Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wes Parker drops in.

Between the recent passing of Florence Henderson  and this article from Hardball Times about the 1970 appearance of Dodger first baseman Wes Parker on the Brady Bunch,I started thinking about how in the 60's and some in the 70's,these "everyday" families seemed to know some awfully famous people that just came randomly in and out of their lives.

Now,in the case of the Brady Bunch,I get that because they lived in Southern California,their chances were far higher than me sitting in the Twin Cities in Western Maryland,but still?

Wes Parker happens to dating your math teacher?
Don Drysdale happens to be a client of your dad?
Was Mike Brady the only architect in California?
Joe Namath happens to read your fan mail?
Within the same week,his team is town?

I suppose it is part of the era that saw television be more fantasy created than reality based.
I enjoyed both styles,but even as a kid,some of these holes in logic were big enough even for a Browns running back to drive through.
It's been a television tradition of sorts for these types of episodes even today,but they seemed so much more of a stretch in those days.

As for Wes Parker,Parker moved forward after the Brady Bunch with the best season of his career as he finished fifth in the MVP voting with 111 RBI in 1970.
Parker won six golden gloves in the final six years of his big league career (67-72) and walked away from the game at 32,although he would play one year in Japan after taking 1973 off.
Never a power hitter (13 homers was a career high),Parker's comparisons matched best with a player with a great glove (as noted above),slightly above average in batting average and slightly below average power,especially for a first baseman.
In other words,had he played for any team other than the Dodgers (I guess, maybe the Angels too,but I doubt it) Wes Parker would have been nowhere near a guest appearance on a television show.

I know most people hold their childhood shows in high regard and there still is some quality stuff being made in recent years ( I love the Office,Parks and Recreation and the Goldbergs),but even on those shows occasionally someone drops in,but not like in the Silver Age of television.
Willie Mays happens to be an old friend of Donna Reed?
Really....



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