Big Lead Sports Bar


RSM: "The Cobra Strikes"

Time for another piece from "Reader Submission Monday" (or RSM, as we will come to know it):
The Cobra Strikes
by Patty B

My frustration with the current crop of financially flexible Buccos has forced me to rent the 1979 World Series on DVD to get a nostalgic dose of Pirates' magic. I know the outcome of the series but I can't turn away from the screen as Stargell, Madlock, Garner, and Parker rise to the top of the baseball world while wearing the most hideous uniforms in the history of Major League Baseball.

How long until the next Pirate World Series DVD?

This magical trip down memory lane to the "City of Champions" has caused me to reach at least one conclusion: Dave Parker was one of the most talented players to ever put on a uniform. I'm not just talking about in Pittsburgh. I'm talking about the entire major leagues.

The Cobra threw away a Hall of Fame career by ingesting large amounts of cocaine and getting fat. Parker had one of the best outfield throwing arms. He could hit for average and power. His instincts were scary. His attitude went to hell during the cocaine years, and Bucco fans responded by tossing 9 volt batteries at his head while he patrolled the majestic astroturf of rightfield at Three Rivers.
A must-have accessory for the 1980s Pirate fan

I'd hate to see what the Cobra would have accomplished if he used steroids instead of cocaine. Parker would have posted numbers similar to another loveable Pirate, Barry Bonds. It's unfortunate that Parker has been largely forgotten by fans and the media. His talent was immense, but his decision to use a recreational instead of a performance enhancing drug took years off his career. Bucco fans have a right to be upset with Parker for cheating the franchise out of solid production while he was blowing through a "snow" storm, but they should also be thankful for his efforts in 1979. Without Parker it is doubtful the Pirates would have won the World Series.

Parker was one scary hitter

At one point Parker was the highest paid player in the major leagues. That shows you just how much the economics of the sport have changed, but it also shows you that Pirate ownership once felt obligated to give the city of Pittsburgh a winning team.
In the early 1980's irate Bucco fans tossed small batteries at the Cobra, because he took the money and ran. It's 25-years later and the McNutting clown troop is guilty of even greater injustices, and Buccos fans don't seem very angry about the situation. I doubt that the current denizens of PNC Park are making a quick stop at Giant Eagle to buy batteries before the game. They only get upset when Skyblast turns into a disaster.

McClatchy addresses fans at PirateFest


Anonymous said...

How is it possible to be a coke addict and get fat?

Vee said...

I remember reading once that a morbidly obese fan once asked Dave for an autograph, to which he replied something-to-the-effect of "only if you can beat me in a 50-yard dash".

Cocaine's a helluva drug.

Anonymous said...

I was once privy to a bus discussion (a loud one) between Parker and Rich Hebner over who was faster. Parker wanted to race Hebner over 100 yards. Hebner wouldn't bite. Parker offered to give Hebner a 20-yard head start. Hebner said, "I'd need it to get there ahead of your lips." I saw grown men in tears from laughing during this.

Steeltown Mike said...

"McClatchy" is holding a folder whose title is: "The St. John's Jolly Disciples of Joy".

I don't know why, but I find that almost as funny as the clown photo in the middle of a "how the mighty Dave Parker fell" article.

Steeltown Mike said...

With most of Mondesi's pics, you can right click and select "view image". It'll open the image at full size. After that, it was just kinda playing "magic eye" for a while. :)