Say Happy Birthday To Dave Parker With The Crazy Relic Video

Dave Parker turned 66 today, which is a good enough reason to share this glorious video.

It’s Nolan Ryan facing the first two batters (Davey Lopes and Dave Parker) in the 1979 All-Star Game. It’s a pretty short video, so enjoy it in its entirety.

There’s so much fun stuff to unpack here. For one, this is Nolan Ryan at peak Nolan, and by that we mean the good and the bad of Nolan Ryan. He was in the middle of leading the majors in strikeouts for the seventh time in eight years. He also was 16-14, 3.60 because he walked 4.8 batters per nine innings that year.

But here, we get what made Ryan awesome. He had one of the best fastballs the game has ever seen. This first pitch to Lopes has incredible riding life. It also has Lopes bailing out with his front foot as if he wanted to walk back to the dugout right then and there.

Three pitches in, Lopes gets to actually go sit down. And home plate umpire George Maloney’s punchout is one for the ages. The only problem is Lopes is heading to the opposite dugout after the strikeout.

So that brings up Parker. The Cobra was at this point at his peak as well. The right fielder had a cannon of an arm (as he showed later in this all-star game). He had not yet lost his speed and athleticism and he had plus power.

Oh and he swung a tree trunk for a bat. As Joe Garagiola notes here, Parker is swinging a 37-ounce bat. He’s also setting up with a closed stance you will never see nowadays.

Parker struck out as well. But before he did, the video allows us to watch one other relic of the late 1970s. Check out the “dugout” at the Kingdome, which is just a large box with no railing or other protection in front of it. Heads-up everyone.

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