Sunday, May 30, 2010

Retro Mariner Sunday 5/30/10

Time to look back in the Mariners past again. Today's name should be one that is fairly familiar to most people. Maybe not, but if you watched the playoffs the last few years, or had the SuperStation in the 90's on your TV you know him. Before his ties to the biggest television broadcast of baseball, he was a player for the Mariners.

After graduating from Norman High School in Oklahoma, Joe Simpson was drafted in the 14th round by the Washington Senators in the 1970 draft. He did not sign with the Senators, opting to attend the University of Oklahoma instead. While with the Sooners, Joe made it tot the College World Series in 1972 and 1973. He was also named as a third team All-American in 1973. In June of 1973, Joe was drafted in the 3rd round of the amateur draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. After spending 1973 with the  class A Bakersfield Dodgers and AAA Albuquerque Dukes in the minors, Joe moved up to the AA Waterbury Dodgers and again with the Dukes in 1974. After spending most of 1975 in AAA with the Dukes, Joe was a September call up to the Dodgers. He made his major league debut as a pinch hitter for Don Sutton on September 2, 1975 in Candlestick Park against the Giants.

For the 1976 season, he would spend some time with the Dodgers in May and June, but played most of the season in Albuquerque. The end of the season would see him back with the big club. The story was the same for the 1977 season, seeing time in July and August and sticking around again in September. Joe would spend the entire 1978 season in Albuquerque until being a September call up again. In 1979, Joe would spend spring training with the Dodgers in Vero Beach, Florida. Before the season started, his contract was purchased by the Mariners. He was immediately put to work in the outfield for the Mariners. While spending some time in left field, Joe was made into the everyday right fielder.

Joe would become a stable figure in the outfield for the Mariners for the next few years. In all, he would spend four years patrolling the Kingdome outfield for the Mariners. 1980 would be his most productive season with the bat, batting behind Julio Cruz. After the 1982 season, Joe was selected by the Kansas City Royals in major league portion of the rule 5 draft. The Royals decided to try Joe at first base instead due to the wear and tear of the Kingdome carpet on the knees. He also saw some time in the outfield for the Royals. On September 1st of 1983 the Royals were getting blown out 11-0 by the White Sox. Joe pitched the bottom of the eighth inning giving up two walks and a double to Jerry Hairston.  Four days at home against the Mariners, the Royals were again getting blown out 13-3. Joe pitched the last two innings against the Mariners giving up no hits and striking out 1 batter. Joe would spend 1984 in the California Angels organization, playing with the AAA Edmonton Trappers. He would retire after the 1984 season.

In 1985, Joe went into the field of broadcasting baseball. He would spend 1985 and 1986 with the Oklahoma City 89er's as a color analyst. During 1986, he also did NCAA regional games in Stillwater, Oklahoma for college baseball. In 1987, he was named to be a color analyst with the Mariners. He worked for the Mariners from 1987-1991. He was partnered with hall of famer Dave Niehaus, and Rick Rizzs on radio and television. For 1992, Joe moved on to work for WTBS television and radio for the Atlanta Braves.  During his time with TBS and TurnerSports, Joe worked with some of the great voices of baseball. He has spent time with Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, and the man that he made his MLB debut for, Don Sutton. Joe now does games on FSN South and Sport South with Chip Caray. Starting in 2007, Joe also does playoff baseball on TBS, covering National League playoff games.

1 comment:

  1. That's a cool writeup about Joe Simpson. I'm glad to see that you have the blog going!