Monday, June 20, 2005


June 20th, 1943

Andy Etchebarren Born

Andy Etchebarren was the Orioles' catcher for their World Series victory in 1966, becoming the starter when the previous regular, Dick Brown, had to retire on account of a brain tumor. Etchebarren hung on with the team through the beginning of Earl Weaver's successful run on the back of, I assume, his defense, since he didn't offer much with the stick. Etchebarren did offer the Orioles something that went beyond baseball, however, during his rookie season. Frank Robinson, in the midst of what would be a Triple Crown season (.316, 49 HRs, 122 RBIs) was at a private team party on August 22nd. Now, Frank Robinson is from Beaumont, TX. And while you'll notice on this map, that Beaumont features a fairly prominent body of water--it's an offshoot of the Sabine Lake if you're truly curious--it was something young Frank never explored as he was unable to swim.

This was presumably not too much of an issue for Frank until that August 22nd when, perhaps having had a couple, Robinson fell into the pool. Unable to swim, it appeared that he might drown until Etchebarren dove in after him and pulled Robinson to safety. Robinson was ok, and continued his hot hitting but to this day he credits Etchebarren with partial credit for his MVP season, for keeping the now Nats' manager from an early, watery demise.

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