Friday, March 27, 2009

1976 Topps #21 - Dave LaRoche

Dave LaRoche was a left-handed reliever who pitched for six teams from 1970-1983. He had some up and down years, but had a career mark of 65-58 with a 3.53 ERA and 126 saves. Dave was an All-Star in 1976 and 1977. I don't know how he got selected in 1977, since he went 8-7, 3.51, 17 saves for Cleveland and California. It may have been one of those "each team needs a representative" things.
Dave gained noteriety for his eephus pitch, which he called "LaLob." Since his career ended, he became a pitching coach (mostly in the minors) from 1984-1995 and from 2002-present. He has two baseball-playing children, Adam (1B for the Braves and Pirates) and Andy (3B for the Dodgers and Pirates).

1 comment:

  1. Dave LaRoche went to the Angels in May 1977. His first half split was 6-3, 3.77 9 saves (pretty pedestrian). The Angels were represented by Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana, neither of which pitched. Based on Tanana's game logs, he missed a couple of weeks in there so he may have had to opt out for an injury. Ryan pitched right before and right after the ASG, so he was healthy.

    I'm wondering if LaRoche was simply an injury replacement for Tanana. The only other relievers on the AL staff were Jim Kern (Cleveland), Bill Campbell (Minnesota) and Sparky Lyle (Yankees). That's all I can come up with because otherwise there really wasn't any overwhelming reason for him to be there.