Lerrin LaGrow – 1978 Topps

January 3, 2012

Lightning In A Bottle

Before 1977, the only thing memorable about Lerrin LaGrow was that he was the recipient of a gift from Bert Campaneris in the 1972 ALCS. The gift? Campy’s bat. LaGrow didn’t accept it though, mainly because it was flying at his head.

That was a memorable incident. Of course, going 16-38 with a 4.51 ERA, an 87+ ERA, and giving up 45 unearned runs in the three seasons after 1972 didn’t really leave an impact on the baseball viewing public.

In the spring of 1976, the Tigers shuffled him off to St. Louis, who exiled him to Tulsa until September. He had some good appearances for the Cards and so next spring he was flipped to the rebuilding White Sox for Clay Carroll. Lagrow fit right in with that rag-tag bunch of Pale Hose. He was unwanted, unloved, and had a chip on his shoulder (just look at the photo). And he responded with 25 saves, a 168 ERA+ and a 3.5 WAR.

Of course, the next season was pretty much downhill and he was gone by 1980. But at least he wouldn’t be remembered as the guy that Campy threw the bat at.

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