A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Choke Up!

I have three Gene Richards cards in my collection.  Seems kinda small for a guy who ranks 5th all time in games played as a Padre.  He played in San Diego from 1977 to 1983, leaving the year before they went to the World Series.  He also ranks 4th in at bats, hits, and average, 3rd in runs, and 2nd in steals.

FWIW, Tony Gwynn leads most of the Padres offensive stats, as you tend to rack up the numbers when you're a great player who stays with the same team for 19 years (although he is 14th in strikeouts, despite having almost three times more at bats than most of his competition.

Anyways, the reason I'm talking about Gene Richards is that when I saw the two of his cards in my Miscellaneous Padres binder, I noticed that they both had something similar about them...

Man, the guy chokes up on his bat a lot!  I don't think I've ever seen a major leaguer swing a bat like that.

I remember my dad teaching me to choke up on the bat if it was too big or heavy for me, but Richards is a grown man!  Probably had his own bats and everything.  Weird to see it captured on cardboard like that.  I can just imagine a retired Gene Richards coaching a Little League team and having a kid go home to his dad and show him how he was taught to hold his bat.  "He told you to grip it like that?  And he used to be a big leaguer?"

The third card I have of Gene's is in my team set binder ('84 Topps).  Sorry I'm too lazy to scan it, but trust me, he's choking up there, too.  

Of these two cards, I'd have to say that I'm more of a fan of the sticker card.  Bright blue and yellow borders - can't get enough of those...

Anyways, yeah, Gene Richards.


  1. I wonder if kids in little league are still taught to choke up, especially with two strikes?

  2. Hunter Pence has nothing on Gene Richards.