Thursday, April 2, 2009

Before there was Jason there was... Dave Parker?

Pittsburgh Pirates' Dave Parker
So, I have always thought that this was an interesting story. Being 32, I never got to see ex-Major Leaguer Dave Parker until his World Series run with the Oakland Athletics in the late 80's and early 90's. In 1978 Parker broke his jaw and cheekbone and when he returned to the lineup he wore an assortment of masks, one being an old style hockey mask-- Jason would have been jealous!

Here's a little tidbit from ESPN:

The year was 1978 and the player was Dave Parker of the Pirates, who would be named the league's MVP at the season's conclusion. But there was a slight detour on the way to that award, and it came in the form of a home plate collision with Mets catcher John Stearns on June 30. The play knocked Parker out of the lineup with a fractured jaw and cheekbone.
"He wanted to play again right away, so I knew I had to come up with something fast," recalls Tony Bartirome, who was the Pirates' trainer at the time. "If he'd had his way, he would have missed only four games."
Parker ultimately sat out a little over two weeks. But when he returned to action on July 16, something was different -- like, very different.

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