Wednesday, October 12, 2011

645 - Bob Locker

About This Player
Locker, known for his sinker ball, pitched in 576 games in his career and all of them in relief.  Locker made his big league debut with a Chicago White Sox bullpen that included knuckleballers Hoyt Wilhelm and Eddie Fisher.  Locker became the White Sox' most used reliever with a league leading 77 appearances with 20 saves and a career low 2.09 ERA in 1967.  He made 70 appearances with 10 saves in 1968.  Locker was traded in 1969 to the Seattle Pilots.  He moved with the team the following year when they became the Milwaukee Brewers and was traded in the middle of the season to the Oakland A's. 

Locker became a key piece in Oakland's bullpen quickly after his arrival.  He allowed no earned runs in his first seven innings with the A's.  On August 12, 1970, Locker pitched 5-and-2/3 scoreless innings in relief, the longest outing of his career.  He was a key member of the 1972 World Series team often pitching in the seventh and eighth innings to set up closer, Rollie Fingers.

After the 1972 World Series, Locker was traded to the Chicago Cubs.  Though pitching in the National League for the first time, Locker experienced one of his finest seasons earning 10 wins and 18 saves with a 2.54 ERA.  Because of a request Locker made to the Cubs' general manager, John Holland, he would only play one season with Chicago and then get traded back to Oakland where he planned to live and work after his baseball career.  Locker was traded back to the A's, but would sit out the entire 1974 season due to injury.  He was traded back to the Cubs in 1975.  After poor performances, he was released by the club.

An alumni from Iowa State University where he played baseball and basketball and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology, Locker was inducted into the ISU Hall of Fame in 2008.

About This Card
I'm really not sure what to make out of the picture on this card.  Locker was traded to the Cubs and, therefore, would need to be airbrushed into a Cubs uniform even to the point where his old uniform number was removed (although he did wear the same #36 in Chicago as he did in Oakland.)  Even the outfielder on the background needed to be airbrushed into a Cubs uniform.

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