Sunday, January 10, 2016

Countdown to 2016 Topps #24: Billy, Bobby and the Mistake By the Lake

You've probably heard by now of the reports of Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel being spotted (allegedly) in Las Vegas during the final weekend of the NFL regular season (incognito, of course- wearing a blonde wig, fake mustache and glasses while going by the name 'Billy'). The quarterback, who had been ruled out for the finale due to a concussion, attended a Saturday morning appointment at the team facility but then missed a Sunday morning meeting. There is no truth to any rumors you might hear that it was former Indian pitcher Lawrence Donald Locke spotted in Vegas. It's time for another entertaining edition of the Countdown...





A multi-sport high school athlete at Republic, Pennsylvania's Redstone High School, Bobby Locke excelled on both the gridiron and the diamond. Despite throwing two no-hitters, averaging 13 strikeouts per game and then tossing a 1-hitter to win the high school state championship (not to mention being a member of the 1952 USA baseball team), Locke went to Arizona State University on a football scholarship. His collegiate career lasted one game as a punter for the Sun Devils before deciding to go back home to focus on his baseball career.

Locke would be signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1953 and spent the next four seasons playing minor league ball before spending the 1957 and 1958 seasons in the military. Once his military service was finished, Bobby began the 1959 season with Cleveland's AAA team in San Diego before making his MLB debut on June 18 against the Boston Red Sox. Locke would go on to pitch (mostly as a reliever) in the Majors for 9 seasons- with his final appearance taking place on September 29, 1968.





Bobby was reportedly spotted in Chicago- at least according to his 1962 Topps card. Cleveland traded the righty to the Cubbies in November of 1961, but before he could ever appear in a game for the Cubs organization, Larry Bobby found himself on the move again- this time to St. Louis, in an April 7, 1962 trade. Locke pitched in one game for the Cardinals before finding himself in yet a different city only three weeks later; an April 28th trade sent him to Philadelphia, where he would call home until being acquired by the Angels in 1964. A move to Cincinnati would be sandwiched in between that first stint with the Angels and the final move of his career (back to the Angels) in 1966. And I thought it was difficult to keep up with the Manziel madness.




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