Monday, February 6, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #93 - Tom Poquette

  • Tom Poquette was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1970 at the age of 18. He played in the minors from 1970-1973. Tom got a September call-up in 1973 and batted .214 in 28 at bats.
  • Poquette played for AAA Omaha in 1974 and batted .305 in 63 games.
  • After the 1974 season Tom had two knee operations (one in late 1974 and another during spring training in 1975), which delayed his ascent to the major leagues. Poquette played for AA Jacksonville in 1975 and batted .256 in 105 games.
  • Poquette made the Kansas City ballclub in 1976. He  batted .302 in 104 games. He was batting .347 at the time of his injury (next bullet) on June 22. The injury didn't seem to slow him down as much as the grind of a long season did. Tom didn't drop below .330 until a month after he returned from the disabled list.
  • On June 22, 1976 Poquette was knocked unconscious after he crashed into the wall while trying to catch a fly ball. Tom had to be carried off of the field and he suffered a fractured left cheekbone. He missed three weeks.
  • In the 1976 ALCS Poquette batted .188 (3 for 16) in five games.
  • The 1977 season was the last one in which Tom would play close to a full season.
  • During spring training in 1978 Poquette had a push from young Willie Wilson. Wilson beat him out for the starting left field position (although he didn't hit much) and Tom became a bench player. Poquette batted .216 in 80 games during the regular season and was 0 for 1 in the 1978 ALCS.
  • Tom didn't figure in the Royals' plans in 1979. He was batting .192 in 26 at bats when, on June 13, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for discontented first baseman George Scott. Poquette did a lot better in Boston -- he batted .331 in 154 at bats as a pinch hitter and occasional outfielder.
  • Poquette sat out the entire 1980 season after having shoulder surgery. During spring training a tear in his rotator cuff was discovered.
  • Poquette didn't play much in 1981. He went hitless in two at bats for the Red Sox. Before the strike Tom asked to be traded. On August 12 (right after the strike) Tom was waived by the Red Sox and picked up by the Texas Rangers. Tom played in 30 games for the Rangers in 1981 and batted .156 in 64 at bats.
  • Tom became a free agent after the 1981 season and signed with the Royals in January 1982. Poquette played in 24 games and was released on July 21 after batting .145 in 62 at bats.
  • After his playing career Tom went into coaching.
    • Coached with AAA Omaha from 1988-1990.
    • In 1991 Poquette became manager of the Eugene Emeralds (rookie league). He then managed in single-A in 1992 and in AA in 1993. 
    •  He was the hitting coach of the AAA Omaha Royals  in 1995. Tom was the roving hitting instructor for the Royals organization in 1996.
    • Was the hitting coach of the Kansas City Royals in 1997 after Tony Muser took over the club from the fired Bob Boone. He continued in that capacity through the 1998 season.
    • Tom returned to managing in 1999 and managed at single-A and rookie league level clubs from 1999-2002.
  • 1977 Stats
    • Regular Season: .292, 2 HR, 33 RBI in 106 games
    • League Championship Series: .167 (1 for 6) in 2 games
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • April 4 - Placed on the disabled list because of a chest virus. His first game in 1977 would be on April 19.
    • May 14 - Made a shoestring catch of a sinking line drive by Willie Horton to preserve Jim Colburn's no-hitter. The Royals beat the Texas Rangers 6-0 and Poquette also went 2 for 4 in the game.
    • June 21 - Had 3 hits and scored three runs as the Royals hammered the Seattle Mariners 13-3.
    • Aug 21 - Knocked in two runs with an infield single in the 8th inning to break a 4-4 tie and put the Royals ahead of the Boston Red Sox 6-4. Tom also doubled twice in the game, which Kansas City won 6-4. The victory gave the Royals (first place in the AL West) a sweep of the Red Sox (first place in the AL East) in an important 3-game series.
  • Other card blogs: 1975

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