Saturday, December 11, 2010

#38 - Don Kessinger (CHC)

Don Kessinger was the traditional weak-hitting shortstop that could field well.  Back in those days, if a shortstop could field, he was given a pass on his bat.  No Ripken, A-Rod, Jeter or Tejada of today.  Nope.  And Don was that somewhat tall, skinny kid that naturally ended up at shortstop.  He came along several years after All-Star shortstop Ernie Banks was moved to first base, and after only a few years in the bigs, he became the All-Star shortstop.  The Cubs had a lot of All-Star shortstop action in the 50's to the 70's.  He played 16 seasons in the majors, yet hit only 14 home runs.  He never played in the post-season, either.  One of his All-Star appearances appears on the back of this card under the star - where else?  Two for two isn't bad in the Summer Classic.

I remember seeing Kessinger play short on TV when I was a kid.  I watched him on radio, too, when they played the Giants.  He was the fixture SS for the Cubbies.  This 1974 season would be his last All-Star team. 

Cartoon: Don gained 25 pounds eating the spread in the dressing room prior to the game, and promptly got six hits in six at bats that day.  Oh what a day for Oscar Meyer.  I guess all that MSG made him see stars.  Hey, Doc Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD, so why can't Kessinger go 6-for-6 on MSG?

Ballpark background: Here's a shot of Kessinger with an amazing amount of real estate behind him.  Or, third base side at Candlestick Park.  This Astro-turf layout was certainly bigger than the Brady Bunch back yard.  Candlestick and the Oakland Coliseum were the two parks with the most foul territory until the Giants built a new park.  The A's now rule foul ground.

No comments:

Post a Comment