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 Post subject: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pirates?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:44 pm 
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I dont mean the guys with the most skills. I want the guys that hated to lose. I'm going to start this off with

Phil Garner - Scrap Iron

Wasnt the best player but he played with a Pete Rose style and boy did he hate to lose.

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:03 pm 
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Bill Madlock ... "Mad Dog." Great nicknames on the 1970's Buccos teams.

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Extremely talented, tough, clutch, and his nickname summarizes the type of competitor he was.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:53 pm 
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How about Turner Ward? I mean, the guy literally ran through a wall to catch a fly ball. On a bad team.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Scrap Iron has to be up there with the most ferocious competitors for sure, but I'd like to add the immortal Ed Ott to the conversation.

In 1977, he slid hard into second against the Mets. Felix Milan, the Mets' second baseman, took exception and threw a punch at him. Bad decision. Ott was a former college football player and wrestler and was built like a linebacker. He grabbed Milan, picked him up, and body-slammed him to the ground. Milan's shoulder was so badly damaged that the injury effectively ended his MLB career. :|

Another memorable Ott-related incident came in 1991 when he was coaching for the Astros. Cincy Bad Boy Rob Dibble threw a fastball behind a Houston batter's head. The batter (Eric Yelding) charged the mound and both dugouts emptied. There was a pile up near the mound. At the bottom of it was Ott, who had put Dibble in a chokehold until his face turned blue! :P

These incidents don't necessarily make Ott the fiercest competitor to ever play for the Pirates, but they certainly place him among the toughest!


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:31 pm 
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ronevensen wrote:
Scrap Iron has to be up there with the most ferocious competitors for sure, but I'd like to add the immortal Ed Ott to the conversation.

In 1977, he slid hard into second against the Mets. Felix Milan, the Mets' second baseman, took exception and threw a punch at him. Bad decision. Ott was a former college football player and wrestler and was built like a linebacker. He grabbed Milan, picked him up, and body-slammed him to the ground. Milan's shoulder was so badly damaged that the injury effectively ended his MLB career. :|

Another memorable Ott-related incident came in 1991 when he was coaching for the Astros. Cincy Bad Boy Rob Dibble threw a fastball behind a Houston batter's head. The batter (Eric Yelding) charged the mound and both dugouts emptied. There was a pile up near the mound. At the bottom of it was Ott, who had put Dibble in a chokehold until his face turned blue! :P

These incidents don't necessarily make Ott the fiercest competitor to ever play for the Pirates, but they certainly place him among the toughest!


Good post, and you make a strong case. Loved the Otter. Another guy who was a very fierce competitor but had a pretty boy look was Doug Drabek.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:41 pm 
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Donnie Robinson deserves to be in the conversation, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:43 pm 
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Not sure if Ott was competitive or just plain nuts.

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:59 pm 
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After reading the incident report in the paper, Id say we better add Chuck Tanner to the list. Even though he didnt play.

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:49 am 
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I’d never argue with Phil Garner, but I’ll offer up one of his more talented teammates. Dave Parker. He gets knocked by some, because of the off field stuff. But on the field no one played harder. He ran over catchers, busted ass after every flyball, and busted ass down the line on every grounder he hit.

In the current era, it’s one of the things I enjoy about Cutch. He occasionally has a moment of showboating, but he also dives for almost every ball close to him and runs hard down the line almost all the time. Sometimes we don’t give talented guys the same credit for playing hard.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:17 am 
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Derek Bell #1. All others after him.

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Jason Kendall was one tough backstop in his prime.

How about Dock Ellis? I mean the guy intentionally hit half of the Big Red Machine in one game. You’d have to be a tough SOB to stand there and do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the fiercest Competitor to ever play for the Pira
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:13 pm 
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Charleston_Charlies wrote:
Jason Kendall was one tough backstop in his prime.

How about Dock Ellis? I mean the guy intentionally hit half of the Big Red Machine in one game. You’d have to be a tough SOB to stand there and do that.


I remember Doc's shenanigans very well. He certainly was one of the fiercest competitors to every play for the Pirates, but also one of the loopiest. He would fit in perfectly today!

Here's an account of that game from Snopes.com:

In 1974, feeling that his teammates had lost their aggressiveness and were too easily intimidated, Ellis decided to put on a show against the Cincinnati Reds (who had come from behind to defeat the Pirates for the 1972 National League pennant on a run-scoring wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning of the final playoff game). In a May 1 start against the Reds — having announced before the game that “We gonna get down. We gonna do the do. I’m going to hit these motherfuckers.” — Ellis opened the contest by drilling leadoff hitter Pete Rose in the ribs; hitting the next batter, Joe Morgan, in the side; and then plunking Dan Driessen in the back to load the bases. Although clean-up hitter Tony Perez managed to dodge Ellis’ pitches long enough to draw a walk before being hit, Dock aimed his next two offerings at Cincinnati catcher Johnny Bench’s head, whereupon he was unceremoniously yanked from the game by Pittsburgh manager Danny Murtaugh.

Rest in Peace, Doc. ;)


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