Hell, the only time you need them is if you get into a car wreck
May 5, 2020 8:43 PM   Subscribe

He threw two no-hitters -- 21 years apart. He was once signed by the Philadelphia A's, but he also pitched as recently as the Reagan administration, a career span that roughly coincides with the two time-period settings of "Back To The Future." He once issued five bases-loaded walks -- plus a hit-by-pitch -- in a single inning. It's probably the worst inning in Major League history, but it's hard to say if that's better or worse than the time he went more than a month in the Minors and over 50 innings without his team scoring a run for him.
posted by Chrysostom (14 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Came for the Jim Bouton connection, found it. I miss baseball. Heard joke once: Q- did you know baseball is in the bible?

A- In the BIG INNING god created heaven and earth, stole 9000 bases, hit 14000 home runs, drove in several million runs, sold infinite popcorn, stole home, pitched an immaculate game, and won an argument with Earl Weaver.
posted by vrakatar at 9:20 PM on May 5


1985-1955 = 30.
posted by hippybear at 9:32 PM on May 5


I mean, I guess in geologic time....
posted by hippybear at 9:34 PM on May 5


Sadly, I don’t speak baseball. Can someone please explain what this means?

It's probably the worst inning in Major League history, but it's hard to say if that's better or worse than the time he went more than a month in the Minors and over 50 innings without his team scoring a run for him.
posted by panama joe at 9:54 PM on May 5


It means he once, by his own errors in pitching, managed to score several runs for the opposing team because of base-advancing through his errors, but it's hard to judge that against the entire time he was pitching for his team not managing to get a single point across many many games of baseball that he pitched.

Pitchers in baseball are somehow tasked with scoring the wins, but if the team behind you isn't scoring any points, it doesn't matter how well (given statistics) you do. One run by the other team and they win.
posted by hippybear at 10:03 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


It's cool how a whole life is, on the one hand, described by the data, the statistics of his career, and no the other hand, absolutely not (the partying.)
posted by From Bklyn at 1:37 AM on May 6


And the most important part of his story? He's a Yooper from Calumet!
posted by NoMich at 5:14 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


I. Love. This. Story.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:35 AM on May 6


I knew I had heard of this guy, I even recognized his face, and it could only have been in one place. This book, which I have read at least 35 times, had this to say about him in 1973: "George Brunet was the Willy Loman of professional baseball. In a career which began in 1953 he played for twenty-three different minor and major league teams. Is it any wonder then that he always looked like the guy who had just missed the 12:15 to Massapequa?"
posted by JanetLand at 5:44 AM on May 6


Nine comments before anybody mentions his name. Can it at least be added to tags?
posted by ardgedee at 5:57 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


I like it when you have to RTFA in order to get the post title.
posted by MtDewd at 10:06 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


it's hard to judge that against the entire time he was pitching for his team not managing to get a single point across many many games of baseball that he pitched.

As someone who lives in WA but nowhere near Seattle but can't choose my local team so it's the Mariners, I'm going say, this is an illness of this team. Great pitching, shitting batting. I'm sure it's an illness of other lower-tier teams, too.

I lived in Phoenix during their World Series winning year in 2001 and what they had besides the exquisitely purchased Randy Johnson/Curt Shilling strike-out duo was a ridiculously fruitful batting staff. So they threw 14-16 strikeouts a game and the Diamonback had many runs to lean on.

A great pitcher with no hitters, however, is just torture. And that seems to be the Mariners every season. I watch for about 60 games and I realize, they have no hitters, and it's hard to continue. And I love baseball, but if the only "local" team loses consistently, it's hard to find an interest.
posted by hippybear at 9:15 PM on May 6


I'm conflicted: what attracts me more? The wonderfully quirky personality, or the dust he kicks up among the establishment?
"The only trouble with George Brunet's arm," wrote Los Angeles Times sportswriter Jim Murray in 1966, "in the view of a round dozen baseball managers, is that it came attached to George Brunet."
Man, that's a sort of hard-boiled baseball reminiscence that keeps me a fan to this day. To me, the most memorable moments of a baseball game (remember those??) where when the gladiators -- win at all costs -- are so clearly juxtaposed with the characters/pageantry.

And as I'm quick to lump Brunet in the latter category, I'm sure there's plenty of stories that he's in the former category (you can't stick around for 30+ years if you're not in it to win it). Seeing those two categories bleed together -- especially within the narrative of one player -- it's what I love about the game!
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 9:18 PM on May 6 [4 favorites]


And: all the competing tensions I'm referencing above are fantastically documented in this article: how the bat flip is interpreted completely differently between two cultures, two leagues. Baseball as sociological vessel!!!
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 9:25 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


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