“That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.” –Henry David Thoreau
I’ve been dealing with a minor case of insomnia and had finally fallen asleep (I’ve written about this affliction on this degenerate blog before) when I was awakened by a couple of alley cats knocking over some plants on my porch. I knew I was screwed. There was no chance of embracing slumber again, so I layed in my bed for a while staring at nothing and dancing in synapse limbo before deciding to watch a random baseball game–in this case a contest between Oakland and Cleveland in 1991.
Five hours earlier I was half-assed watching the Schwarzenegger flick Commando, falling asleep just as our protagonist was chopping off the limbs of South American mercenaries with garden tools, and now Vance Law was stepping into the box on an early 90’s casual and freewheeling July evening in a city known for polluted river fires, rock n’ roll baseball riots, and other naughty examples of human depravity.
The announcers made a joke about the spectacled player looking like an Australian golfer, and how he had played in Japan a year earlier. Unable to find a job due to lack of power or anything else valuable to a ML squad, (scratch that–he could play multiple positions) Law went to Japan to play for the Chunichi Dragons, hitting well and being rewarded with a minor league contract. In a moment of desperation, the A’s recalled Law from Tacoma when regular third baseman Carney Lansford (a favorite) went on the IL–and he proceeded to play terribly hitting .209 in 134 AB’s before deciding to hang ‘em up.
The successful Japanese season was fugazi so to speak.
What does all this add up to? Well, two happy-as-hell gatos tearing up the neighborhood like a couple of coke-addled Hells Angels, and me witnessing the highlight of Vance Law’s Oakland A’s career–an RBI single down the right field line. So,….not much.
(I feel the need to mention that Law made a mind-boggling and bonehead (genius?) play when the very next batter grounded to first and instead of trying to break up the double play at second–per usual–he pirouetted and returned to first, interfering with the relay throw. An attempted 3-4-3 penciled-in instead as a 3-4. Alas, there was some squawking from the Cleveland manager, but no interference was called. Law was released 3 months later.)
The last year Law played with the Cubs – I can still hear Harry Carey wince and proclaim “Popped it up…” with some amount of frustration in too many Law at bats, some with men in scoring position.
Law had a pretty nice year in 1988, but it left him in 1989.
Yeah, he was an All star in 1988 with 11 dingers and a .770 OPS. The NL must have been 3rd base deficient.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Paul.
Vance Law’s father, Vern Law, played 16 years in the majors, all with the Pirates, and had 162 wins, including 20 when he received the National League Cy Young Award with the 1960 World Series championship club.
Vern and his wife VaNita had 5 sons, Veldon, Veryl, Vance, Vaughn and Varli.
Before playing for Tony La Russa’s 1991 A’s, Vance played for Tony La Russa’s White Sox from 1982-84. His teammate was Rudy Law. You know he was no relation to Vance; otherwise, he’d have been called Victor.
Sweet dreams, Gary.
Hahahaha. Thanks, Mark.
Vance had 5 kids as well, and I suppose you could chalk up the father/son proclivity to breeding with their mormon faith.
Maybe Arnold S. could have been a better hitter for average and power than Vance, but most definitely he was better at killing off bad guys than Vance could ever have been.😀
Oh. most definitely. Vance was a teetotaler and an overall choir boy. Didn’t the 80’s “dad glasses” give it away?
But did you adopt the cats? : )
It could have been raccoons or coyotes for all I know! LOL
I’ve been away for a bit, but hope to do more blogging and reading of blogs. I had forgotten that Law played for the A’s, but it seems lots of players hook on with the A’s at the end–Earl Williams, Dick Allen, Dusty Baker, etc. Clever title, by the way, and nice signature on the card.
Welcome back Hugh. Yeah, Law does have a nice, flourishing signature. I love when player have something thst doesn’t resemble chicken scratch.
You can add Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas and Harold Baines to that list. All HOFers.