Thad Bosley – 1987 Topps

October 17, 2010

You Da Man, Thad! You Da Man!

Some people love stars.

I like guys like Thad Bosley.

While I am a sabremetric geek, I can’t help but like players like Bosley, Casey Candaele, John VanderWal, Mark Loretta, and the like.

Pesky bench hitters. Super scrubs. Guys who aren’t anchored to one position, or at least can play first and the outfield without much issue.

I liked Thad before he was a Cub. The name “Thad” was unusual enough. I remember him as an Angel (his first card was of youthful exuberance and hope), and know he was part of the Bobby Bonds deal. After some time with the White Sox, I lost track of him. I stopped collecting in high school and didn’t read the transaction agate every day, just most days.

I do remember when the Cubs called him up in 1983. He hit .292 with a great OPS+ and the Cubs sent him DOWN in 1984! (Of course, that was a pretty good team.) However, Thad came back up and hit well off the bench for three seasons. But the Cubs needed a catcher. Casey Stengel said you need a catcher or all you’ll have are passed balls (or something like that).

So they packaged Thad and the immortal Dave Gumpert and sent them to KC for Jim Sundberg.

It did make sense. Jody, Jody Davis played 149 games in 1986. They were going to do to him what Durocher did to Randy Hundley. Except it was worse, because they played Davis in that many games for a team that went 70-90! Steve Lake was the nominal backup, but he was released during the year.Keith Moreland actually started the second most games behind the dish. This is why Cub fans imbibe.

(Disclaimer: I am a recovering Cubs fan – I am on step 3. I’m glad that the Cubs yanked most of their games off of WGN so I’m not tempted to relapse up here in the Twin Cities.)

But they got some sense and needed a backup that could actually play catcher. (Moreland was a DH, but in 1987 he was placed at third when the Cubs dumped Ron Cey.) Sundberg was a good fit. Thad headed off to the Royals, and I sadly said goodbye. He hung around for a while but washed out in 1989-90 with the Rangers. I think everyone washed out with the Rangers until 1995 or so.

He also wore cool stirrups.

Thad was a unique player in that he wasn’t all consumed by the game. He had interests in poetry, music and inventions. He thought baseball, no doubt, was a game, and it was easy money.

And it wasn’t work…

Oh, let’s do another one of that…

Because real work turns you into…

(And if you’re wondering if I kind of stretched something to post those videos…you are right my friend.)

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