Saturday, April 24, 2010

A (Bob) Friend-ly Pirate

Bob Friend pitched in the majors for 16 seasons, compiling a record of 197 and 230 with 11 saves. He spent the first 15 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and split his last year with the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. He is still #4 all-time on wins for the Pirates. He was an All-Star four times and really was a better pitcher than his won-loss record shows.
Friend's career ended when I was one year old. I always like meeting players from his era. These players always seem to really appreciate the fans and the game of baseball. Friend pitched against players like Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider. I could listen to his stories for hours (or days).
Who knows how good Friend would have been on a better team? Friend doesn't seem to care though. He enjoyed his career and he feels fortunate for every season. It was a real pleasure meeting him.
Bob Friend and me in Willowbrook, IL-May 2008.

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