PDA

View Full Version : Interesting old SI article on Harry Chappas


raven1
03-15-2010, 12:38 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1094724/1/index.htm

A reminder of the bad old days when the Sox had to rely on publicity stunts. Although it came out over 30 years ago, the optimistic tone in the article could apply to any of the highly touted "can't miss" prospects today. Given what a bust he turned out to be, it should put in perspective any complaints about Alexi Ramirez.

Nellie_Fox
03-15-2010, 12:43 PM
Alexi Ramirez.Alexei.

SephClone89
03-15-2010, 12:53 PM
Alexei.

There was a guy on Rongey's show on Saturday who mentioned some guy named "Jeremy Dye" at least three or four times.

SI1020
03-15-2010, 01:33 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1094724/1/index.htm

A reminder of the bad old days when the Sox had to rely on publicity stunts. Although it came out over 30 years ago, the optimistic tone in the article could apply to any of the highly touted "can't miss" prospects today. Given what a bust he turned out to be, it should put in perspective any complaints about Alexi Ramirez. I don't think Harry was just a publicity stunt. Freddie Patek had a 14 year career at shortstop, 11 of those years with the mostly good KC Royals. Patek stood 5'4" tall, a shade above Harry Chappas. In fact I remember a photo of Patek and Chappas standing back to back. Us short guys are always looked at as novelty pieces. Chappas had some success in the minors but really never got an extended trial with the Sox. He showed some promise in 78, but fielded miserably in 79 while improving his hitting. In 80 his fielding was back up to par but he hit .160 (in 50 AB) and that was the end of his career. He was viciously criticized by Jimmy Piersall in 79 when he was having his troubles fielding. Piersall was an excellent baseball analyst and one of the best outfielders I ever saw, but he has a mean streak. In the end, despite being limited to only 209 PA in 72 games over three seasons Harry Chappas probably wasn't going to be another Freddie Patek. Even if he certainly wasn't his generation's version of Eddie Gaedel.

PhillipsBubba
03-15-2010, 01:38 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/topic/cover/Chicago_White_Sox/1900-01-01/2100-12-31/dd/index.htm

TDog
03-15-2010, 04:01 PM
I don't think Harry was just a publicity stunt. ....

Certainly, Chappas was a legitimate major league prospect, although there is no way of knowing if he would have made it to the majors in another system. How the White Sox hyped him bordered on publicity stunt, however. They understated his height to gain attention. In fact, Harry Caray on the TV pregame show that he used to do, measured him (to remove all question of his disputed height). The fact that Caray measured Chappas inaccurately shows the organization, including the announcers, was in on the lie. Caray was talking up Chappas before he came up, about how much he wanted to see the little kid play.

SI1020
03-15-2010, 04:09 PM
Certainly, Chappas was a legitimate major league prospect, although there is no way of knowing if he would have made it to the majors in another system. How the White Sox hyped him bordered on publicity stunt, however. They understated his height to gain attention. In fact, Harry Caray on the TV pregame show that he used to do, measured him (to remove all question of his disputed height). The fact that Caray measured Chappas inaccurately shows the organization, including the announcers, was in on the lie. Caray was talking up Chappas before he came up, about how much he wanted to see the little kid play. Every thing you say is true. Harry the announcer however did eventually turn on little Harry the player along with Piersall. He was one of the most talented announcers in the game (before he went to the Cubs) but there were reasons why a lot of players didn't care for him.

Carolina Kenny
03-15-2010, 04:16 PM
I remember seeing Harry Chappas back when the Sox had their minor league team in Appleton.

Man, could that guy fly. Bunted for a hit and went all the way home on a throwing error.

TDog
03-15-2010, 05:33 PM
Every thing you say is true. Harry the announcer however did eventually turn on little Harry the player along with Piersall. He was one of the most talented announcers in the game (before he went to the Cubs) but there were reasons why a lot of players didn't care for him.

Harry Caray was talented, but in addition to being a beer prostitute (his career revolved around being identified with whatever brewer was paying him), he was a mean and spiteful man who lacked integrity. What fans saw as honesty was often spitefulness against people and ethnic groups he disliked.

Of course, after people saw Harry Chappas play for awhile, there was no hiding the fact that he wasn't the player who was hyped.

slavko
03-15-2010, 06:32 PM
Harry Caray was talented, but in addition to being a beer prostitute (his career revolved around being identified with whatever brewer was paying him), he was a mean and spiteful man who lacked integrity. What fans saw as honesty was often spitefulness against people and ethnic groups he disliked.

Of course, after people saw Harry Chappas play for awhile, there was no hiding the fact that he wasn't the player who was hyped.

Selling the product that's paying you doesn't make you a prostitute. It's part of the job. Everything else is right on, IMO.

TDog
03-15-2010, 06:57 PM
Selling the product that's paying you doesn't make you a prostitute. It's part of the job. Everything else is right on, IMO.

"Prostitute" may be a little strong, but with Harry Caray, it was more about selling beer than it was about selling baseball, and indeed in St. Louis there was little difference as the ownership brewed beer. His identity was so tied up with beer that in an interview after he was fired by the Cardinals, he appeared on camera holding a Schlitz can. Schlitz sponsored Cubs television at the time, but I don't think I ever heard Jack Brickhouse discuss what beer his followers should drink.

When Harry Caray went to the White Sox, it was all about Falstaff, until the sponsorship changed. After he went to the Cubs, he talked incessantly about Budweiser again, just as if he were still with the Cardinals.

Vin Scully did Farmer John's commercials, which ran between innings when I used to watch the Dodgers on television. I can't look at one of the company's products in the market without hearing Vin Scully's voice. But I never heard him talk about Farmer John or his line of meats between the lines.

Maybe Harry Caray would have aged more gracefully if he hadn't been, perhaps, a beer shill.

roylestillman
03-15-2010, 07:01 PM
Saw Harry Chappas hit his only home run at the old Milwaukee County Stadium in 1979. The thing barely cleared the left field corner at 315'.

TommyJohn
03-15-2010, 10:04 PM
Saw Harry Chappas hit his only home run at the old Milwaukee County Stadium in 1979. The thing barely cleared the left field corner at 315'.
I'll bet that poor pitcher's teammates never let him live that one down.

SI1020
03-15-2010, 10:13 PM
I'll bet that poor pitcher's teammates never let him live that one down. Bill Travers.

DrCrawdad
03-16-2010, 09:37 AM
Saw Harry Chappas hit his only home run at the old Milwaukee County Stadium in 1979. The thing barely cleared the left field corner at 315'.

I'll bet that poor pitcher's teammates never let him live that one down.

That's the long and short of it. (http://www.instantrimshot.com/)

I rooted for the underdog players (of which the Sox had so many as an underdog team) & undersized players even more so. So when Chappas came along I was gulping down the Veeckian propaganda. I was hopeful for Chappas and then later when John Cangelosi came along.

kitekrazy
03-16-2010, 11:46 AM
I remember seeing Harry Chappas back when the Sox had their minor league team in Appleton.

Man, could that guy fly. Bunted for a hit and went all the way home on a throwing error.

He was a pretty fast guy. I got his autograph back in the old Comiskey days before the caste system was implemented. Another fan had him autograph that same issue of SI.

g0g0
03-16-2010, 11:54 AM
When are they going to release those 70's throwbacks?? :tongue:

EDIT: Actually, they might be fun to wear around lol.

PeteWard
03-17-2010, 10:32 AM
What fans saw as honesty was often spitefulness against people and ethnic groups he disliked.

Of course, after people saw Harry Chappas play for awhile, there was no hiding the fact that he wasn't the player who was hyped.


Sorry, can you elaborate on what ethnic groups HC disliked--or more importantly on any evidence for that?