list for home runs by a catcher, and 20th for RBIs by a catcher.[8][9] Porter caught two no-hitters during his career: Jim Colborn in 1977, and Bob Forsch's second career no-hitter in 1983.[10][11] Porter was also notable for being one of the few Major League catchers of his time to wear eyeglasses behind the plate, at a time when most players needing vision correction were using contact lenses.

Personal life

Porter was married twice. His first marriage, in 1972 to the former Teri Brown, ended in divorce in 1976. On November 29, 1980, Porter married Deanne Gaulter. The couple had three children: Lindsey, Jeffrey, and Ryan.

In 1984, Porter wrote an autobiography titled Snap Me Perfect!, in which he detailed his life in baseball and his struggles with substance abuse.[2]

Later life and death

In 2000 Porter was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall Of Fame. He dabbled in both broadcasting and the antique business on and off during his post-baseball years. On August 5, 2002, he left his home in Lee's Summit, Missouri, saying he was going to buy a newspaper and go to the park. He was found dead in Sugar Creek, Missouri, outside his vehicle that evening.[2] An autopsy found he had died of "toxic effects of cocaine;" the level of cocaine in his system, consistent with recreational use, induced a condition called excited delirium that caused his heart to stop.[12] Police theorized that Porter's car went off a road and got caught on a tree stump in La Benite Park in Sugar Creek, a Kansas City suburb. He got out of the car, walked to the nearby Missouri River and then back to his car. Authorities had initially speculated that he overheated while trying to push the car off the stump in high heat and humidity, but there was no evidence to indicate that he tried to move the car. The exact scenario at his death is still unknown.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Darrell Porter at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ a b c d Darrell Porter Obituary at The New York Times
  3. ^ 1970 Amateur Baseball Draft at Baseball Almanac
  4. ^ 1973 American League Rookie of the Year voting results at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Darrell Porter Joins a Select Group of Catchers, by Larry F. Rasmussen, Baseball Digest, January 1980, Vol. 39, No. 1, ISSN 0005-609X
  6. ^ Darrell Porter at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
  7. ^ Post-Season World Series MVP Awards & All-Star Game MVP Award Winners at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ Home runs by catchers at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
  9. ^ RBIs by catchers at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
  10. ^ May 14, 1977 Rangers-Royals box score at Retrosheet
  11. ^ September 26, 1983 Expos-Cardinals box score at Retrosheet
  12. ^ Doctor says Porter did not die of an overdose, ESPN.com, August 13, 2002

Bibliography

  • Snap Me Perfect!: The Darrell Porter Story, T. Nelson, 1984. ISBN 0-8407-5367-5. (With William Deerfield.)

External links

1974 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1974 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers' finishing fifth in the American League East with a record of 76 wins and 86 losses.

1975 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1975 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers' finishing fifth in the American League East with a record of 68 wins and 94 losses.

1976 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1976 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers' finishing sixth in the American League East with 66 wins. It was the seventh consecutive losing season in Milwaukee and the eighth overall for the franchise since its inception.

1977 Kansas City Royals season

The 1977 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing first in the American League West with a record of 102 wins and 60 losses. They went on to lose the 1977 American League Championship Series to the New York Yankees, 3 games to 2.

1978 American League Championship Series

The 1978 American League Championship Series was held between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals for the third consecutive year.

1978 Kansas City Royals season

The 1978 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing first in the American League West with a record of 92 wins and 70 losses. The team went on to lose in the 1978 American League Championship Series to the New York Yankees, 3 games to 1.

1979 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1979 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 50th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues constituting Major League Baseball.

It was held on Tuesday, July 17, at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington, the home of the third-year Seattle Mariners of the American League. The National League won 7–6 for their eighth consecutive win.

The game featured memorable defensive play by outfielder Dave Parker, as he had two assists on putouts: one at third base and one at home plate. With Parker receiving the MVP award for this game, and teammate Willie Stargell winning the National League MVP, NLCS MVP, and World Series MVP, all four possible MVP awards for the season were won by members of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The game was also notable for the play of Lee Mazzilli, providing the margin of victory. In his only All Star appearance, Mazzilli tied the game in the eighth inning with a pinch hit home run off of Jim Kern of the Texas Rangers, and then put the National League ahead for good in the ninth, drawing a bases-loaded walk against Ron Guidry of the New York Yankees.

This was the only time the Kingdome hosted the All-Star Game. When it returned to Seattle for a second time in 2001, the Mariners had moved to their new home at Safeco Field.

1980 American League Championship Series

The 1980 American League Championship Series featured the Kansas City Royals facing the team that had defeated them three straight years in the ALCS from 1976–78, the New York Yankees.

1980 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1980 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 51st midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 8, 1980, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League. The game resulted in a 4-2 victory for the NL.

While this would mark the second time that the Dodgers had hosted the All-Star Game in Los Angeles, it was the first time that the game was being held at Dodger Stadium. Their first time as host in 1959 saw the game played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; the Dodgers' Los Angeles home field until the construction of Dodger Stadium.

This All-Star Game would be known for some exemplary pitching performances, most notably AL starter Steve Stone's (three perfect innings, three strikeouts). Jerry Reuss struck out the side for the NL in the sixth, as well.

It would also be one of the final games for NL starter J. R. Richard. Richard was diagnosed with a career-ending stroke weeks later.

The pregame ceremonies of the All-Star Game featured Disney characters. Later, Edwards Air Force Base of Rosamond, California, provided both the colors presentation and, after the Los Angeles All-City Band performed the Canadian and U.S. National Anthems, the flyover ceremonies. This All-Star Game marked the first nationally televised US performance of O Canada after it had officially been designated the Canadian National Anthem eight days earlier on July 1, 1980. It also marked the debut of the modern-day large-scale video screen, with the first such video scoreboard, Diamond Vision by Mitsubishi Electric, being introduced at this game.

1981 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1981 season was the team's 100th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 90th season in the National League. 1981 was a season of two significant anomalies: A change in the playoff format, which created the first-ever Divisional Series with a qualification variant that existed only for that season, and the players' strike, which truncated the regular season. Despite finishing 59-43, good for the best overall record in the National League East, the strike set up the scenario where the Cardinals actually missed the playoffs. The regular season was split into halves to tally teams' records separately in each half of the season, and because the Cardinals finished in second place in each half, they did not qualify for the 1981 playoffs. Major League Baseball reverted to the previous playoff format the following season, and the Cardinals qualified for that postseason.

First baseman Keith Hernandez won a Gold Glove this year.

1982 Major League Baseball season

The 1982 Major League Baseball season. Making up for their playoff miss of the year before, the St. Louis Cardinals won their ninth World Series championship, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, four games to three.

1982 National League Championship Series

The 1982 National League Championship Series was played between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves from October 6 to 10.

1982 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals' 1982 season was the team's 101st season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 91st season in the National League. Making up for the previous season's near-miss, the Cardinals went 92—70 during the season and won their first-ever National League East Division title by three games over the Philadelphia Phillies. They achieved their first postseason appearance since 1968 and defeated the National League West champion Atlanta Braves in three straight games to claim the NL pennant. From there, they went on to win the World Series in seven games over the American League champion Milwaukee Brewers. It was the Cardinals' first World Championship since 1967, and their last until they opened the current Busch Stadium in 2006.

1982 World Series

The 1982 World Series featured the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers, with the Cardinals winning in seven games. The Cardinals won the National League East division by three games over the Philadelphia Phillies, then defeated the Atlanta Braves by 3 games to none in the National League Championship Series. The Brewers won the American League East division by one game over the Baltimore Orioles, then defeated the California Angels by 3 games to 2 in the American League Championship Series. The 1982 World Series represented the last time (until the Giants won in 2010 and the Cardinals in 2011 respectively, both defeating the Texas Rangers) that the National League won back-to-back World Series; they had, in fact, won four straight, starting in 1979.

Though the teams had never met before, their home cities had an existing commercial rivalry in the beer market, as St. Louis is the home of Anheuser–Busch, which owned the Cardinals at the time, while Milwaukee is the home of Miller Brewing and other past major competitors of Anheuser–Busch, hence the team name. This led the media to refer to it as the "Suds Series."

1982 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1982 throughout the world.

1983 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1983 season was a season in American baseball. It was the team's 102nd season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 92nd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 79-83 during the season and finished 4th in the National League East, eleven games behind the NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies. They were the first team in the Divisional play era to have a losing season one year after winning the World Series.

First baseman Keith Hernandez, shortstop Ozzie Smith, and outfielder Willie McGee won Gold Gloves this year, although Hernandez was traded to the New York Mets in mid-season.

Bob Mavis

Robert Henry Mavis (April 8, 1918 – March 1, 2005) was an American professional baseball player, manager and scout. Although he fashioned a long and successful playing career in minor league baseball as a second baseman and third baseman, his Major League career consisted of a single game. In the closing days of the 1949 season, on September 17, Mavis pinch-ran for Detroit Tigers catcher Bob Swift in the ninth inning of a game against the New York Yankees. He got as far as second base, but the game ended on a double play and he didn't score a run. He was never called upon again that season, and in 1950 he resumed his minor-league career.

Bob Mavis was a 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), 160 lb (73 kg) native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who batted left-handed and threw right-handed. His professional career began at the advanced age of 26 when he was signed by the Little Rock Travelers of the Class A1 (now Double-A) Southern Association in 1944, during the World War II manpower shortage. However, once the war ended and baseball was back at full strength, Mavis proved his mettle. He batted over .300 for his first six seasons as a pro in the high minors, with Little Rock and the Class AAA Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association. He was a 31-year-old MLB rookie when the parent Tigers summoned him from Toledo for the final weeks of the 1949 season. All told, in 12 minor league seasons, he batted .305 in 1,292 games played.In 1954, Mavis became a manager in the Detroit farm system, then scouted for the club. In 1969 he switched allegiances to the Seattle Pilots as a scout, and continued in that role when the Pilots became the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970. He also spent 14 seasons as a scout for the Atlanta Braves, retiring after the 1990 season. Among the players he signed were Darrell Porter, Brett Butler and Craig McMurtry.

He died in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the age of 86.

Dave Schuler

David Paul Schuler (born October 4, 1953 in Framingham, Massachusetts) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. A left-handed reliever, Schuler appeared in 10 games in Major League Baseball (MLB) over 3 season from 1979 to 1985 with the California Angels and Atlanta Braves. He also served a pitching coach in the minor league systems of five teams.

Schuler attended the University of New Haven, where he graduated from with a degree in general business management in 1975.He was elected into Hall of Fame in 1975, and Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, earning a Gold Medal in 1973.He was subsequently drafted in the 10th round of the 1975 MLB Draft. Schuler made his MLB debut with the California Angels on September 17, 1979 against the Kansas City Royals. The first batter he faced was future Hall of Fame hitter George Brett. He threw 1.2 innings, giving up 2 earned runs. He also gave up a home run to Darrell Porter. This was his only game he played with the Angels in 1979.

In 1980, Schuler appeared in 4 games for the Angels as a reliever. In 12.2 innings, he gave up 5 earned runs while striking out 7.

Schuler did not appear in an MLB game in a game from 1981 to 1984. In 1985, he appeared in 9 games as a reliever for the Atlanta Braves, giving up 8 earned runs while striking out 10.

After playing professionally, Schuler became a pitching coach in the farm systems of the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Taiwan Major Leagues, Baltimore Orioles, and Colorado Rockies. ]s.

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