Monday, June 29, 2009

1976 Topps #127 - Larvell Blanks

  • Larvell "Sugar Bear" Blanks was a utility infielder in the majors from 1972-1980.
  • Blanks started in 1969 in the Atlanta Braves organization. As he moved up the ladder, it took two years for him to show that he could play at each level. In 1971 he batted .222 for AA Savannah and he raised his average to .284 in 1972. In 1973 he batted .249 for AAA Richmond and he improved to .270 in Richmond in 1974.
  • Larvell played a little bit in the majors from 1972-1974, but he didn't play a full season for Atlanta until 1975. He started at shortstop that year and batted .234 in 471 at bats. After the season Blanks was traded twice. He first was traded by the Braves with Ralph Garr to the Chicago White Sox for Ken Henderson, Ozzie Osborn (what an interesting name for a ballplayer) and Dick Ruthven. The same day the White Sox traded him to the Cleveland Indians for Jack Brohamer.
  • Blanks had a couple of pretty good years for the Indians in 1976 and 1977. He batted .280 in 328 at bats in '76 and .286 in 322 at bats in '77. Larvell didn't do as well in 1978 (.254 in 193 at bats) and was traded with Jim Kern to the Texas Rangers for Len Barker and Bobby Bonds.
  • Larvell batted .200 in 120 at bats for the Rangers in 1979 and then was traded back to the Braves after the season. He batted .204 in 221 at bats in 1980 and was released by the Braves on August 8. On May 29, 1980, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Bob Welch pitched a 3–0 one-hitter against the Braves, facing the minimum 27 batters. The only Atlanta base runner was Blanks, who singled in the 4th inning and was retired on a double play.
  • Blanks signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a free agent before the 1980 season but didn't make the team and hung 'em up.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure that in the Mel Ott game talked about on the back, one of those walks came with the bases loaded.