Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Signed Ball of the Day : Juan Marichal ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

So after I acquired Tommy John's and Bob Feller's autograph at the 2010 Fanfest there was only one signature coming up next that I wanted/thought about getting. Juan Marichal. Now any Dodger buff knows why he is infamous in Dodger lore but some people don't know or remember that the last team he played for was the Dodgers.

He played the majority of this career with the hated Giants. He was a force on the mound as he was a 10 time All-Star and also pitched a no-hitter in 1963. While we had Sandy and Don they had Juan and he was always up to the challenge. He constantly won 20 plus games a year as he did that in a 6 out of 7 year span. He posted a minus 3 ERA for his career as well. If he wasn't a Giant he would have been admired by the Dodger faithful.

His claim to fame though was the Roseboro incident 1965. With Juan on the mound he buzzed Maury Wills a couple of times at the plate. Later in the game with Juan batting, Roseboro the catcher with Sandy Koufax pitching, threw the ball back to Sandy after catching a pitch and buzzed Juan by his ear. This set off a bizarre scene as Juan came out swinging, literally. As Roseboro confronted Juan, Juan decided to beat Roseboro with his bat. I am surprised that Roseboro did not get more injured than he did. The rivalry was just bumped up another notch. Thankfully no one was seriously injured as this started a 14 minute bench clearing brawl. Surprising he signed as a free agent in 1975 with the Dodgers and fans voiced their negative opinion of the signing. He ended up starting and getting rocked in two starts before retiring.

So I debated on acquiring his autograph as he was a Dodger but he was more of a hated Giant than anything and the instigator of one of the worst on field incidents in the Dodger/Giant rivalry. I decided on getting the autograph. The draw of an IP of a Hall of Famer was greater than the history of the incident. Got in line which was surprising shorter than the others. I was no more than 20th in line. He arrived on time and started signing. I got up to the table and he had this glossy look in his eyes like he was some type of meds. Said hi to him and just looked at me and took the ball and signed it. Maybe it was because I was wearing my Dodger gear and he still hated the team. Don't know. Either way got a ball signed by another Hall of Famer and it looks great.

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