John Mizerock – 1987 Topps

January 29, 2011

The End Of Tequila Sunrise

The Astros of the 80’s finally realized that their garish “Tequila Sunrise” uniforms were out of control, and started to ease into something a bit more…normal.


Of course, fashion is a fickle thing. My high school (colors gold and blue) had blue ‘tequila sunrise’ patterned uniforms in 1981 and 1982 and the JV got to wear them in 1983 and 1984. Those came complete with a piece of black fabric sewn on the back and a whole bunch of velcro letters that I had to attach, so each shirt had a NOB. (OK, I didn’t have to do the JV in 1983 and 1984, but the other manager was a total doofus knucklehead, so I pitched in.)

And you look back at this…

And you realize that the Astros unis were just part of a passing phase of gauche sweeping the nation. And baseball being baseball, it was kind of late to the scene.

(Ok, I gotta put their groovy tune on the post…)

Mizerock was a great disappointment for the Astros. Yes, sorry Dimwit, I’m picking on them again. But catchers, aside from pitchers, always seem to be the one position that’s extremely hard to draft and project. For every Joe Mauer, there’s a John Mizerock – a high draft pick who can catch but can’t hit. Many drafted catchers turn out not to be able to catch in the minors, and then they become Tyler Houston.

If you were drafting a catcher, 1979 wasn’t the year to do so. The first rounders were: Jay Schroeder (well, he’d be the QB on the all-1979 draftee team, I guess), Mizerock, Ricky Seilheimer, Dan Lamar and Bob Geren. The only catchers with a positive WAR in the majors drafted that year were Tim Laudner, Bob Melvin, Mark Parent, Bill Schroeder, Darrell Miller, Mark Salas, and the best of the bunch, Don Slaught. Slaught, of course, was a 20th round pick.

(Looking at past drafts can be either fun, or scary…)

But even with a MLB OPS+ of 65, a .232 batting average in the minors (!), the Miz has some things going for him.

1. He’s from Punxsutwaney, PA. So you know the town really exists.

2. He’s got several built in nicknames – The Miz, the Rock, etc.

3. He made a career for himself in coaching and managing.

So he’s got that going for him.


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