Wednesday, November 7, 2012
378 - Lenny Randle
Lenny Randle played in 12 big league seasons and six of them with the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers organization. Randle made his Major League debut with the Washington Senators in 1971 and moved with the team to Texas the following year. For his first three years, Randle had been called up/down from/to the minors.
However, he had his breakthrough season in 1974 in which he played in 151 games and hit .302 for the season. In 1974 and 1975, Randle started at second base, third base and in the outfield. In 1976, Randle was named the starting second baseman for the Rangers.
Spring Training of 1977 would mark one of the ugliest moments in Rangers history. Rookie, Bump Wills, was given the starting job at second base from the start of spring training. Randle complained to manager, Frank Lucchesi and demanded to start or be traded. Lucchesi, incensed by the confrontation, complained to writers to whom he insisted publish his comments. On March 28, the day the Sports Illustrated magazine with Wills on the cover hit stands, Randle confronted Lucchesi and punched him in the face. Lucchesi was hospitalized for a week and need plastic surgery to repair his cheekbone that was broken in three places. Randle was suspended by the team for 30 days and traded to the New York Mets before the end of his suspension. Lucchesi would return to the team before the Opening Day, but later fired mid-season.
For more information:
Swapping Stories: The '77 Randle Trade
Randle ended up having his most productive season in 1977 with career highs in batting average (.304), on base percentage (.383), slugging percentage (.404), home runs (five) and stolen bases (33) with the last place Mets. After a poor 1978 season, Randle was released. He later spent time with the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners.
In 1983, Randle became the first American Major League Baseball player to play in Italy where he won the Italian batting title with a .477 batting average.
About This Card
Nothing much for me to write about this card. I have either attained it as part of an eBay lot or as a single from my local store or online.