Jeff Wetherby – 1990 Topps

February 4, 2011

Say, Mr. Wetherby, You Gettin’ Any From Miss Grundy?

I don’t think he liked the question.

I do remember the dulcet tones of Skip Caray mentioning Wetherby on the rare occasion that Russ Nixon would rouse from his slumber and point at him to pinch hit. My summers were spent playing softball, enjoying beverages, and watching as much baseball as possible on WGN, WTBS and ESPN.

Jeff puts the ‘non’ in ‘non-descript’. He lasted all of 52 games and 55 plate appearances in the majors. Of those, he only took the field nine times and started just twice, even though he was up from June 7 until the end of the season. He was promoted from Richmond even though he was hitting .268 with one homer in 50 games.

The second of those two starts, August 16 vs. the Cards, Wetherby went 2-3 with a triple and a steal before being lifted in the ninth for Dale Murphy. Jeff had two of the five hits for the Braves against Ted Power & Co.

Wow, what a screwy game on that August night in St. Louis. Ted Power starts for the Cards, and Whitey Herzog does his LaRussa impression in the ninth, throwing Costello, Dayley and Worrell in there to pitch to one batter each. (Though Whitey was known for doing weird things like that before…ok they were weird then, not now.)

The five hits for the Braves were the two by Wetherby, and one each for John Russell, Tommy Gregg and Marty Clary, the pitcher.

The winning pitcher was Frank DiPino (6-0). The losing pitcher was Jim Acker (0-6).

Also appearing in the game, for your dining and dancing pleasure, were such luminaries as Ed Romero (Braves starting SS), Denny Walling (pinch hitting for the Cards, as usual), Oddibe McDowell (leading off for ATL despite a .648 OPS), and phailed phenom Jim Lindeman (sporting a nifty .122 average, so he was just a defensive replacement).

Back to Wetherby – when this card was yanked from the wax and the gum scrapings cleaned off of it (1990 Topps has a tendency to collect the gum for some reason), he was already gone from the Braves organization. They dispatched him to Cleveland for Tommy Hinzo in a move that had absolutely nothing to do with them winning the NL Pennant.

Wetherby hit .313 in Colorado Springs, then played a little in Rochester for the O’s in 1991 before ending his career with the Mariners’ organization in 1991 and 1992.

No word on if he’s bald and wearing tiny glasses now. Nor even if he’s terrorizing Jughead by insisting Miss Beazley serve veggie burgers.

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