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captain54
08-11-2009, 07:00 PM
Happy (belated-August 8th) B-Day "Officer" Ron Karkovice!!

I miss the Cowardly Lion. Those were the days when no one dared to try to swipe on the Sox.

Some fun "Cowardly Lion" facts:

1) was backup to Carlton Fisk practically his entire career
2) hit an inside-the-park grand slam in the Metrodome in '90
3) has a .221 career average
4) is hitting coach for the Newark Bears
5) an autographed BB card goes for $2.50 on Ebay

BRDSR
08-11-2009, 07:04 PM
Happy (belated-August 8th) B-Day "Officer" Ron Karkovice!!

I miss the Cowardly Lion. Those were the days when no one dared to try to swipe on the Sox.

Some fun "Cowardly Lion" facts:

1) was backup to Carlton Fisk practically his entire career
2) hit an inside-the-park grand slam in the Metrodome in '90
3) has a .221 career average
4) is hitting coach for the Newark Bears
5) an autographed BB card goes for $2.50 on Ebay

Ha, good stuff. But I have to take issue with him being a backup to Carlton Fisk his entire career. He played in more than 100 games in four of five seasons between 1992 and 1996. I was 6 years old when I moved to Chicago in 1991, and I remember Ron Karkovice as the White Sox starting catcher.

Boy he was ugly though.

VeeckAsInWreck
08-11-2009, 07:07 PM
Officer Kark caught two no-hitters.

In 1986 for Joe Cowley and in 1991 for Wilson Alvarez.

Noneck
08-11-2009, 07:07 PM
Boy he was ugly though.


He had that great look. He looked 50 when 30 but I bet he will look 50 at 70. I enjoyed him.

BRDSR
08-11-2009, 07:13 PM
He had that great look. He looked 50 when 30 but I bet he will look 50 at 70. I enjoyed him.

A recentish picture of the man. ..he actually looks less ugly than I remember.http://newarkbears.com.ismmedia.com/ISM3/thumbcache/1fdaa18d5da338a11af0ae418bb3085a.300.jpg

Noneck
08-11-2009, 07:15 PM
A recentish picture of the man. ..he actually looks less ugly than I remember.http://newarkbears.com.ismmedia.com/ISM3/thumbcache/1fdaa18d5da338a11af0ae418bb3085a.300.jpg


Maybe a little more portly but face wise the man wont age. Thanks for the pic.

LITTLE NELL
08-11-2009, 07:18 PM
I liked the Officer as a player but how does a .221 lifetime hitter become a hitting coach?

KRS1
08-11-2009, 07:21 PM
I liked the Officer as a player but how does a .221 lifetime hitter become a hitting coach?

Those who can't do, teach?

TDog
08-11-2009, 07:45 PM
Two Ron Karkovice memories stand out.

In 1988, I ran in to Ron Karkovice in Yuma, Arizona, while Vancouver was in town to play the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, which was playing their initial home games in Yuma because their stadium wasn't finished. I had been interviewing to Mike Yastrzemski (now dead), and my editor told me to get Karkovice's autograph if I saw him. She had Karkovice on a rotisserie team the previous year, and he had failed her miserably. While it is EXTREMELY bad form for media to get autographs from celebrities, I saw Karkovice stowing his duffel in the struck with the team's gear and got his autograph. It wasn't particularly easy. He wasn't happy about being sent down to Vancouver. But I got it out of him, and my editor displayed the cardboard notebook backing at her computer in her remaining days there.

Five years later, I was leaving a White Sox game in Anaheim, the White Sox having won, as they always seemed to do up until 1999. I think it was two days after the Sox clinched the AL West in Anaheim. This Thursday afternoon, Karkovice homered and doubled off of Langston in the 7-1 win. As I was driving back to Yuma, the Angels announcers in postgame called Karkovice "that old Angel killer."

I always respected Karkovice's defense. (He was a first-round draft pick.) I had never thought of Karkovice being a killer of any team, but apparently Angels fans used to dread his bat.

VeeckAsInWreck
08-11-2009, 07:52 PM
T Karkovice homered and doubled off of Langston in the 7-1 win. As I was driving back to Yuma, the Angels announcers in postgame called Karkovice "that old Angel killer."

I always respected Karkovice's defense. (He was a first-round draft pick.) I had never thought of Karkovice being a killer of any team, but apparently Angels fans used to dread his bat.

If any team dreaded his bat, it was definitely the Tigers. He hit .303 with 17 HR's against them in his career.

TDog
08-11-2009, 07:55 PM
I liked the Officer as a player but how does a .221 lifetime hitter become a hitting coach?

Charlie Lau had a lifetime major league average of .255. Rudy Jaramillo has no major league lifetime batting average. He never played in the major leagues.

Many of the best hitting coaches weren't very good hitters, but they worked at it to try to get better. Never look at a player's batting average and conclude whether he would make a good hitting coach.

Noneck
08-11-2009, 07:59 PM
Charlie Lau had a lifetime major league average of .255. Rudy Jaramillo has no major league lifetime batting average. He never played in the major leagues.

Many of the best hitting coaches weren't very good hitters, but they worked at it to try to get better. Never look at a player's batting average and conclude whether he would make a good hitting coach.
Wasn't Ted Williams a horrible hitting coach?

doublem23
08-11-2009, 08:02 PM
I liked the Officer as a player but how does a .221 lifetime hitter become a hitting coach?

FWIW, Ted Williams was roundly known to be an awful coach.

VeeckAsInWreck
08-11-2009, 08:04 PM
FWIW, Ted Williams was roundly known to be an awful coach.

Especially towards pitchers when he was a manager.

But it's not always bad hitters that coach. I remember that Rod Carew was a hitting coach for a while.

WhiteSox5187
08-11-2009, 08:09 PM
FWIW, Ted Williams was roundly known to be an awful coach.

I thought I heard he was actually supposed to be a good manager with an awful Senators team.

doublem23
08-11-2009, 08:15 PM
I thought I heard he was actually supposed to be a good manager with an awful Senators team.

No. Part of the problem is that, as good of a player as Ted was and as nice of an old man he may have matured into, during his heyday, he was known to be a giant douchebag.

VeeckAsInWreck
08-11-2009, 08:21 PM
No. Part of the problem is that, as good of a player as Ted was and as nice of an old man he may have matured into, during his heyday, he was known to be a giant douchebag.

If I'm not mistaken, didn't Jim Bouton say in "Ball Four" that Ted Williams was in the batting cage without a shirt on yelling "I'm teddy ****ing ballgame".

soltrain21
08-11-2009, 08:26 PM
I can't remember who said it, but there was an article once about how great players will never be good coaches because things came so easy to them so they won't ever be able to be on the same level as their players. For example, Michael Jordan will never be a good coach because he couldn't ever "coach" anyone since he was never at a point where he struggled. He just had natural talent would not be able to comprehend other players not doing what he was doing.

I don't know if I agree with it - but I suppose it's interesting.

TDog
08-11-2009, 08:30 PM
Especially towards pitchers when he was a manager.

But it's not always bad hitters that coach. I remember that Rod Carew was a hitting coach for a while.

Ted Williams was considered a bad manager because of his handling of pitchers. However, he was regarded as the best hitting coach in baseball when he was managing, 1969-1972. (The Senators/Rangers didn't have a separate hitting coach, although Nellie Fox was the bunting coach.) Ted Williams studied hitting as a science and wrote The Science of Hitting. He was to hitting what E.F. Hutton wants to be toward personal finance.

Charlie Lau didn't subscribe to the same views on physics that Ted Williams did (the very slight upper cut being optimum to get the most wood surface on the ball etc.) however, and after Williams publicly stated that Lau was destroying baseball (he coached swinging slightly down on the ball), Lau published his book, The Art of Hitting .300.

Of course, both had studied hitting and come to different conclusions at how to be successful at it. It wasn't a matter of coaching hitters to do what they did. One of the things Williams coached was to hit to all fields, although he was the extreme pull hitter.

Rod Carew and Billy Williams were hitting coaches, of course. They probably weren't bad ones, but they weren't revered as coaches. I always got the impression that the Cubs just wanted to put a uniform on Williams again.

Zisk77
08-11-2009, 08:59 PM
Two Ron Karkovice memories stand out.

In 1988, I ran in to Ron Karkovice in Yuma, Arizona, while Vancouver was in town to play the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, which was playing their initial home games in Yuma because their stadium wasn't finished. I had been interviewing to Mike Yastrzemski (now dead), and my editor told me to get Karkovice's autograph if I saw him. She had Karkovice on a rotisserie team the previous year, and he had failed her miserably. While it is EXTREMELY bad form for media to get autographs from celebrities, I saw Karkovice stowing his duffel in the struck with the team's gear and got his autograph. It wasn't particularly easy. He wasn't happy about being sent down to Vancouver. But I got it out of him, and my editor displayed the cardboard notebook backing at her computer in her remaining days there.

Five years later, I was leaving a White Sox game in Anaheim, the White Sox having won, as they always seemed to do up until 1999. I think it was two days after the Sox clinched the AL West in Anaheim. This Thursday afternoon, Karkovice homered and doubled off of Langston in the 7-1 win. As I was driving back to Yuma, the Angels announcers in postgame called Karkovice "that old Angel killer."

I always respected Karkovice's defense. (He was a first-round draft pick.) I had never thought of Karkovice being a killer of any team, but apparently Angels fans used to dread his bat.

there was one halo pitcher that karko hit homers off of in his first 3 bats against him (2 in anaheim one in Chicago). Karko was agreat defensive catcher. Not very good offensively but he had power and could steal a base (I think i saw him steal 3 in a game against the yanks). Weird combination.

Lip Man 1
08-12-2009, 12:43 AM
Williams was a terrific coach / manager. Guys on the Senators like Ed Brinkman and Tommy McCraw swore by him.

Both were poor (Brinkman) / average (McCraw) hitters with other clubs...Williams gets them and they are suddenly hitting .280.

NO ONE could teach and talk about hitting like Ted Williams...no one.

Lip

MUsoxfan
08-12-2009, 02:56 AM
4) is hitting coach for the Newark Bears


That's an interesting team. It's like they went shopping at the White Sox garage sale....Rock is managing, Kark is hitting coach....and playing ball they have D'Angelo Jimenez, Rob Mackowiak and Carl Everett.

Ron Karkovice
08-12-2009, 08:17 AM
Thank youuuu

Frankfan4life
08-12-2009, 12:58 PM
Ha, good stuff. But I have to take issue with him being a backup to Carlton Fisk his entire career. He played in more than 100 games in four of five seasons between 1992 and 1996. I was 6 years old when I moved to Chicago in 1991, and I remember Ron Karkovice as the White Sox starting catcher.

Boy he was ugly though.I take exception to that. I don't think he's ugly at all. You might be remembering that he had bad skin -- what they call craters or pock-marks on his face.

captain54
08-12-2009, 04:16 PM
I take exception to that. I don't think he's ugly at all. You might be remembering that he had bad skin -- what they call craters or pock-marks on his face.

actually, there have been on-line polls as to who were the all-time most unattractive MLB players, and the Officer occasionally shows up.

that being said, I agree. I don't think its cool to label someone as "ugly"

Ron Karkovice
08-12-2009, 08:04 PM
actually, there have been on-line polls as to who were the all-time most unattractive MLB players, and the Officer occasionally shows up.

that being said, I agree. I don't think its cool to label someone as "ugly"

Yo face is ugly!

soxfanreggie
08-12-2009, 11:19 PM
While he wasn't a "great" player, I always enjoyed "Officer" Karkovice. I can remember the "retirement" gifts they gave him as a play on what they were doing for Fisk.