Friday, July 26, 2013

Alumni Food-Issue Friday: Bob Watson 1976 MSA Discs

"Hey, come on. Let the kids play."~ Bob Watson, as himself, in the 1977 movie, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training.


1976 Crane's Potato Chips


Rules.

 No one is immune from them. Some might seem unjust; and at times, some probably are. But they are put in place for a reason. And there's always a guy put into place to make sure that they are followed. An enforcer.


Take these discs, for instance.

The producer, the Michael Schechter Associates, had no MLB licence- thus, they could not include team logos on the discs. There was obviously someone hired by MLB to monitor the compliance of the licensing agreement. Had they included the star and H on the hat, there would have been hell to pay. It's just the way it works.





I have to laugh when I think of Bob Watson's role in the sequel to the classic 1976 film, The Bad News Bears. Not because he comes off as particularly funny, but because he encourages lawlessness. He's the antithesis of an enforcer. He utters seven simple words, and an uprising occurs. Coaches, players, an entire stadium of fans begin chanting, "Let Them Play!" Anarchy reigns. The rules no longer in place.


1976 Isaly's Disc    



  Having traveled from their home state of California to the Lone Star State for a date with destiny, the California State Champs find themselves trailing the Texas champs by 5 runs late in a four-inning game. Although the Toros are technically the home team, they are nonetheless batting in the top of the third when, out from nowhere, an official comes out to the field to inform the umpire that the game is over. You see, the exhibition is taking place between an Astros doubleheader, and time has ran out- the big leaguers need to begin the second scheduled game. There was an allotted time given, and now it's expired. It's just the way it works. Them's the rules.



1976 Orbaker's Disc
Stunned, the Bears players slowly begin to come in off the field and into the dugout. Well, all except shortstop Tanner Boyle, who, standing in disbelief, angrily throws his mitt to the ground and begins yelling that the game isn't over. Their coach, Mike Leak, argues to no avail and returns to the dugout, where his team (sans Tanner) and a few members of the Houston Astros are congregating. Just then, two men begin chasing Tanner around the diamond- looking like fools in the process. Keystone Cops, if you will.

Don't take it personal, Tanner; they're just doing their job.
  
 As laughter begins-first with the crowd, then from the opposing team's dugout, we hear a voice from inside the home dugout, crying out, "Hey, come on. Let them play!" It's Astros first baseman Bob Watson, who would one day become Major League Baseball's vice president in charge of discipline and vice president of rules and on-field operations. He would become an enforcer.

But today, he's Bob the Agitator- and his seven words inspire coach Leak to go out onto the field and begin that defiant cry, 'Let Them Play!'


Bob the Brave ('82-'84)     

Acquired from the Yankees for minor league pitcher Scott Patterson, April 23, 1982
171 Games
92-348, .264
13 HR, 71 RBI

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