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Saturday, July 26, 2008

1985 Donruss Tribute: Syhcronized Baseball

Summer school is over and my 1985 Donruss tribute is wanting some attention.

To honor 85 Donruss and the upcoming summer Olympics, I give you synchronized swimming! You know, the sport where make-up clad women spin in unison under water in hopes of Olympic gold and immortality. Ed Sprague knows all about it:

His wife controversially won gold in the 1992 Olympics in Solo Synchronized Swimming. And the controversy had nothing to do with the fact that synchronized and solo do not go together. Some miscalculation in scores was the issue. Some other athlete was awarded gold later that year. Ed himself won gold in 1988 (in Baseball, not swimming).

Baseball seems to go in and out of the favor of the IOC so you never know if baseball will be a medal sport rather than just an exhibition. Former Oakland A first baseman, Bruce Bochte, (not to be confused with former player and manger, Bruce Bochy) decided to do something about it during the 1984 Major League season.

He teamed with an unnamed AL umpire to form the first and thankfully last Synchronized Baseball duo. Here they are, perfectly synchonized:This kind of precision takes years of practice. Surprisingly, Bochte was near the end of his baseball career AND at the very end of his synchronized baseball career. It is not currently known what came of the unnamed umpire.

Bochte was a slightly above average career player who peaked in 1979 when he hit .316 with 16 HRs, 100 rbi, and his only All-Star appearance.

Next Up: Some other 1985 Donruss nonsense and maybe a Mets update (I'd hate to jinx them!)

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