HOF Plaque- Roy Hobbs, Jr.

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HOF Plaque- Roy Hobbs, Jr.

Post by recte44 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:55 pm

Born July 21, 1944 in the USA
Drafted in 1st round, 7th overall pick, by Honolulu in 1973 in 1973 in 1973 MBBA Dispersal Draft
Debut April 1, 1973

Won Pitcher of the Year Award in 1978
Was selected to the 1975, 1978, 1981 All-Star Games
Won Landis Memorial Series with Honolulu in 1973

There are a scant collection of pitchers in the history of the MBBA that a batter feared more than Roy Hobbs in his heyday. So scant, in fact, that three are in the Hall of Fame already (Johan Schmatzhagen, Vernon Simpson, Bill Max), and the fourth has long been known as the Golden Boy.

After being selected by the Honolulu Typhoons with the seventh pick of the league's dispersal draft, great things were expected of the pitcher who turned 29 in the league's first year. Little did the fans of Hawaii know, though, of the greatness they would see unfold in October of that year. After leading the team in just about every pitching category in that inaugural season, the little-heralded Typhoons went from lukewarm to red-hot as they, like their namesake, swept over the JLP like a force of nature. They won the divison by 4.5 games, thanks in no small part to their ace.

But Hobbs was just getting started.

In the 1973 playoffs, Hobbs went 3-0, leading to the team's legendary 11-0 playoff run and victory in the very first LMS. Hobbs' 1.61 era in the playoffs, his 22.3 IP and 33 K, were the stuff of legend in the early days of the league.

With the rise of Washington, the mid-70s free-for-all in the JLM, and later California and Louisville, Honolulu's fortunes waned. Throughout, Hobbs put up numbers to be envied.

In 1974, he went 18-15 with a 2.49 era and logged 375 strikeouts, including 14 in a no-hitter. In 1975, he was 19-7, with a miniscule 2.34 era and 350 strikeouts. Had Johan and Golden Boy not been in his league at the same time, Hobbs might have collected any number of accolades that in the end he was passed over for.

By 1977, Hobbs appeared to be heading for the other end of his career. He was 32, and coming off a lackluster 1976 season (14-16, 3.17). The time was ripe for Honolulu to move him while he still could help a contender. Montreal came calling, and help them he did. The move to the FL seemed to rejuvinate Hobbs, and he surged in the second half of the season, going 11-4 after his move to the FL. A tough loss in a 7-game Cartwright Cup battle with Birmingham cemented Hobbs' resolve: he would return to his 1973 form. It was time to win another LMS.

Pairing Hobbs with the ultracompetitive Kurt Stallwith, Montreal's four-man rotation in the late 70's was feared throughout the league. In 1978, Hobbs won an astonishing 28 games, going 28-7 with a 2.43 era and striking out 401 men. The final strikeout of his regular season was Rupert Santos, a journeyman 3B for Manhattan and Brooklyn. He said that Hobbs' final pitch for the K-looking "was the fastest thing I ever saw." Hobbs was awarded the Owner's Choice award. Were it not for running afoul of the Bobwhite juggernaut in the 1978 LMS, it would have been a perfect season for Hobbs. The 4-1 loss in the championsip simply re-energized Hobbs to come back and redouble his efforts in 1979.

The following season, Hobbs went 20-13 with a 2.97 era, racked up 380 strikeouts, and another no-hitter. Again the team made the playoffs. This turned out to be Austin's year, as the Bats swept Montreal out of the playoffs in the Cartwright Cup. Hobbs was not deterred. Even as his advancing age limited his skills, he improved his mental game, overcoming the grueling 4-man rotation and the mental toll of playoff struggles that never quite lived up to the glory days of 1973's perfect run.

1980 was the last great run for the late 70s Blazers. Hobbs and Stallwith led the team to the brink of the championship. 35-year-old Hobbs posted a 1.61 era in the playoffs as the Blazers at last returned to the LMS. This time they managed to avoid Washington and Steve Nebraska, only to host Louisville for the first two games up in Montreal. Louisville, miraculously it appeared, won the first two games on the road. Hobbs was devastated. The team recovered and won two games on the road in Kentucky, but it was too little, too late, as they were Slugged, 4 games to 2. Hobbs was slated to pitch Game 7, and the MBBA world will always wonder what might have happened had the Blazers defended their home field successfully in Game 6. The end of the great Roy Hobbs, Jr's playoff career turned out to be a seat in the bullpen, hoping for a late-inning comeback to force Game 7.

Over the final three years of his career, Roy went 45-33, struck out an average of 220 batters, and kept his era around 3.00. Montreal did not make the playoffs again after 1980's difficult loss and the deparature of the team's longtime owner, .Eric Hoffmeister.

In the end, Hobbs retired with a stellar 177-115 record, a 2.92 era, and 3,156 strikeouts. He was 33-15 in his career in September and October. It's somewhat bittersweet that, like many players in the early days of the MBBA, one wonders what Hobbs could have done if the league had started before he turned 28. With all the promise he showed in his magical 1973 run, and the durability he showed in years of diminating the FL, he might have done even greater things had the MBBA existed in 1966 or so.

Ironically, many MBBA watchers believe that the pitcher Hobbs most resembled in both his performance, statistics, and desire to win was none other than his teammate Kurt Stallwith. Through a twist of fate, they'll always be linked together from their days in Montreal.

*plaque written by Travis McDermott
Matt Rectenwald
Commissioner, GM: Nashville Bluebirds


Re: HOF Plaque- Roy Hobbs, Jr.

Post by Al-Hoot » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:06 pm

yay Hobbs!

Go Honolulu-Hawaii franchise.

VOTE HANK DANIELS, another Honolulu-Hawaii player.

Both these players way prior to my time as a GM, but gotta plug the franchise "old-timers."

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