Tuesday, January 12, 2010

100 hits from each SIDE, the 1st!

It's a well known fact that Garry became the first player ever to get at least 100 hits from each side of the plate in 1979. Surprisingly, this feat which obviously, had never been achieved in MLB's long history before Garry, was duplicated the very next year by another triple hitting speedster of the era, Willie Wilson. Interestingly enough, it hasn't been done since. Kinda odd to think that something that's only been done twice in history would happen in consecutive seasons. Obviously, Tempy's achievement had an inspiring effect on Willie.

Sadly many detractors have tried to undermine this remarkable achievement saying that he did it while hitting strictly right handed for his last nine games.

So he did, so what?! What's the problem??

I've read some saying he cheated, his record was tainted... Morons...
The record says, 1st to get 100 hits from each side of the plate not vs lefties and righties...

If anything it should make it even more impressive. For the first time in his pro career he gave up switch hitting to face righties from his right side. Even tougher!

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."
Let's be realistic here, it's mathematically impossible to face enough lefties in a season to get the needed 100 hits. If it would have been possible someone would have done it before, or since, someone like Pete Rose for example. For the record Wilson did the same thing to get there...

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.
So he did succeed in his quest to become the first 100-100 switcher by getting the last 6 right-handed hits against righties, more power to him!

Nobody can take that away from him. He got 111 from the left side hitting .293 and 100 from the right hitting .346.

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'"
There was never any doubts in my mind about who was the true 1979 All-Star shortstop, hence the 1980 Topps card you see at the top right side of this blog.


  1. Thanks for the opportunity and thrills Gary.

    I played at Gary Templeton Little League Santa Ana, CA 1986-87 and 1987-88.

    All Star both seasons and my regular team also advanced to City Tournament twice.

    Coaches were great and those All Star Uniforms were smooooooth.

    I re-visit those days frequently and still live in Santa Ana. My boy is 1 year old and I can't wait to sign him up once he is of age.

    Thanks also to Dennis, J.D., Ramiro, Mr. Jenkins, Charles.

    You're a good man Gary. Thanks for stepping it up in the community.

    Edgar Gonzalez

  2. Hey Edgar!
    Nice to hear from you again. Sure hope you kept that uniform, why don't you send me a pic, I'd love to see it and post it on the blog!
    How's it going in Santa Ana these days?