Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 94

Arnold "Bake" McBride patrolled the outfield for the Phillies in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Originally a 37th round draft pick by St. Louis in 1970, McBride, a Missouri native, proved to be a late round steal, as he cruised through the minor leagues, making his big league debut in 1973 and later being named the National League Rookie of the Year in 1974 when he batted .309 with 6 homers, 56 RBI and 30 stolen bases.

McBride was acquired by Philadelphia in June 1977, when the Cardinals swapped him and pitcher Steve Waterbury for Rick Bosetti, Tom Underwood and Dane Iorg.

The Westminster College multi-sport star (McBride played track and basketball in addition to baseball) proved to be a valuable contributor, as he posted a .339 batting average with 11 HR and 27 steals in 85 games going forward that year, to help the Phillies lock down a second consecutive East Division title.

In the years to follow, McBride in right field paired with Garry Maddox in center field gave Philadelphia a stand out defensive tandem, as both men displayed tremendous range and excellent glove work in the outfield.

Bake's nickname was short for Shake 'n' Bake, which many folks felt described his playing style.

McBride saw his best offensive season in 1980, when he finished 10th in National League Most Valuable Player voting thanks to his .309 average, 33 doubles, 10 triples, 9 homeruns and 87 RBI.

The success for McBride became most noticeable down the stretch as he helped the Phils clinch a key victory over the Expos in September with a 9th inning homerun at Veterans Stadium. The win proved vital for the Phils as Montreal won their remaining two games against Philadelphia and later finished just one game back in the division standings, allowing the Phillies to advance to the postseason.

In the World Series opener that year, the Phillies overcame a 4-0 deficit and won, thanks in part to McBride, who put the Phillies ahead with a 3-run homer. Philadelphia went on, of course, to defeat the Royals in 6 games to win their first ever world championship.

Following his dream season, McBride dealt with knee issues in 1981 that required surgery and limited him to just 58 games.

The following off-season, McBride was dealt to the Indians, where he continued his playing career for the next two seasons, before retiring.

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1 comment:

Cliff said...

Actually, Bake looks just a tad baked himself on this card. You might enjoy my comments on this card - and many others - on this post:

http://reallybadbaseballcards.blogspot.com/2014/01/mcbride-son-of-gamble.html