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  • please identify this player

    I was looking at some pictures on the Astros page on the great site Sports Ecyclopedia (http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com), and I saw this picture:

    http://www.geocities.com/cyberclopedia4/nl/houastros/80astros.jpg .

    The picture has the caption "1980: Astros Celebrate NL Western Division Title"

    On first glance at this picture, I thought that the caption was in error, since it looked to me like the player in the center of the shot (right arm raised, wearing cap) was Mike Scott, and Scott of course did not join the Astros until 1983.

    Then I noticed Gary Woods (back to the camera, wearing no. 15), who actually was there in 1980. So, it seems like the caption is correct, and the picture is indeed from 1980.

    So, this raises the question: who is that guy who looks like Mike Scott?

    If anyone can identify him, I would appreciate it.





  • #2
    RE: please identify this player

    Wow, that is really tough to tell from that photo. You're definitely right to think it looks like Mike Scott there. However, I believe that the photo is of Joe Niekro who pitched a six-hitter that day against the Dodgers to clinch the division title.

    Comment


    • #3
      RE: please identify this player

      I believe "The Commissioner" is correct. That looks like Niekro. Wish I could make the picture larger. Just for fun I believe the player facing the camera to the far right of the frame is Dickie Thon.
      Hot ziggity dog and sassafras tea! - Loel Passe :radio

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      • #4
        RE: please identify this player

        If it's 1980, then it can't be Thon. He didn't join the Astros until 1981.
        Let's rid baseball of the pestilence of the DH now and forever!

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        • #5
          RE: please identify this player

          Doh! Sure looks like him though
          Hot ziggity dog and sassafras tea! - Loel Passe :radio

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: please identify this player

            Are we sure that the caption is not in error. I don't know particularly what Thon or Scott looked like, so I'll have to take everyone's word. The clue of Gary Woods places the picture in either 1980 or 1981. I don't recall whether the Astros won the first half or second half division championship that year. If they won the second half, might it be the on field celebration for that, which would make it possible for it to be Thon. Personally, I think that that is more likely, because as a Phillies fan I remember the 1980 championship series and I would swear that the Astros were still wearing those garish rainbow stripe uniforms that year.
            Let's rid baseball of the pestilence of the DH now and forever!

            Comment


            • #7
              RE: please identify this player

              [updated:LAST EDITED ON Jul-04-02 AT 10:38 PM (EDT)]I was wondering the same thing myself. According to a book a friend of mine has on team uniforms, in 1980 they wore a slightly different version of the infamous "Tequila Surise" uniforms on the road, but wore orange caps for both home and road. In 1981 the road uniforms were like the ones in the picture with the blue caps (orange caps and the "sunrise" jerseys were still worn with the home uniforms). However, I found an Astro website that has that same picture plus a couple of others from the 1980 division clinching game against the Dodgers. On that site they identify the player in question as Joe Niekro. This would mean that they actually started wearing the 1981 road uniforms sometime in 1980 and makes my entire Dickie Thon thread horribly moot, besides getting way off topic to the original posters question. I apologize to all concerend. They quit wearing the "sunrise" uniforms altogether after the 1986 season. I must be the only guy in the world that actually liked those "Tequila Sunrise" uniforms. Actually tried to buy one when they auctioned them off after the last year they wore them. Was not successful.
              Hot ziggity dog and sassafras tea! - Loel Passe :radio

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: please identify this player

                This has bugged me since I came in late on the discussion ... But here is the best I can determine:

                1) It is 1980, that is Joe Niekro appearing to be ready to thrust his arm/fist/#1 sign into the air.

                2) Niekro and the 'Stros beat the Dodgers in LA on the final day of the season to with their first division title by 1 game ... If my gray matter is working properly, Art Howe smacked a 3-run HR (or maybe a slam) in the 7th-8th inning to put the game away.

                3) The guy standing directly behind Niekro (profile shot with his perfectly done hair) is Joe Sambito ... My wife confirmed this even though she can't be 100% sure unless she could see his backside. (Trust me, she once drove through the hedges in the Astrodome parking lot trying to chase the guy down; I've always known I ranked #2 in her heart!)

                4) The dark-haired one with a somewhat cheesy mustache behind Sambito is the one that still bothers me ... It might be Crazy Frank LaCorte.

                5) The guy with the glasses near the top right corner has to be Bill Virdon.

                6) Moving to the upper left corner, that's Ashby in the catcher's gear.

                7) The 'fro behind Niekro's bent elbow belongs to either Luis Pujols or Cruuuuuuz, and I would bet on it being Pujols.

                8) The bald head could be Cabell (looks too dark to be Howe)

                9) The person I believe some people are mistaking for Doran is Craig Reynolds, at least that's who the face in front of Ashby's chest protector looks like to me.
                Never confuse character with geography --- Red Smith
                Astros Daily

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                • #9
                  Ahhh, happier times



                  The link to the original photo was dead, but this is the same photo from the original post in this thread.
                  Never confuse character with geography --- Red Smith
                  Astros Daily

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The guy you are referring to holding his glove and cap up is Dave Bergman, the first baseman who completed the final out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PopTop View Post

                      3) The guy standing directly behind Niekro (profile shot with his perfectly done hair) is Joe Sambito ... My wife confirmed this even though she can't be 100% sure unless she could see his backside. (Trust me, she once drove through the hedges in the Astrodome parking lot trying to chase the guy down; I've always known I ranked #2 in her heart!)
                      It is most assuredly Joe Sambito. How could you not recognize that hair? He was my first baseball crush. :bowdown:

                      Originally posted by PopTop View Post
                      5) The guy with the glasses near the top right corner has to be Bill Virdon.
                      Virdon is in the bottom of the picture in front of Woods.

                      Originally posted by PopTop View Post
                      7) The 'fro behind Niekro's bent elbow belongs to either Luis Pujols or Cruuuuuuz, and I would bet on it being Pujols.
                      I don't think it's either. Cruz appears to be be on the far left hand side just coming into the picture behind the unknown player in the jacket. Could it be Pujols in the front of the picture with all the photographers or maybe Rafael Landestoy? Is that Cedeno behind Cruz and Roberge in front of Cedeno?

                      Originally posted by PopTop View Post
                      9) The person I believe some people are mistaking for Doran is Craig Reynolds, at least that's who the face in front of Ashby's chest protector looks like to me.
                      Art Howe is in on the far right in the middle of the picture. It looks like that might be Craig Reynolds behind him but the one in front of Ashby looks like Reynolds as well.

                      The one behind Bergman in the jacket is Ken Forsch. Dave Smith is behind Bergman's left shoulder. Danny Heep is behind Forsch. Jeff Leonard is in front of the one that looks like Craig Reynolds in front of Ashby.
                      Last edited by bev3683; 09-03-2007, 03:11 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PopTop View Post
                        This has bugged me since I came in late on the discussion ... But here is the best I can determine:

                        1) It is 1980, that is Joe Niekro appearing to be ready to thrust his arm/fist/#1 sign into the air.

                        2) Niekro and the 'Stros beat the Dodgers in LA on the final day of the season to with their first division title by 1 game ... If my gray matter is working properly, Art Howe smacked a 3-run HR (or maybe a slam) in the 7th-8th inning to put the game away.

                        3) The guy standing directly behind Niekro (profile shot with his perfectly done hair) is Joe Sambito ... My wife confirmed this even though she can't be 100% sure unless she could see his backside. (Trust me, she once drove through the hedges in the Astrodome parking lot trying to chase the guy down; I've always known I ranked #2 in her heart!)

                        4) The dark-haired one with a somewhat cheesy mustache behind Sambito is the one that still bothers me ... It might be Crazy Frank LaCorte.

                        5) The guy with the glasses near the top right corner has to be Bill Virdon.

                        6) Moving to the upper left corner, that's Ashby in the catcher's gear.

                        7) The 'fro behind Niekro's bent elbow belongs to either Luis Pujols or Cruuuuuuz, and I would bet on it being Pujols.

                        8) The bald head could be Cabell (looks too dark to be Howe)

                        9) The person I believe some people are mistaking for Doran is Craig Reynolds, at least that's who the face in front of Ashby's chest protector looks like to me.
                        PopTop-
                        The players head just behind Niekro's raised elbow isn't Cheo. Cruz had a much more pronounced "fro"
                        Cheo appears in the upper left hand corner of the photo and yes that is Art Howe to the far right just above the photographers raised camera. That also appears to be Cedeno next to Cruz. Also, in my opinion, Craig Reynolds appears just behind Howe's head - Reynolds could always be easily identified with that short curely hair he had.
                        That appears to be Cabell at the top of the photo hugging an unknown gentleman wearing a white coat or jacket of some sort.

                        ...and of course the hatless and bespeckled Bill Virdon near the lower left hand portion of the photo looking for anybody willing to hug him.
                        Last edited by James A; 09-04-2007, 07:28 AM. Reason: additions included

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What threw me for the loop about Cruz is he doesn't appear to have any fro in this photo. Could be the angle the photo was snapped or maybe he just has hat head

                          Pretty funny getting some reactions to this thread now. I believe this was the first thread I posted in here at Fever (though it wasn't known as Fever then).

                          Hope all is well with you and yours, James.

                          And Bev, if I didn't know any better, I'd think you were my wife! Sambito remains her baseball crush to this day. The girl has one baseball card to her name, and it's one of Joe's that he autographed and gave us a strange look when we told him we have a cat named Sambito
                          Never confuse character with geography --- Red Smith
                          Astros Daily

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PopTop View Post

                            And Bev, if I didn't know any better, I'd think you were my wife! Sambito remains her baseball crush to this day. The girl has one baseball card to her name, and it's one of Joe's that he autographed and gave us a strange look when we told him we have a cat named Sambito
                            LOL. I remember staying after EVERY home game just to take pictures. I got his autograph when he would sit on the railing at the end of the dugout and he obliged every time even though he knew I had his autograph a million times. I was in high school at the time and I remember he filled out a survey on favorite foods for my homemaking class. I sure wish I still had that piece of paper.

                            I was sure disappointed when they let him go.

                            Not as much so as when they got rid of Nolan Ryan. I swore I would NEVER go to another Astros game again. EVER!!!!! I did pretty good by holding out until 2006. Their appearance in the World Series kind of put out the flames of resentment. My 12 yr old son and I have enjoyed quite a few games in the last couple of years. He has become quite the Astros fan. He absolutely loves going to the games and like his Mom loves getting autographs. Now if only he could get Hunter Pence's. It seems he's in the wrong place everytime because Hunter signs before most games. He did get it when the Astros played Round Rock this past spring. But he wants his autograph as an Astro.
                            Last edited by bev3683; 09-04-2007, 03:40 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hope all is well with you and yours, James.
                              Thanks PopTop..I appreciate the thought.
                              Hope all is well with you and yours too.

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