Tuesday, December 15, 2009

1976 Topps #297 - Roger Metzger

  • Roger Metzger was the starting shortstop for the Houston Astros for a good portion of the 1970s. Metzger was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Cubs in 1969. He went straight to AAA Tacoma and played there in 1969 and 1970. The Cubs brought Roger up in September 1970 and he was 0 for 2 in one game.
  • Metzger was traded to the Astros for Hector Torres after the 1970 season. Roger was installed as the starting shortstop and stayed there through the 1976 season. In 1971 he led the NL with 11 triples and batted .235 in 150 games. Here is a December 1971 Baseball Digest article. Roger tripled only three times in 1972 and his batting average dipped to .222 in 153 games.
  • Roger won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 1973. He had a .982 fielding percentage, 22 points above the league average. Metzger also led the NL in triples with 14. He batted .250 in 154 games. Roger batted .253 in 143 games in 1974.
  • In 1975 Metzger played in 127 games. He was out for three weeks from late July to mid August. His batting average dropped to .227. Roger's average went down even further in 1976. He batted .210 in 152 games. Metzger missed a bigger chunk of the season in 1977. He didn't play from April 27 to June 16. In 97 games Roger batted .186.
  • Metzger split the season between the Astros and the San Francisco Giants in 1978. He played in 45 games for Houston and batted .220. On June 15 he was sold to the Giants, where he batted .260 in 75 games. Roger split time with Johnnie LeMaster at short in 1979 and batted .251 in 94 games. He was the better offensive player of the two. After the 1979 season Roger cut off parts of four fingers in a table saw accident. He attempted a comeback but was unsuccessful (.074 in 27 AB) and was released by the Giants on August 16.
  • After his playing career Metzger taught mathematics at Brenham High School. He is now the job procurement officer at Brenham State School.
  • Liked to face: Jack Billingham (.364 in 55 AB); Fergie Jenkins (.359 in 39 AB); Jim Lonborg (.361 in 36 AB)
  • Hated to face: Ed Halicki (.056 in 36 AB); Doug Rau (.045 in 44 AB); Don Gullett (.129 in 31 AB)

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