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Baseball Space: Hitting when it matters

Baseball Space: Hitting when it matters

Utility batsman Dane Iorg was also a member of this fraternity. Although he never appeared to bat more than 263 times in a major league season, he played a significant role in two World Series: the 1982 World Series won by the St. Louis Cardinals and the 1985 World Series won by the Kansas City Royals.

“I played ten seasons and always felt like I was an important component of my team even if I didn’t play regularly. “I was always in situations where I had to be opportunistic to be the difference between victory and defeat,” explains Iorg, reached at his home in Utah.

“All the players who played that role ended up knowing each other and feeling grateful to each other, because we knew what it was like to play that role,” says Iorg, who has no complaints about the way he was used. “Terry Francona quickly became a friend of mine.” “.

Ready to strike

“If I get called out in the ninth with the bases loaded, it’s because I was ready for it. Hitting alone wasn’t fun for me anymore. I wanted to hit with runners on base. I don’t know why, but I really liked that pressure.”

And don’t talk to Iorg about drawing walking in these situations!

“I’m a utility hitter, not a walk-on!” Today, hitters allow too many pitches and I think it’s a bit like digging your own grave to put your fate in the umpire’s hands. »

Dane Iorg

Iorg remembers a game in which he left one ball too many. “I was thinking I had to make sure I got a hit before I hit the ball and I was thinking about it so much that I didn’t hit that fastball across the heart of the plate. I let it go and we lost the game. I told myself it won’t happen again and it won’t happen again.” Never again.

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In the 1982 World Series, which the Cardinals won in seven games over the Milwaukee Brewers, Iorg was used regularly as all games were played under the designated hitter rule. He had a career-best batting performance with 9 for 17, including a double and a triple in the sixth duel.

Make the difference

Iorg went to bat just twice in the 1985 Finals, when he faced his former Cardinals teammates in a Kansas City Royals uniform. But that didn’t stop him from making a difference again.

The Royals trailed 3-2 in the series and lost 1-0 in the ninth inning of Game 6. However, they were able to put three runners on the tracks with only one out against reliever Todd Worrell. That’s when manager Dick Howser called on Iorg to bat in place of pitcher Dan Quisenberry.

“Todd was my friend, and we were always together when I was playing in St. Louis. He’s a mountain of muscle, a very confident guy and he throws very hard. I remember that hit by heart: He threw me a slippery ball that I left,” he says. He won’t throw me another one.”

“As I expected, his second pitch was fast. I didn’t hit it well, my racket broke, but the ball landed in the right place on the right field. Two runs were scored and we won and tied the series, and we will go on to win the next game!”, he says.

However, the former athlete, now 73, knows all too well why he was never a regular player even if he was batting at the right time. “I couldn’t run or throw the ball!” he explains matter-of-factly.

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Understanding managers

Fortunately for Iorg, he came across managers who knew its usefulness. “Whitey [Herzog] He is the best manager in the world! He understood that he had to manipulate me a little bit, and that I couldn’t just be an emergency hitter, because he was also the fourth baseman on a few teams during his career. »

However, Dane Iorg decided to take a different approach from Herzog and did not become a manager. “I wanted to do something else. I had eight kids and I wanted to be at home, not always on the road. I got into the business world. My kids played a little baseball, not in the major leagues, because they didn’t have my talent, but they did well in school.” Because they were smarter than me!” he concludes with a laugh.

the number


The percentage of increase in crowd attendance in the major leagues this year compared to 2022. The average number of fans per match is 29,125 this year compared to 26,556 the previous year. All teams welcomed more spectators this year except the Nationals, White Sox, Tigers, Rockies and… Dodgers! However, in the case of the last three teams, the decline was less than 300 fans per game and the Dodgers still had the best average spectators per game with 47,671 fans at Chavez Ravine.

Grand Slam

What are the chances of this happening? On Sunday, San Diego Padres rookie Matthew Batten hit his second home run in his team’s 10-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field. What was special about this slap? The ball, which outfielder Mark Canha tried in vain to catch, landed on the fence after bouncing off the outfield wall!

Golden hat

Chicago White Sox reliever Tim Anderson is having the worst hitting season of his career. His .297 slugging average is the worst in the major leagues, only one player has a worse on-base average than him (.283) and he hasn’t hit a home run before July 29…and he hasn’t hit one since!