Monday, January 19, 2009

Remember Garry Templeton?

Something happened to me in the late 70's early 80's. I was a witness to the greatest athlete I've ever seen play shortstop, the most physically demanding position in baseball. It's been a groundhog day ever since.

Garry Lewis Templeton, "Jumpsteady", I've never been able to get him out of my head since...
I've looked hard and I've looked far but I have never seen anybody even come close to what he did and the way he did it.
The way he moved, gliding around the basepaths, all the way to third base, in his uncharacteristic running style, low stooping shoulders, keeping his center of gravity as low as possible, with his fingers pointing down as if he was using them as cleats to plant in the dirt and move even faster.
With the agility of a panther on the field to range all over the hole and even left field with a few long, graceful and powerful strides, making plays standing up that others like Ozzie had to dive for.

For a brief period of time in baseball's history, Garry Templeton was the most astonishing athlete in the game. "Mr. Do-It-All" read the cover of the April 22, 1978 Sporting News, 'cause that's just what he did, hit, field, run and everything in between.
Not only could he do everything but he did it with his own style and grace, made it all look so easy, like routine. Too easy maybe, he looked amazing when he executed but by the same token his coolness made him look nonchalant, careless, when he booted an occasional grounder.
So here I am, 30 years later writing a blog about this man who is mostly remembered for his few mishaps and infamous catchy quotes rather than for the myriads of dazzling plays he performed during his career.

Unable to find a worthy heir to his crown, I've been caught in a time warp ever since, frozen in time, re-living his career through collecting magazine articles, interviews, statistics, pics, cards and the few videos or highlights I've been able to find through the years. Thanks to eBay.
Also thanks to the great pretty cool simulation game, I've been able to keep him active and get my daily dose of Templeton boxscores.

In closing this initial blog post I'd like to send out an invitation to every baseball fan out there who'd like to discuss and argue about any related topics, shortstops, 70's-80's baseball funky-disco era, triples hitters, base stealers and unique athletes of the great game of baseball.


  1. Tempy was the man. I was a huge fan of the man and still think Ozzie couldn't hang with him if he had put his mind to it. Keep up the blog.

  2. I'm sending a video of my daughter playing softball to Tempy... because she reminds me of him so much... she even wears number 1. Templeton was the very best... he got to balls standing that Ozzie (and I love Ozzie) had to dive for.

  3. Hey great to hear from you guys!
    Always happy to hear from fellas who were around when Tempy was the man at SS!
    Hey I'd love to see that video myself, please post the link if ever you put it on youtube or something :)
    Yep Ozzie was a helluva SS but still 2nd to da 1 when it came to range, to this day I've yet to see a SS with Garry's range, and Lord knows I've been lookin'!

  4. Tempy was my favorite player. I was happy when the Padres swapped him for Ozzie. I wish his knees would've held up. Great website.


  5. Templeton rocked. One of the most underrated players I can think of. When I think of the uselessness of the error stat, I think of Garry.