Thursday, April 12, 2007

Glavine and Moyer Connections

Degrees of separation: Glavine and Moyer never have been teammates. Of course, they are linked by other players, most notably Greg Maddux, who broke in with the Cubs less than three months after Moyer did and who was Glavine's teammate with the Braves for 10 seasons, from 1993-2002.

Forty-two other players have played with both Glavine and Moyer.

Mets long man Aaron Sele and Phillies third baseman Wes Helms are the most recent additions to the list. Each became linked last week. The first players to play with Glavine and Moyer were Kevin Blankenship and Jody Davis, who were involved in the same trade Sept. 29, 1988. Blankenship played most of the season with Glavine and the Braves. After the trade to the Cubs, he had one at-bat (Oct. 1). But Davis' first at-bat with the Braves came the previous day.

Links II: Neither Glavine nor Moyer has been accused of being a hard thrower. In that regard, each is linked to Eddie Lopat, the left-handed pitcher who made his mark, softly, with the White Sox and Yankees in the '40s and '50s. He was known as "The Junkman."

The shortest link between Lopat and Glavine includes two other players. One of them, not surprisingly, is Phil Niekro, Glavine's Braves teammate in 1987. Niekro had played with Johnny Blanchard, the old Yankees catcher, in 1965 with the Milwaukee Braves. And Blanchard had played with Lopat in 1955 with the Yankees.

The shortest link connecting Lopat and Moyer also involves a Hall of Famer: Brooks Robinson. Lopat and Robinson played with the Orioles in 1955, Lopat's final season. The link wasn't made for 42 years. But in 1997, Dennis Martinez pitched for the Mariners and with Moyer. Martinez's rookie season, with the Orioles, was 1976. Robinson was in the 22nd year of his 23-year career in '76.

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