After much debate, I finally broke down and subscribed to The Athletic last month. I probably would not have, if not for a discount offered when Jayson Stark announced he was joining the staff.
Stark wasn’t the reason I signed up, but his addition to the staff at The Atlantic added to an already great team, making my decision that much easier. I have enjoyed Jayson’s columns in Baseball America and on ESPN’s website over the years and am glad to, once again, be able to read The Useless Info Department- even if there’s no such thing as ‘useless information’ when it comes to the sport.
The player featured on today’s card might have been the subject of one of Stark’s “strange but true” nuggets- I just don’t recall ever reading about his “feats” until I begun to research Skip Jutze.
Jutze was a member of the original Mariners team and appeared in only 42 games that maiden season, his last in the majors. Forty-two games and 118 plate appearances don’t make for much of an opportunity to accumulate any kind of team records or hard to accomplish feats, but that didn’t stop Jutze.
In only the sixteenth game in team history, Skip found himself on the back end of a rare 6-4-3-2 triple play, as his counterpart on the Royals, catcher Darryl Porter, grounded to Mariners shortstop Craig Reynolds, whose toss to second baseman Jose Baez forced Amos Otis out at second; Baez then threw Porter out at first before first baseman Dan Meyer went home with a throw to get John Mayberry out at the plate.
Exactly one month later, in a game against the Oakland A’s, the Mariners back-up catcher was thrown out at home on the front end of a double steal, TWICE! (Dan Meyer was also thrown out at home in an attempted steal during that game). Jutze’s first failed attempt came in the top of the fourth; the second, coming in the top of the sixth. Both failed attempts ended an inning. Despite this poor base running, the team still won the game, 6-2.
The back of this Topps card noted that Skip hit the first Grand Slam in Mariners history, clubbing one just five days before he was caught stealing home twice against the A’s.
Useless Info when it comes to baseball?
Not when you can use it as fodder for a baseball card blog.