Thursday, May 15, 2008


When you became a Pirate in the 80's, you became a pirate in the 80's. It was an effort by management to become more kid-friendly. Having a swashbuckling appearance was mandatory.

Here is Captain Rod Scurry and first mate Spanky.

Rod Scurry
Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
1985 Topps #641

Topps Fact: Rod was selected as AAA Player of the Year as a senior at Proctor High School in Reno, Nevada.
GMT Fact: Was punched in the face when notoriously homophobic Cecilio Guante misheard him ask him to "swab his deck" at a Bradenton, Fla bar in 1985.

Sadly, Scurry took being a pirate too far...

Bonus fact via Wikipedia: Rodney Grant Scurry was a Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played for eight seasons. He was best known for his part in the 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials that addressed cocaine involvement among many players including several members of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Scurry...died of a cocaine-induced heart attack in Reno, Nevada in 1992.

Mike "Spanky" Lavalliere
Catcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
1990 Bowman #172

Bowman Fact: Acq: Trade with Cardinals, 4-1-87
GMT Fact: Was released by Pittsburgh in 1993 after accusations he regularly forced club house attendant to "dig deep in his pockets for buried treasure."

Bonus fact via Wikipedia: "Spanky's lack of speed was a frequent source of parody on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. In particular, a stopwatch was used to clock Spanky going around the bases. Furthermore, former major leaguer Andy Fox's home run trot was faster than Spanky going from first to home."

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