A TRIBUTE TO THE “BIG O” OSCAR GAMBLE

Oscar Gamble

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Image result for oscar gamble

Image result for oscar gamble

Image result for oscar gamble

Image result for oscar gamble GIFS

Image result for oscar gamble GIFS
Oscar Gamble
Oscar Gamble 1977.jpeg
Outfielder / Designated hitter
Born: (1949-12-20)December 20, 1949
Ramer, Alabama
Died: January 31, 2018 (aged 68)
Birmingham, Alabama
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 27, 1969, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
August 8, 1985, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average .265
Home runs 200
Runs batted in 666
Teams

Oscar Charles Gamble (December 20, 1949 – January 31, 2018) was an American professional baseball player. He played as an outfielder and designated hitter in Major League Baseball for 17 seasons, from 1969 to 1985. He played for seven different teams: the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees on two separate occasions, as well as the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers.

His quote about the Yankees’ disorganization and circus-like atmosphere, “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do”, has also been called one of baseball’s “immortal lines” by sportswriter Dan Epstein.[1]

Biography[edit]

Born in Ramer, Alabama, Gamble was discovered playing baseball in a semi-professional league by legendary Negro League baseball player Buck O’Neil, who was working as a scout for the Chicago Cubs at the time. O’Neil convinced the Cubs to draft Gamble, which they did in the sixteenth round.[2] Gamble played with the Caldwell Cubs of the Pioneer League in 1968 and the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League in 1969, from where he received his call-up to the Chicago Cubs late in the 1969 season.[3]

Nicknamed the Big O by Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto, Gamble was a great baseball player given the amount of time he was allowed to play in the game. Despite the limited playing time, he still hit 200 career home runs in just over 4,500 major league at bats. Oscar’s career peaked in 1977 with the White Sox, when he hit 31 home runs and tallied 83 RBI. After an ill-fated, injury-plagued year in San Diego, he returned to the American League in 1979 to hit a career-best .358 batting average, slamming 19 home runs with the Yankees and Rangers. (He did not have enough plate appearances to qualify for the American League batting title.)[3]

Unlike some players who failed to cope with the New York media, Oscar thrived on it, and was always a favorite with sportswriters.[4] Gamble, whose hitting prowess was overshadowed by his famously large Afro hairdo, has the distinction of logging the last hit and RBI at Philadelphia’s Connie Mack Stadium on October 1, 1970. His 10th-inning single scored Tim McCarver with the run that gave the Phillies the 2–1 win in the stadium’s final game.[3] The game was also overshadowed as unruly fans stormed the field during and after the game to claim bases, infield dirt, seats, and other various stadium items.

In 1976, Gamble helped the Yankees return to prominence as the “Bronx Bombers” won their first American League pennant in 12 seasons, hitting 17 home runs and 57 RBI.[3] His left-handed power stroke was ideal for the renowned short right field fence at Yankee Stadium. Returning to the Yankees in 1979, he would settle into a limited role with the team, aiding the Yankees once again to an AL East division title in 1980 and a World Series appearance in 1981.

Gamble had one of the more unusual batting stances in the major leagues. He stood at the plate in a deep crouch with his back almost parallel to the ground. Gamble claimed this stance helped him see the ball better as his eyes were right above the plate and close to where the ball was pitched.[3]

Notably, Gamble also finished with more career walks (610) than strikeouts (546). He was considered a below-average fielder, and consequently played over a third of his games as a designated hitter, but he had a good arm. He played in the 2007 Yankee Old Timers Game with many Yankee players that were honored from the 1977 championship team.

Gamble lived in Little Ferry, New Jersey, while playing with the Yankees.[5]

Personal life[edit]

After retirement from baseball, Gamble returned to Alabama and lived in Montgomery where he was a player agent for several years. He was involved in youth baseball. One son, Sean, was a player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization,[6] and another son played in junior college.[7]

He opened up a discotheque known as ‘Oscar Gamble’s Players Club’ in Montgomery; baseball writer Dan Epstein called it a “hip” place.[1]

Gamble died of ameloblastic carcinoma[8] on January 31, 2018, at the age of 68.[9][10]

Standard Batting

Standard Batting
Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
1969 19 CHC NL 24 81 71 6 16 1 1 1 5 0 2 10 12 .225 .321 .310 .631 69 22 1 0 0 0 1 8/7
1970 20 PHI NL 88 305 275 31 72 12 4 1 19 5 4 27 37 .262 .330 .345 .675 84 95 8 1 2 0 3 89
1971 21 PHI NL 92 309 280 24 62 11 1 6 23 5 2 21 35 .221 .275 .332 .607 72 93 1 1 3 4 2 79/8
1972 22 PHI NL 74 157 135 17 32 5 2 1 13 0 1 19 16 .237 .331 .326 .657 86 44 4 1 0 2 0 9/3
1973 23 CLE AL 113 432 390 56 104 11 3 20 44 3 4 34 37 .267 .329 .464 .793 120 181 4 3 3 2 1 D9/78
1974 24 CLE AL 135 509 454 74 132 16 4 19 59 5 6 48 51 .291 .363 .469 .833 140 213 7 5 0 2 10 *D7/9
1975 25 CLE AL 121 405 348 60 91 16 3 15 45 11 5 53 39 .261 .361 .454 .815 131 158 8 2 1 1 4 7D/9
1976 26 NYY AL 110 384 340 43 79 13 1 17 57 5 3 38 38 .232 .317 .426 .743 118 145 4 4 2 0 4 9/D
1977 27 CHW AL 137 470 408 75 121 22 2 31 83 1 2 54 54 .297 .386 .588 .974 162 240 3 6 1 1 2 D9/87 MVP-29
1978 28 SDP NL 126 437 375 46 103 15 3 7 47 1 2 51 45 .275 .366 .387 .753 120 145 2 6 0 5 11 97
1979 29 TOT AL 100 327 274 48 98 10 1 19 64 2 1 50 28 .358 .456 .609 1.065 188 167 7 1 0 2 12 D79
1979 29 TEX AL 64 201 161 27 54 6 0 8 32 2 1 37 15 .335 .458 .522 .979 167 84 6 1 0 2 11 D9
1979 29 NYY AL 36 126 113 21 44 4 1 11 32 0 0 13 13 .389 .452 .735 1.187 218 83 1 0 0 0 1 7/D
1980 30 NYY AL 78 229 194 40 54 10 2 14 50 2 0 28 21 .278 .376 .567 .943 158 110 2 4 0 3 4 7D9
1981 31 NYY AL 80 227 189 24 45 8 0 10 27 0 2 35 23 .238 .357 .439 .796 131 83 4 1 0 2 2 D97
1982 32 NYY AL 108 382 316 49 86 21 2 18 57 6 3 58 47 .272 .387 .522 .910 150 165 4 4 0 4 2 D9/7
1983 33 NYY AL 74 208 180 26 47 10 2 7 26 0 0 25 23 .261 .361 .456 .816 128 82 3 3 0 0 1 9D/7
1984 34 NYY AL 54 151 125 17 23 2 0 10 27 1 0 25 18 .184 .318 .440 .758 112 55 1 0 0 1 0 D9
1985 35 CHW AL 70 184 148 20 30 5 0 4 20 0 0 34 22 .203 .353 .318 .671 83 47 1 1 0 1 3 D
17 Yrs 1584 5197 4502 656 1195 188 31 200 666 47 37 610 546 .265 .356 .454 .811 127 2045 64 43 12 30 62
162 Game Avg. 162 532 460 67 122 19 3 20 68 5 4 62 56 .265 .356 .454 .811 127 209 7 4 1 3 6
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
NYY (7 yrs) 540 1707 1457 220 378 68 8 87 276 14 8 222 183 .259 .361 .496 .858 141 723 19 16 2 10 14
CLE (3 yrs) 369 1346 1192 190 327 43 10 54 148 19 15 135 127 .274 .352 .463 .815 131 552 19 10 4 5 15
PHI (3 yrs) 254 771 690 72 166 28 7 8 55 10 7 67 88 .241 .308 .336 .644 80 232 13 3 5 6 5
CHW (2 yrs) 207 654 556 95 151 27 2 35 103 1 2 88 76 .272 .377 .516 .893 141 287 4 7 1 2 5
TEX (1 yr) 64 201 161 27 54 6 0 8 32 2 1 37 15 .335 .458 .522 .979 167 84 6 1 0 2 11
SDP (1 yr) 126 437 375 46 103 15 3 7 47 1 2 51 45 .275 .366 .387 .753 120 145 2 6 0 5 11
CHC (1 yr) 24 81 71 6 16 1 1 1 5 0 2 10 12 .225 .321 .310 .631 69 22 1 0 0 0 1
AL (12 yrs) 1180 3908 3366 532 910 144 20 184 559 36 26 482 401 .270 .366 .489 .855 139 1646 48 34 7 19 45
NL (5 yrs) 404 1289 1136 124 285 44 11 16 107 11 11 128 145 .251 .329 .351 .680 92 399 16 9 5 11 17
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