Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1973 Topps - Lenny Randle.

Looks like Lenny Randle was at Spring Training when this picture was taken for card number 378 of the 1973 Topps set. That's almost as far as Len got in 1973. After fairly regular playing time the previous two seasons he spent most of the 1973 season at Triple A and only made a few appearances for Texas. All told Randle would play in 140 games for the Triple A Spokane Indians and only 10 for the Rangers.

In the 10 games Len played for Texas he went to the plate 30 times. He managed a .207 average at the plate with a .207 on base percentage. Not very impressive but he probably didn't have much time to adjust after getting back to the Majors. In the minors Len had posted a .283 batting average and a .373 on base percentage in 654 plate appearances.

In the field Len played five games at second base and four in the outfield. He must have also pinch-hit once. Len's fielding percentage at second was .964 and it was .500 in the outfield. Not hard to tell that he was an infielder by trade. Lenny's main problem was that he was being blocked by regular second baseman Dave Nelson. That situation looked unlikely to change anytime soon.


James Crabtree said...

Lenny Randle is most famous for brutally beating up the Rangers manager after he lost his job to Bump Wills. ESPN's Page 2 has the details.

Lenny Randle vs. Frank Lucchesi (May 28, 1977)

When it became clear to Texas Rangers second baseman Lenny Randle that he had lost his starting position to rookie Bump Wills, he decided he'd had enough. He'd been letting everyone know all spring that his 1976 batting average of .224 deserved more respect, and almost left camp before some teammates talked him out of it.

Manager Frank Lucchesi, 50, told reporters he was tired of Randle's bellyaching. "It's just too damn bad somebody stopped him from leaving. I'm tired of these punks saying play me or trade me. Anyone who makes $80,000 a year and gripes and moans all spring is not going to get a tear out of me."

A few days later, the two spoke briefly before an exhibition game in Orlando, when Randle suddenly attacked his manager. "Lenny stepped back and hit Frank and hit him two or three times as he was going down and then hit him while he was on the ground," said Rangers mouthpiece Burt Hawkins. "Frank said he didn't remember a thing after he was hit the first time."

Good thing. Lucchesi lay on the ground in a bloody heap, suffering from a broken cheekbone, a concussion, and a lacerated lip, and would have to be operated on. Lucchesi later called it a "sneak attack," and claimed his hands were in his pockets. Randle disputed the latter point: "There was no way Frank had his hands in his pockets. He always uses his hands when he talks."

"It's one of the worst things I've ever witnessed," said Ranger outfielder Ken Henderson. "No way I'm going to play on the same field with him again."

He didn't have to. Randle was suspended for 30 days and traded to the Mets before his suspension was up.

Andy said...

I think the uniforms from then are great. Very classy.