Monday, January 18, 2016

Countdown to 2016 Topps #16: The Authoritarian

One of the best things about being an amateur writer on a blog such as this is that I don't have an editor or publisher breathing down my neck. Low readership? Not a problem (as much I try not to let it bug me, it still does at times). Incorrect grammar? Oh, well. Deadlines? The only deadline I have is posting 1 entry per day during the thirty days of Counting Down to 2016 Topps. We're half-way home, baby!

There is nothing special about today's card. In fact, the card front is rather bland. Gray border; black, airbrushed hat; stern disciplinarian, reflected by the gruff look on his face. The only thing that gives life to this thing is the red lettering. 

Being an Idahoan, my initial interest was in the fact that Metro coached in Idaho (Pioneer League) in two different cities: Twin Falls and then later in Idaho Falls. I'm sure none of my readers care about that though, so there's got to be something worth mentioning.

An article (titled "Tale of the Derailed Metro") in the  June 22, 1970 edition of Sports Illustrated spoke of the firing of the authoritarian Metro. Despite possessing many qualities as a major league manager, players grew tired of Charlie's act. Apparently his players didn't care for his demands for perfection, his lack of praise, the calisthenics he implemented into their pregame workouts or his ban on post-game cold cuts and pretzels. The thing that I found appalling, however, was the way that Metro released second baseman Jerry Adair, who missed much of spring training and the early parts of the regular season due to the illness of his 6-year old daughter Tammy, who eventually succumbed to cancer on April 9th.

The Royals gig was Metro's second as a big league manager- his first coming with the Cubs in 1962 as part of the 'College of Coaches' in which he, Elvin Tappe and Lou Klein took turns managing the club. Fired by the Royals after only 52 games (in which Kansas City's record stood at 19-33), Charlie's career record as a manager was a miserable 62-102. He eventually landed a job with the Tigers- and later the Dodgers- as a scout, as well as a stop in Oakland as a coach for the A's.

1 comment: