Garry Templeton Startin' n' Departin'
This blog is dedicated to Garry Templeton, the greatest athlete to ever play shortstop. Too many people remember him for the wrong reasons. But in his prime, Tempy was , bar none, the most talented, the fastest, and I'll say, the coolest shortstop, if not ballplayer, in the game.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
I've said it before and I'll say it again, when I was a kid growing up and first started to follow MLB, Garry had just started his career with the Cardinals and his amazing skills, spectacular defensive game and flashy overall personality just burned a deep imprint in my kids impressionable mind. Just something about the way he moved, the way he looked playing the game, some kind of gracious easiness about him, he had this lean yet muscular body, perfect proportions, balance between power and suppleness that gave him the agility and grace of a panther.
I've been following pro baseball for nearly 40 years and I've seen some superb athletes, incredible talents, all-star players and HOFmers, but none ever moved and looked as cool as Garry.
Jumpsteady looking as cool as ever with his shades, funky 'fro and flashy jacket, looking like he's about to jam with Parliament Funkadelic lol!
Well there you have it, the man was gifted but had a heart to give back to the less fortunate. Many people in St-Louis remember him positively, both for his great skills and generosity.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Happy 55th Bday Garry!
Time flies, even more than Jumpsteady runnin' around the bases on his way to a triple in 1979!
All the best to you and yours Mr Templeton, good health and happiness!!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Skipper Templeton leads the Outlaws to a Championship!!
Not only did skipper Templeton lead his squad to victory but his Outlaws managed to win the title without even losing a single game in the playoffs sweeping both Calgary and Maui becoming the first team in GBL history to accomplish such a feat. Chico outscored Maui 17-4 in the three game sweep.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Herzog and Templeton: No grudges, no regrets by Dan O'Neill
One being that, apparently, the words that have infamously defined and immortalized him in the memories of baseball fans, "If I ain't startin', I ain't departin'" were never actually his own! Talk about a shocker!!
The funny thing is I had been forever trying to actually get a hold of the original or "in context" quote to see how or why he had answered the catchy defiant quipe, like;
- "Well Garry how do you feel about being named as the back up shortstop for the NL squad?"
- " I don't care, I'm not going"
- " What, you mean don't want to play in the All-Star game?"
- " You got that right. A human has rights, you've got to show your rights. If baseball fans can't recognize talent, if they just vote for the home guy then they don't care to see the real stars. If I ain't startin' , I ain't departin'...
Ok I just imagined it something kinda like that but now it seems that he never actually said it but it was Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck that had "coined the colorful idiom to summarize Templeton's feelings about making the team as a reserve"
Hard to believe how such famous quotes can be misquoted forever til nobody actually remembers where it came from. I must admit that after 30 years of associating him with the quote, I have a real hard time getting used to the idea that it did not come from Tempy, the man who after all, gave us one liners such as, " You ain't seen nuthin' yet " or " Time is on my side "...
Maybe some cool day I'll have the opportunity to ask Mr. Templeton directly.
So here's the full article as penned by O'neill.
As Whitey Herzog takes his place among baseball royalty, one episode in his colorful career was especially prominent in putting him on a Hall of Fame path. It also represents one loose end that has never been thoroughly tied down.
In February 1982, serving in the dual capacity of Cardinals general manager and field manager, Herzog completed a deal that sent shortstop Garry Templeton and outfielder Sixto Lezcano to the San Diego Padres for shortstop Ozzie Smith and pitcher Steve Mura.
The shortstop swap was the focal point of the trade and proved to be an organizational epiphany. Smith became a perennial All-Star in St. Louis and the back-flipping backbone of multiple pennant winners. He was the "Wizard" in Herzog's "Whiteyball," and he preceded Herzog into Cooperstown.
In that same chapter, Templeton remains an asterisk, a perplexing entry in the Cardinals bibliography. In the history of the franchise there may not be a player who had more physical ability than "Jump Steady." In 5½ seasons with the Cardinals, covering 713 games, the switch-hitting Templeton batted .305, led the National League in triples three times and stole 128 bases.
He also became the first major-leaguer — and is still the only NL player — to collect 100 or more hits from each side of the plate in a single season. To accomplish that feat in 1979, he got his last six hits batting righthanded against righthanded pitching. At the time the Templeton-for-Smith swap was made, if you were betting on which shortstop might wind up in Cooperstown, Templeton would have been the heavy favorite.
Ted Simmons, currently a coach for the San Diego Padres, was the switch-hitting backbone of the Cardinals' lineup at the time. He marveled at Templeton's talent.
"That was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen," said Simmons, referring to Templeton's 1979 hits feat. "He needed more hits than he had games left, so he batted righthanded against righthanded pitchers to get them. And they weren't dinks; he hit the ball hard. I've never seen anyone in the game do that."
Herzog was in the New York Yankees farm system with Hall of Fame icon Mickey Mantle and he managed Hall of Famer George Brett in Kansas City and Smith in St. Louis. That background notwithstanding, he calls Templeton "the most talented" player he ever saw.
"He had great running speed, a great arm, he was a switch-hitter …" Herzog said. "He had everything but power, that was the only thing he didn't have that Mantle had."
"When I came here in 1980, I had three of the top 10 salaries in baseball. Ted Simmons, Keith Hernandez and Garry — they were all making $667,000. And at the end of the year, I said the one guy I wouldn't trade would be Garry."
By the winter of 1981, that explosive talent and expansive regard notwithstanding, Templeton had become an incendiary figure in town, one whose tenure was untenable. Although he was only 25 years old, the Cardinals couldn't unload him fast enough.
A number of factors contributed to the fallout, not all of them entirely tangible. Templeton's body language in the field was the polar opposite of his successor, Smith. While the diminutive Smith made everything look spectacular, the fluid Templeton, with his enormous physical attributes and laid-back demeanor, made everything matter of fact. To his detractors, he seemed almost uninterested.
"He was supremely confident in his ability," said Simmons, Templeton's teammate for five seasons in St. Louis before being traded to Milwaukee. "And he had good reason to be."
But the public erosion began most profoundly in 1979 when Templeton declined to participate in the All-Star Game. Informed he had been added as a reserve, Templeton felt slighted at not being selected as a starter. A flippant response credited to him — "If I ain't startin,' I ain't departin" — has become an infamous part of Cardinals culture.
The expression also is a slightly erroneous piece of Templeton's legacy, in that he never said it. Cardinals Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck coined the colorful idiom to summarize Templeton's feelings about making the team as a reserve. However, the self-important sentiment became universally ascribed to Templeton.
'BETTER WITHOUT HIM'
Things reached a dramatic apex in 1981. During a season that included a players strike, Templeton became vocal about his desire to bat leadoff, his desire to be traded to a California team and his disenchantment with his salary.
On Aug. 26, the Cardinals played the Giants in a "Ladies Day" game at Busch Stadium. During the first inning, Templeton, playing on a sore knee at the time, struck out on Gary Lavelle's curveball in the dirt. The ball momentarily escaped catcher Milt May, perhaps unbeknownst to Templeton, who failed to run to first base. Fans booed and Templeton answered with a one-finger salute.
He was jeered loudly as he trotted in from the field after the top half of the second and third innings, obscenely so by a few overzealous types. Templeton responded after the top of the third with another obscene gesture, at which point he was ejected by home plate umpire Bruce Froemming.
Loudly derided as he exited, Templeton answered with another gesture, this time grabbing his crotch for emphasis. Herzog bolted from the dugout and yanked his player off the field, scuffling with him the dugout before the two were separated..
Opposing manager Frank Robinson was aghast. "I've never seen it happen, and I hope I never do again," Robinson said. "There's no place for it."
Teammates, such as catcher Gene Tenace, were fed up. "I don't think Templeton has the guts to apologize to the rest of us," Tenace said after the game. "He's a loser. We're better off without him. I don't think he'll even be playing two or three years from now."
Templeton was fined $5,000 and suspended for three weeks. He underwent psychiatric evaluation, during which it was announced he was dealing with depression. Meanwhile, Cardinals owner Gussie Busch made it clear to Herzog the temperamental "Tempy" had to go.
After the season, at a speaking engagement, Herzog explained the still-pending Smith trade, an assessment that was relayed in the press. "I have an owner who's the greatest man in the world, and I want to win a world championship for him," Herzog said. "I feel I might do it if I get a shortstop who goes out there every day and hounds the ball.
"Templeton doesn't want to play in St. Louis. He doesn't want to play on (artificial) turf. He doesn't want to play when we go to Montreal. He doesn't want to play in the Astrodome. He doesn't want to play in the rain. The other 80 games, he's all right."
Although he didn't broach the topic at the time, Herzog says drugs were at the root of Templeton's behavioral issues. Substance abuse had infiltrated the Cardinals' roster at the time, leading to a subsequent trade of Keith Hernandez and other clubhouse-cleaning moves.
"When Garry came to spring training (in 1981), he was messed up," Herzog said. "I told Gussie (Busch) we really got a problem. Garry had been in a car wreck and was running around with the wrong people.
"He comes to me — and he wasn't himself, it wasn't Garry Templeton, he had just completely changed as an individual — and he said he didn't want to play any more day games after night games. And I said, 'What?' Here he is 25 years old telling me that. But I knew that wasn't him."
Although Simmons was playing for the Brewers by the time the Busch Stadium incident took place, he remembers being stunned by the headlines. "I remember being shocked by that when I heard about it," Simmons said. "I knew Garry pretty well and that just didn't sound like him, didn't sound like something he was capable of."
OLDER AND WISER
Templeton, 54, is now manager of the Chico Outlaws of the independent Golden Baseball League. At 33-12, the Outlaws had the best record in the North Division during the first half of the season. And among the players Templeton manages is first baseman John Urick (.291, five home runs), Whitey Herzog's grandson.
Twenty-nine years later, things have come almost full circle.
"I really enjoy managing," said Templeton, who managed and coached previously in the Anaheim Angels organization. "There are so many young players out there that need that second chance, that still have a shot at going somewhere and helping some organization out and fulfilling their dreams."
The Outlaws also feature 18-year-old Japanese pitcher Eri Yoshida, a female knuckleball specialist, as well as former Chicago Cubs infielder Bobby Hill. The easygoing Templeton deals with a myriad of resumes and personalities.
"Every once in a while, you find a diamond in the rough and organizations come and sign them right away," Templeton added. "Because they know they can miss on a guy. Everybody can't be perfect, everyone makes mistakes."
Templeton said he speaks from experience. While he chose not to address the substance abuse subject, and he carries no regrets about the turn his career took to San Diego, he wishes things had gone differently in St. Louis.
"I think if you look back on it, you could say, 'Well, he could have done things differently,'" Templeton said. "But people don't realize I was young. It was a transitional period for me. Once I came to San Diego, I matured a little. I don't know, I guess it was just bad timing (what happened in St. Louis).''
TOO MUCH TOO SOON
Perhaps it was a case of too much, too soon. Templeton's father, Spiavia Templeton, played in relative obscurity throughout a baseball career in the Negro Leagues. In contrast, Garry was a highly regarded high school player and prized prospect from the outset. He was the 13th player taken overall in the 1974 amateur draft.
By the time he turned 20, he was replacing veteran Don Kessinger as the Cardinals' starting shortstop. He was on top of the world, making major league headlines and, before long, making big money. Templeton was not the first or last young athlete led astray by fame and fortune. From Jennifer Capriati to Art Schlichter to John Daly, the sports landscape is dotted with them.
"But I'm not blaming anybody, because everything that happened was on me," Templeton said. "You make mistakes early in life and sometimes you pay for them later because people still see you as the same person. They don't realize that was 30 years ago and you're different now. "
"I think if you asked Dick Williams, or some of the other people I played for in San Diego, they would tell you I was a model citizen."
In 1984, Templeton was a cog in the first playoff team in San Diego history and was regarded as a leader on the Padres. But, hampered in part by recurring knee problems, he was never the same dynamic threat he had been in St. Louis. During 10 seasons in San Diego, he batted a collective .252, more than 50 points below his pace with St. Louis.
In less than six seasons in St. Louis, Templeton had 69 triples. During his 10 years in San Diego, he had 36 triples. He was steady for the Padres, but the "jump" was gone.
"I was one of the fastest guys in the National League when I was playing with the Cardinals," Templeton said. "And then I came over to San Diego and blew my knee out. That took away a lot of my game."
CLOSURE REMAINS ILLUSIVE
The years have been kind to both men. Templeton has remained in baseball, had the opportunity to coach his son, Garry Templeton Jr., and continues to mentor aspiring baseball artisans. Herzog is in the Hall of Fame green room, awaiting a career-crowning moment in Cooperstown. What took place in 1981 is water that passed under the bridge a long time ago. Yet, ripples remain.
While they occasionally conversed and exchanged pleasantries when their respective teams met during subsequent years, Templeton and Herzog never came to an understanding over what took place in St. Louis.
"He never said anything about it and, you know, I wasn't going to bring it up," Herzog said. "You know, (Keith) Hernandez called me and thanked me so many times (years later). And he wrote me a real nice letter, that he appreciated how I protected him and never said anything about the drugs, took the heat for three years over that.
"(John) Mayberry came and apologized when I went in the Hall of Fame in Kansas City, which I really appreciated. I went through that stuff with Garry, but I never blamed him. It was just something that was going on so much in our society and he just got caught up with it. A lot of kids did."
Herzog acknowledged it would be gratifying to have closure with Templeton. "If he just said to me, 'Hey I was screwed up, I'm sorry, I wasn't myself.' I know he's not a bad person," Herzog said. "He went out to San Diego and he changed his life around, and he's managing now. And I don't hold any grudges."
When asked about clearing the air with Herzog, Templeton paused on the other end of the telephone before saying, "No, we never did that."
He added: "I don't think we ever got to where we patched things up. When you look back on things, you think maybe you should have just sat down and talked at some period, but we never were in a situation where we were able to get together and talk about it.
"You know, he did what he had to do and so we both moved on. It turned out well for him, and it turned out well for me, too. Hell, I have no regrets. It's just that sometimes you do things when you're young and you wish you had done things differently."
That said, bygones aren't completely bygones. When asked if he had contacted Herzog or congratulated him on his induction, Templeton said he had not, nor was he planning to. He seemed content to leave things unsaid, to bury his troubled days at Busch Stadium with the razed structure itself.
He does, however, cherish his happier times with the Cardinals. "To be drafted by a team that had so much history behind it, with all the great players that were there, it was something," Templeton said. "I loved every minute of it.
"But things happen in life for a reason. I have no regrets about it, because things turned out real well for Ozzie (Smith), for him to come over and do the things he did in St. Louis. Things turned out well for me, too, to come over to San Diego."
Things have turned out for Herzog, too, as he enters baseball's Hall of Fame. Perhaps some loose ends tie together all by themselves.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Oh well, see I what happens, I was away for too long, and my stat counter says I still get visits everyday!
So, thanks to you guys, I'll pick it up some and for now will just post a few more of these cool pics. But I'll be back soon with more stuff, who knows maybe even a new video if I can find some time to edit it.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Mrs. Templeton ain't departin!
He sure sounds determined and dedicated to his task, even telling Mrs. Templeton she ain't departin!
Jan. 13th, 2010; Garry Templeton - Chico Outlaws
Posted using ShareThis
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Happy 54th Birthday Tempy!
Let's hope we ain't seen nuthin' yet!
Now about some of the things that've been seen but never re-seen, imitated but never duplicated, here's my little picturesque tribute to the man, the 1 and only, Garry Jumpsteady Tempy Templeton tha 1st!
Friday, January 15, 2010
A new Outlaw in Chico!
Tempy has now just been named the new skipper for the Golden Baseball League's Chico Outlaws which is highly regarded as one of the top-class orginization of the professional independent baseball league, which boasts teams in all three North American countries of Canada, Mexico and of course the US.
Mr. Templeton seemed quite enthusiastic about joining the Outlaws as he said during the press conference;
"I was always kind of jealous of Mark Parent (Outlaws former manager)," Templeton admitted in his typical mellow manner. "His locker was right next to mine for six years when we played on the Padres together. Because of the fan support he had (in Chico), the way the players played here, the stadium he got to play in, I always asked him if he wanted to switch places."
"I've wanted to manage in Chico since the first year of the GBL," said Templeton. "This is the best place to play in the league, with the best fans, and a great facility. There is a fine nucleus of players coming back that with some additions can get the Outlaws back in the playoffs and competing once again for a championship."
The enthusiasm was obviously shared by Chico's GM Curt Jacey;
"It will be exciting to have such an accomplished professional as our new team leader," said Chico Outlaw General Manager Curt Jacey. "Garry's proven he can win at any level, but just as important is his tremendous reputation of being involved in the community wherever he has played or managed."
David Kaval, GBL's chief executive also seemed very pleased about the move;
"We're really looking to put a lot into improving the player experience here," Kaval said. "Having that and Garry's vast network connections in minor league baseball, I think you're going to see a real strong team out on the field."
I'm looking forward to following Garry's new assignment with the Outlaws this spring, it all seems like a win-win situation.
I always thought Tempy would eventually manage in the big leagues as I'm positive he's got all the needed skills and experience to succeed in doing so. I know he's said himself that he was really enjoying coaching young ballplayers and watch them improve. And that, though he would certainly like to take up the challenge of a major league gig, he'd still be a happy man if that opportunity never presented itself, still, as the fan that I am, I really hope that one day, he'll be wearing a MLB uniform again, as a skipper this time!
In the meantime GO OUTLAWS!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
100 hits from each SIDE, the 1st!
Here's a quote from teamate, catcher Ted Simmons, witness to the feat;
"That was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. He needed more hits than he had games left, so he batted righthanded against righthanded pitchers to get them. And they weren't dinks; he hit the ball hard. I've never seen anyone in the game do that."
Also, nobody can accuse him of being selfish in doing so or that it could have affected his team since the Cardinals were already out of the pennant race by that time. At least it gave fans some exitement and a positive reason to keep following the games.
1979 was truly an outstanding season for Garry who led the league for hits with 211, triples 19, was 6th with a batting AVG of .314, also 6th in runs scored 105 and 7th in total bases with 308.
Defensively, his range factor numbers, 5.59 RF/9, put him ahead of any shortstop in the big leagues.
With numbers like these, it becomes kinda difficult to argue with the man who snubbed the All-Star voters with his legendary infamous;
"If I ain't startin', I ain't departin'"
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Waving the hat!
I've already posted the video of how Garry had cheered the crowd up as the series moved to San Diego with his team down 0-2. Just when his team needed it the most Tempy uncharacteristically expressed himself emotionally, coming to the field slapping hands and high-fiving his teamates like never before and then proceeded to cheer a rather timid home crowd by vigorously waving his hat firing up the fans.
Here's how the whole thing was perceived from the other team's perspective.
From Larry Bowa's book, 'I Still Hate To Lose'.
The next night, October 4, 1984, the stadium was bunkers. During pregame introductions, shortstop Garry Templeton stepped out of character and waved a towel over his head to further incite a mob that didn’t need inciting. The comeback was on. « I think Garry Templeton had more of an effect on the fans than they did on him, » said Frey. « He did something that was so unnatural for Garry Templeton to do at that particular time. It kind of aroused the fans, I thought. The waving of the towel when the players were introduced. Otherwise, I have no idea what got anything started. I don’t know anything more about it. I don’t give a darn about psychology or anything like that. And I don’t think any of this means a darn thing to me. It’s not an important issue to me. »
Perhaps not now. In game 3 Templeton did more than towel wave. He snared a Leon Durham line drive to blunt a first-inning Cubs rally. And his fifth-inning double knocked in two runs and gave the Padres their first lead of the series.
Apparently Jim Frey didn't care about the psychology behind the gesture nor did he seem to understand what really happened, how, why or what changed the momentum of the series but it's obvious that Garry Templeton knew what he was doing and he would go about raising his crowd, teamates and game to the next level.
They went on to sweep the next 3 games to win the National League championship and play the Tigers in the World Series!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Jumpsteady Templeton Gamin' on ya!
...on that nightmare Windows Movie Maker crappy ass software that kept crashing every three clicks...
Like I said, nuthin' special, just Jumpsteady going through his motions like it's just another day at the office, making it look easy...
And a little gamin' on ya added with some color fx to posterize poetry in motion.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I have three game used bats, including one that says Jumpsteady Templeton instead of the usual Garry Templeton.
A pair of his 1984 Padres, signed, game worn cleats, of course the championship season. And I can say that he wore size 10 1/2, which is my size, 'cause I tried them on and they fit like a glove, however it seems that Garry had a problem with his right foot 'cause there was some added padding under the arch of that foot which made them uncomfortable for me when I had them on. (Btw, I only wore 'em for a few seconds since I wouldn't have chanced removing Garry's mystical fleet footed aura away from 'em...)