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View Full Version : Random Sox Memory: Fly Ball Off Top Of Ron Leflore's Head


woodsdavid
06-30-2006, 09:54 AM
Very random, but does anyone else remember this:

It must have been '81 (he played some OF that year), and it had to have been on a weekend because it was during the day and my whole family was there in the first row of the outfield upper deck.

Ron went back to the track to field a long fly ball. He must have lost it in the sun, because it completely by-passed his glove and plunked him right off the top of his head -- a la Jose Canseco -- although Ron's didn't continue over the fence.

He seemed stunned for a moment (who wouldn't) and I think one of the other outfielder's (maybe Baines? Lemon? ) threw the ball back into the infield.

This happened just in front and to the left of where we were so we had a completely clear view of it. Ron must have had a serious headache for the rest of that summer.

Anyone have any recollections of this? (Tho' I'm guessing Ron doesn't)

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Vernam
06-30-2006, 10:14 AM
I defer to the photographic memories of guys like Lip and Torn, but when I hear Leflore's name, I think of two other unpleasant memories:

1. When he was on Detroit, his line drive shattered Wilbur Wood's kneecap, and Wilbah was never the same.

2. He came to the Sox as a free agent signing of the DeBartolo family, or at least, of Bill Veeck who was authorized by the presumed new owners pending the Commissioner's approval of their purchase. Bowie Kuhn, in his very finite wisdom, vetoed the sale because of their ties to <shudder> malls and horseracing. Seems quaint, doesn't it? Now we have casino ads all over major league parks and criminals vying to break the most cherished records in baseball.

All's well that ends well, I suppose, since JR eventually brought home the gold. But I always felt the DeBartolos would have won it in the 80s.

Vernam

eriqjaffe
06-30-2006, 10:43 AM
Very random, but does anyone else remember this:

It must have been '81 (he played some OF that year), and it had to have been on a weekend because it was during the day and my whole family was there in the first row of the outfield upper deck.

Ron went back to the track to field a long fly ball. He must have lost it in the sun, because it completely by-passed his glove and plunked him right off the top of his head -- a la Jose Canseco -- although Ron's didn't continue over the fence.

He seemed stunned for a moment (who wouldn't) and I think one of the other outfielder's (maybe Baines? Lemon? ) threw the ball back into the infield.

This happened just in front and to the left of where we were so we had a completely clear view of it. Ron must have had a serious headache for the rest of that summer.

Anyone have any recollections of this? (Tho' I'm guessing Ron doesn't)

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?I was at that game, too. We were sitting way out in the front couple rows in the right field corner, and we couldn't see the deeper part of centerfield (and a good chunk of the scoreboard) because of the rest of the stands being in the way.

August 1, 1982 - here's the Retrosheet page for that game:

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B08010CHA1982.htm

tebman
06-30-2006, 10:46 AM
I remember that too. What I remember most is hearing an excerpt of a clubhouse interview on the radio after the game -- LeFlore was asked about it and there were some laughs, but he went on to say that the important thing to remember was that the Sox won that game.

It's an isolated memory, but I always thought more highly of LeFlore after I heard that.

eriqjaffe
06-30-2006, 10:52 AM
I remember that too. What I remember most is hearing an excerpt of a clubhouse interview on the radio after the game -- LeFlore was asked about it and there were some laughs, but he went on to say that the important thing to remember was that the Sox won that game.

It's an isolated memory, but I always thought more highly of LeFlore after I heard that.IIRC, he was busted for drugs not too long after that error. According to Retrosheet, he only played in something like 15 more games in his career after that.

Ultimately, LeFlore's departure paved the way for Rudy Law to play every day in 1983. I'd say that worked out pretty well.

woodsdavid
06-30-2006, 12:34 PM
I was at that game, too. We were sitting way out in the front couple rows in the right field corner, and we couldn't see the deeper part of centerfield (and a good chunk of the scoreboard) because of the rest of the stands being in the way.

August 1, 1982 - here's the Retrosheet page for that game:

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B08010CHA1982.htm

DAMN! I see the mention of the error on LeFlore, but are you sure it's this game?? I mean, everything else seems in place, but are you 100% sure?
WOW!

MadetoOrta
06-30-2006, 12:36 PM
I often wonder if the '81 team would have won the division and pennant had there not been a strike.

eriqjaffe
06-30-2006, 12:37 PM
DAMN! I see the mention of the error on LeFlore, but are you sure it's this game?? I mean, everything else seems in place, but are you 100% sure?
WOW!Yep. I distinctly remember that it was Gary Allenson that hit the ball, and that jives with the play-by-play data.

Also, I distinctly remember that it was Tube Socks day, sponsored by Clorox!

woodsdavid
06-30-2006, 12:43 PM
Yep. I distinctly remember that it was Gary Allenson that hit the ball, and that jives with the play-by-play data.

Also, I distinctly remember that it was Tube Socks day, sponsored by Clorox!

It had to have been.
That being said: You are amazing. Freakishly amazing -- BUT AMAZING -- none the less.
I was out in college already, but I remember my little bro wearing WS/Clorox tube socks.

Also found this on www.baseball-fever.com (http://www.baseball-fever.com)

I watched LeFlore quite a bit when he played for the White Sox in 1981 and 1982. In 1981 he really sparked the team early in the season. He was hitting great and stealing bases. He slowed down after the season picked up after the strike and he wasn't nearly as effective.

He had great speed but he didn't have very good instincts on defense. He misjudged balls and didn't get great jumps. So he had to make up for it with his speed. He had a weak arm and he wasn't very accurate. In one game he misjudged a fly and lost it. The ball wound up bouncing straight off his head ala Jose Canseco. http://www.baseball-fever.com/images/smilies/crazy.gif
LeFlore really lost his skills quickly. Even though he was still fast, he put on some weight when he was with the Sox. He was pretty much done after that.

On offense like many of the Sox players at the time he studied under Charlie Lau and changed his swing ala George Brett. He seemed pretty mechanical at the plate to me. Like I said he hit pretty well at first but he faded quickly and was out of baseball shortly after that. In my opinion if he kept himself in better shape he could have played a few more years but he seemed to let himself go after signing a pretty big contract with the Sox at the time.
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Lip Man 1
06-30-2006, 12:47 PM
Hi gang:

Sorry I didn't respond earlier I had surgery yesterday and I'm still pretty beat up and groggy. I'll try to take it easy this weekend or so and then visit at my regular pace.

LeFlore's incident was in 1982 vs. Boston (I have the video) it was embarassingly funny because he acted on the play like he had the ball. I mean he was right there in position and then at the last second pulled his head and the ball bounced off the bill of his cap.

I'm assuming he lost it in the sun since it was a bright afternoon game.

Lip