Mickey Rivers

John Milton "Mickey" Rivers (born October 31, 1948) is an American former baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball from 1970 to 1984 for the California Angels, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. As a member of the Yankees, he was part of two World Series championship teams, both wins over the Los Angeles Dodgers, in 1977 and 1978. "Mick The Quick" was generally known as a speedy leadoff hitter who made contact and was an excellent center fielder, with a below-average throwing arm.

Mickey Rivers
Mickey Rivers 2010.jpeg
Rivers in 2010
Center fielder
Born: October 31, 1948 (age 70)
Miami, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 4, 1970, for the California Angels
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1984, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Batting average.295
Home runs61
Runs batted in499
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Career

The legend of "Mick the Quick" began during his amateur days at Miami Dade Community College. A fast and athletic outfielder, Rivers emerged as one of the team stars, but once disappeared just moments before the start of a game. His teammates and coaches later discovered Rivers asleep under a nearby tree.

Originally signed by the Atlanta Braves, Rivers began his big league career in 1970 with the Angels, playing center field and third base. He stayed with them through the 1975 season. Rivers played part-time in his first few years, until becoming the starter in 1974. He led the American League in triples both years and stole a career-high 70 bases in 1975, tops in the league.[1]

Along with Ed Figueroa, Rivers was dealt to the Yankees in the 1975-76 off-season for Bobby Bonds, a trade that immediately paid dividends for the Yankees. Figueroa won 19 games and Rivers enjoyed a career year. Rivers was named to the All-Star team, batted .312, stole 43 bases and posted then-career highs in home runs (8) and runs batted in (67).[2] Rivers placed third in the Most Valuable Player voting behind teammate Thurman Munson and George Brett[3] and was named an outfielder on The Sporting News AL All-Star team.

Rivers posted good numbers in his two other full Yankee seasons, including a .326 batting average in 1977, but was traded in the middle of the 1979 season to Texas. He set the single-season record for hits by a Ranger with 210 in 1980. He concluded his career in 1984 with a .295 lifetime average, 267 stolen bases and 1,660 hits. Rivers posted a .308 average in his 29 postseason games.[4]

While Rivers played for them, the Yankees won the World Series in 1977 and 1978, both times against the Los Angeles Dodgers.[5] They won the 1976 pennant, but lost in the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.

On September 30, 1984, in Rivers final major league game, he and the Rangers were the victims of the Angel's Mike Witt's perfect game, Witt winning 1-0.[6]

Bill James ranked Mickey Rivers as the 59th greatest center fielder of all time. His stooped shuffle as he ambled to the plate masked quick speed out of the box on bunts and sustained speed around the bases.

Rivers was honored with many of his teammates from the 1977 World Series champion New York Yankees in the Yankee Old Timers Game in 2007. In The Bronx Is Burning, the ESPN miniseries based on the 1977 Yankees, he was portrayed by Leonard Robinson and portrayed as experiencing financial problems. When Reggie Jackson remarked to a reporter that he had an IQ of 160, Rivers responded, "Out of what, a thousand?". Rivers' tenure in the Bronx produced other classic quotes, such as when he tried to explain the bizarre dynamics of the Yankees, who featured controversial owner George Steinbrenner and contentious manager Billy Martin. "Me and George and Billy," Rivers said, "we’re two of a kind." According to Goose Gossage, when the newly acquired reliever went through a rough stretch of blown saves, Rivers once jumped on top of the bullpen car to prevent Gossage from entering the game.[7]

After baseball, Rivers began training racehorses in his native Florida. His son, Mickey Jr., played minor league baseball in the Rangers organization, and his daughter Rhonda is a teacher in the Houston area.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Mickey Rivers stats". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Mickey Rivers Stats, Fantasy & News". mlb.com. MLB Advanced Media, LP. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  3. ^ "1976 Awards Voting". baseball-reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Mickey Rivers Stats, Fantasy & News". mlb.com. MLB Advanced Media, LP. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Former Yankees Bucky Dent, Mickey Rivers throw out first pitch". newsday.com. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Mike Witt Perfect Game Box Score". baseball-almanac.com. Baseball Almanac, Inc. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Bronx Zoo Was Fun So Many Moons Ago". latimes.com. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 July 2019.

External links

1971 California Angels season

The 1971 California Angels season involved the Angels finishing 4th in the American League West with a record of 76 wins and 86 losses.

1972 California Angels season

The 1972 California Angels season involved the Angels finishing 5th in the American League West with a record of 75 wins and 80 losses.

1973 California Angels season

The 1973 California Angels season involved the Angels finishing fourth in the American League West with a record of 79 wins and 83 losses.

1974 California Angels season

The 1974 California Angels season involved the Angels finishing sixth in the American League West with a record of 68 wins and 94 losses.

1975 California Angels season

The 1975 California Angels season involved the Angels finishing sixth in the American League West with a record of 72 wins and 89 losses.

California hit 55 home runs for the entire season. This caused Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee to say about the team- "could take batting practice in a hotel lobby without damaging a chandelier."

1975 Major League Baseball season

The 1975 Major League Baseball season saw Frank Robinson become the first black manager in the Major Leagues. He managed the Cleveland Indians.

At the All-Star Break, there were discussions of Bowie Kuhn's reappointment. Charlie Finley, New York owner George Steinbrenner and Baltimore owner Jerry Hoffberger were part of a group that wanted him gone. Finley was trying to convince the new owner of the Texas Rangers Brad Corbett that MLB needed a more dynamic commissioner. During the vote, Baltimore and New York decided to vote in favour of the commissioner's reappointment. In addition, there were discussions of expansion for 1977, with Seattle and Washington, D.C. as the proposed cities for expansion.

1976 New York Yankees season

The 1976 New York Yankees season was the 74th season for the Yankees in New York, and the 76th season overall for the franchise. The team finished with a record of 97–62, finishing 10½ games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles to win their first American League East title.

In the ALCS, the Yankees defeated the Kansas City Royals in 5 games. Chris Chambliss's walk-off home run in Game 5 clinched the pennant for the Yankees.

In the World Series, they were defeated in a four-game sweep by the defending champion Cincinnati Reds, marking only the second time that the Yankees had ever been swept in a World Series in their history (following the 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers).

New York was managed by Billy Martin. The Yankees returned to the newly renovated Yankee Stadium.

1977 American League Championship Series

The 1977 American League Championship Series was a five-game series played between October 5 and 9, 1977, at Yankee Stadium (Games 1–2), and Royals Stadium (3–5). The Yankees took the series 3–2, and defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 World Series to take the title. Kansas City was given home-field advantage as it rotated back to the West Division; the Royals held a 102–60 record to the Yankees' 100–62 record.

1977 New York Yankees season

The 1977 New York Yankees season was the 75th season for the Yankees in New York and the 77th season overall for the franchise. The team won the World Series, which was the 21st championship in franchise history and the first championship under the ownership of George Steinbrenner. The season was brought to life years later in the book, turned drama-documentary, The Bronx is Burning.

1978 American League East tie-breaker game

The 1978 American League East tie-breaker game was a one-game extension to Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1978 regular season, played between the rival New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox to determine the winner of the American League's (AL) East Division. The game was played at Fenway Park in Boston, on the afternoon of Monday, October 2.

The tie-breaker was necessitated after the Yankees and Red Sox finished the season tied for first place in the AL East with identical 99–63 (.611) records. Entering the final day of the season on Sunday, the Yankees had a one-game lead: they lost 9–2 to Cleveland while Boston shut out Toronto 5–0 to force the playoff. The Red Sox were the home team by virtue of a coin toss. In baseball statistics, the tie-breaker counted as the 163rd regular season game for both teams, with all events in the game added to regular season statistics.

Ron Guidry started for the Yankees, while Mike Torrez started for the Red Sox. The Yankees fell behind 2–0, with a home run by Carl Yastrzemski and an RBI single by Jim Rice. The Yankees took the lead in the seventh on a three-run home run by Bucky Dent. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 5–4, with Guidry getting the win, while Goose Gossage recorded a save. With the victory, the Yankees finished the regular season with a 100–63 (.613) record, and clinched the AL East championship, en route to winning the World Series. This was the first tie-breaker to be contested after the introduction of divisional play in 1969. As of 2018, the '78 Yankees remain the last team to have won the World Series after playing a tiebreaker.

1979 New York Yankees season

The 1979 New York Yankees season was the 77th season for the franchise in New York and its 79th season overall. The season was marked by the death of their starting catcher, Thurman Munson, on August 2. The team finished with a record of 89-71, finishing fourth in the American League East, 13.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles, ending the Yankees' three-year domination of the AL East. New York was managed by Billy Martin, and Bob Lemon. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. With the end of the Munson period within this season, a new era was about to unfold as this season would prove to be the first time ever for the Yankees to broadcast their games on cable within New York City and surrounding areas, the first ever MLB team to do so, starting Opening Day that year, all Yankees games save for the nationally aired games were broadcast on the then 3-year old cable channel SportsChannel NY aside from the usual WPIX telecast for free to air television viewers in the New York area and nationwide via satellite and cable.

1979 Texas Rangers season

The 1979 Texas Rangers season involved the Rangers finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 83 wins and 79 losses.

Canyon Crossroads

Canyon Crossroads is a 1955 American Western film directed by Alfred L. Werker and stars Richard Basehart, Phyllis Kirk and Stephen Elliott.

Clint Compton

Robert Clinton Compton (born November 1, 1950 in Montgomery, Alabama) is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Chicago Cubs. His entire major-league career consisted of a two-inning appearance during the Cubs' October 3, 1972 game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Compton was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1968 MLB June amateur draft out of Robert E. Lee High School, 13 picks before future All-Star Lynn McGlothen. After his second season in the Braves' minor league system, he was traded with Mickey Rivers to the California Angels for Bob Priddy and future Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm. The Cubs selected Compton from the Angels in the 1971 Rule 5 draft and he spent the 1972 season with the AA Midland Cubs before a late-season call-up.

On October 3, 1972, Compton came on in relief of Cub hurler Larry Gura in the top of the 6th at Wrigley Field. He retired the side in order (John Bateman, Steve Carlton, and Terry Harmon) in the 6th but quickly got into trouble in the 7th. Larry Bowa singled to lead it off, followed by a Mike Schmidt single in Schmidt's first at-bat of the game. A walk to Greg Luzinski loaded the bases with nobody out, and another walk (to Joe Lis) forced in the Phillies' ninth run of the game. Compton then induced Roger Freed to ground into a run-scoring double play before Bill Robinson popped out to Carmen Fanzone for the final out of Compton's appearance, and as it would turn out, his major league career. Carlton earned his 27th win that day to finish with a 27-10 record for the last-place Phillies, which would earn him the Cy Young Award.

Compton spent all of 1973 with the Cubs' AAA affiliate Wichita Aeros but did not get promoted to the big league club. He never played professional baseball again, retiring from the game after 1973 at age 22.

List of Major League Baseball annual triples leaders

In baseball, a triple is recorded when the ball is hit so that the batter is able to advance all the way to third base, scoring any runners who were already on base, with no errors by the defensive team on the play. In Major League Baseball (MLB), a player in each league is recognized for leading the league in triples. Only triples hit in a particular league count toward that league's seasonal lead.

The first triples champion in the National League was Ross Barnes; in the league's inaugural 1876 season, Barnes hit fourteen triples for the Chicago White Stockings. In 1901, the American League was established and led by two members of the Baltimore Orioles: Bill Keister and Jimmy Williams each had 21.

List of Texas Rangers team records

The Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team has played in Arlington, Texas, since 1972. The team began in 1961 as the Washington Senators, an American League expansion team based in Washington, D.C., before relocating to Texas. This list documents players and teams who hold records set in various statistical areas during single games, entire seasons, or their Rangers' careers.

Morris Nettles

Morris Nettles (January 26, 1952 – January 24, 2017) was a Major League Baseball outfielder who played two seasons with the California Angels in the mid-1970s.

Nettles was drafted by the Angels in the second round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft out of Venice High School in Los Angeles, California. A speedy runner with good range in the outfield, he batted over .300 in the Angels' farm system to earn a roster spot with the Angels coming out of Spring training 1974. He was demoted back to the triple A Salt Lake City Angels at the end of May with a .222 batting average, three extra base hits, seven runs scored and one stolen base.

Nettles batted .328 with 26 stolen bases and 69 runs scored for Salt Lake City to earn a second chance with the big league club. He made the most of his second chance, batting .292 with nineteen stolen bases and scoring twenty runs at the top of the Angels' batting order.

Nettles was handed the centerfield job heading into the 1975 campaign, but lost it to Mickey Rivers a month into the season. Playing one of the corner outfield positions and occasionally filling in for Rivers in center the rest of the way, Nettles batted .231 with fifty runs scored. He stole 22 bases, but was caught fifteen times. On December 11, 1975, he and Jim Spencer were traded to the Chicago White Sox for Steve Dunning and Bill Melton.Nettles was one of many young outfielders competing for the White Sox's centerfield job in Spring training 1976. With Chet Lemon eventually named the Chisox's centerfielder, Nettles split the season between the Toledo Mud Hens and Iowa Oaks, batting a combined .232 in his final professional season.

Nettles died from complications of pancreatic cancer on January 24, 2017.

Tom Burgmeier

Thomas Henry Burgmeier (born August 2, 1943) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played for the California Angels, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox and Oakland A's from 1968 to 1984. He has also served as the pitching coach of the Omaha Royals.

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Burgmeier grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota.Burgmeier was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1980.On August 3, 1980, while playing for the Boston Red Sox, Burgmeier moved from the pitcher's mound to left field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Skip Lockwood replaced Burgmeier on the mound and retired the final batter to save a 6-4 win over the Texas Rangers. Manager Don Zimmer elected to keep Tom in the game in case the batter got on base—in that case Burgmeier would have returned to the mound to face Mickey Rivers.

West Palm Beach Tropics

The West Palm Beach Tropics were one of the eight original franchises that began play in the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989. The club hired Dick Williams as manager and fielded a lineup that included slugger Dave Kingman and Rollie Fingers. The Tropics went 52-20 in the regular season and ran away with the Southern Division title. Ron Washington led the club's offense, hitting .359 with a league-high 73 RBI. Mickey Rivers hit .366 and Kingman added 8 homers. The pitching staff was led by Juan Eichelberger, who went 11-5 with a 2.90 ERA. Tim Stoddard also won 10 games for the club.

Local Valentino Falcone (a former minor leaguer) ruptured a hamstring stealing second base (one game before opening day) depriving him of an eventual roster spot.

Despite their regular season dominance, the Tropics lost 12-4 to the St. Petersburg Pelicans in the SPBA's initial championship game.

The West Palm Beach Tropics returned for a second season, as a traveling team known as the Florida Tropics, however the team ceased operation when the league folded in December 1990.

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