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Papa Voo



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What did you think of “Mick The Quick”?  


Rivers was a pretty good hitter ending up with .295 career average.  He was a candidate for MVP during one of his years with the Yanks.  

Any stories you remember about him?  

Rivers came to the Yanks from a trade with The Angels which sent him and Ed Figueroa to the Yanks for Bobby Bonds. 

Attachment: 1048D455-2FEF-451B-9ECE-C68C12E2067E.jpeg (Downloaded 53 times)

Last edited on Sat Mar 10th, 2018 05:48 pm by Papa Voo

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Absolute degenerate gambler, and when he was on a bad streak at the track he was usually on a bad streak on the field. Played hurt and did it badly but wouldn’t sit unless told. I absolutely loved how he’d walk up to the plate like a 92 year old man and get in the box looking feeble, then slap a single to left and turn on the jets to make it a double. And he had a great glove in CF too. His game could have been dropped into any decade and he’d be one of the top leadoff hitters in either league in any year including today. In the 1978 stretch run when the Yanks were chasing the Sox, Rivers wasn’t doing very well. Then he hit a ball into the RCF gap that was an easy double but he turned on the jets and legged it into a triple with a hard slide. It’s still shown today, and guys like Gossage, Nettles, Lyle, and Piniella have all said that it was THE play that got the entire team fired up and they just killed everyone down the stretch. Rivers was traded to the Rangers in ‘79 for I believe Juan Beniquez but maybe Oscar Gamble, but no matter who it was for they didn’t get anywhere near enough, because he went to Texas and hit the hell out of the ball for four more years. I guess it was somewhat of a makegood because the Yanks stole Dave Righetti from Texas in the Sparky Lyle trade. But my opinion is that had the Yanks kept Mick the Quick they would have beaten the Royals in the 1980 ALCS and the Phillies might not have been World Champions for another 28 years.

Papa Voo



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Do not remember his gambling escapades.

lobo316



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Mickey loved slow horses. So much so, Steinbrenner mailed Mickey's pay check to 
Mickey's wife, at her request.
The year Munson won the MVP award, Mickey was voted the Yankees' MVP by his team mates.

Benlen



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Meh. He hit .295 but his on base percentage was only around .320. With all his speed he never scored 100 runs in a season. Billy Hamilton is the same way.

tamalie
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Here is a short but interesting article about Rivers from SI in 1989 that sums him up well.

https://www.si.com/vault/1989/04/17/119755/mickey-gives-him-the-slip

tamalie
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When with the Yankees, Mickey Rivers would go to whichever NY area track was open in the morning (Aqueduct, Belmont, Yonkers, Meadowlands) and then head to Yankee Stadium for that night's home game. If the team was on the road, he'd go to the track in that town if there was one and it was open.

retroken



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he was a top villain on the most villainous baseball team of all time - hated him, Reggie, Billy, Lou, Goose, Greg, BUCKY, Willie and Roy plus many others (Thurman was OK) - the whole squad was slimy dirty and corrupt - also dangerous - just like their city at the time

stole a playoff from my Sox in 78 and also beat my second favorite 70s team LA Dodgers in consecutive World Series.
Mickey was a leadoff burglar.

srossi

 

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A good leadoff hitter but not elite. For all his speed he didn't really run much with the Yankees, which was curious because Billy Martin ran guys and in general more guys took off in the '70s. But he had that one big stolen base year of 70 before he came to the Yankees and then cut back on his running a lot. As mentioned, he was on a team with some pop but never scored 100 runs even though he hit over .300 every year with the Yankees. He just didn't work counts or draw walks at all. Very good glove. Only made the All-Star team once.  You can argue that his 2 best years was his last year with California and his first year with Texas, sandwiched around his Yankees run, even though he'll always be remembered as a Yankee. He was a colorful character on a colorful team, but I think all the distractions of 1970s NY definitely hurt his legacy. He should've been much better.

Last edited on Mon Mar 12th, 2018 06:51 pm by srossi

tamalie
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To expand on retroken's comment, when Bucky Dent was at bat in the Yankees-Red Sox one game playoff in 1978, he cracked his bat. The bat boy was going to the dugout for another one when Rivers held him up and gave his bat to the bat boy to bring to Dent. Bucky Dent then hit that famous home run. Dent was a very unlikely home run hitter and Rivers was long suspected by some of using a corked bat and it's assumed that this was the case for the bat belonging to Rivers that Dent used.

srossi

 

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tamalie wrote: To expand on retroken's comment, when Bucky Dent was at bat in the Yankees-Red Sox one game playoff in 1978, he cracked his bat. The bat boy was going to the dugout for another one when Rivers held him up and gave his bat to the bat boy to bring to Dent. Bucky Dent then hit that famous home run. Dent was a very unlikely home run hitter and Rivers was long suspected by some of using a corked bat and it's assumed that this was the case for the bat belonging to Rivers that Dent used.
The story is legendary but a bit too perfect.  Bottom line is, corked bat or not, what are the odds of Bucky Dent hitting a home run there?  There's nothing particularly magical about a corked bat, or steroids for that matter.  It'll add a little bit of distance for you and could possibly turn a warning track drive into a home run, but if you're a slap hitter like Dent was, it's not gonna do anything. Dent really crushed that ball and it was a no-doubter.  The bat doesn't help on a shot like that, not only in terms of distance but also with height to hit it over the Green Monster.  The distance was never in doubt, the question was "is it going to clear the top?"  Because of the shadows, even Dent wasn't sure it made it over right away and he was running hard.  Dent shouldn't have even been trying to hit a homer there, so why give him a corked bat?   

Last edited on Mon Mar 12th, 2018 10:13 pm by srossi



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