Having Fun with Pete LaCock

pete lacock.jpgA few days ago I was at a Christmas party thrown by a client of my employer, and just like at any other social event, I tried to curb my baseball talk as much as I could because, well, not everyone is as enthusiastic about baseball as I.  Some people even think I’m a weirdo.


But then I got to talking to a high school kid — a kid who has drawn attention in the Chicago area for perhaps having what it takes to someday get to the big leagues — and before long we were discussing the finer points of pitching.  Like the Cardinalphile that I am, I had no choice but to reference the gutsiness of one Bob Gibson.

“Who?” the kid asked.

It took a lot out of me to not deck this kid in the face for not knowing who Bob Gibson was, but I took a deep breath and decided to educate him on the Hall of Famer the best I could: by telling a story.

“By 1975, Gibson had already lost much of what made him the baddest, scariest, most dominating pitcher in the National League, but he still had guts.  Still had pride. 

“The last batter he ever faced in the big leagues was a pinch hitter by the name of Pete LaCock.  The Cardinals were playing the Cubs and LaCock came in with the bases loaded.

“LaCock hit a grand slam.

“Years later, in an old timer game, Gibson is on the mound and guess who comes to the plate to face him.  Yep.  Good ‘ol Pete LaCock.

“Gibson drilled him in the back.”

I finished my story and looked at the kid, waiting to see what kind of reaction I’d get, knowing that I had just hit a homerun in conveying what kind of bad^ss Gibson really was.

But the kid was laughing — a snicker at first, then a chuckle, then an all out cackle.

“What?” I asked.  “What’s so funny?”

“Dude,” said the kid, “That guy’s name was LaCock?!  LaCock!  Hahaha!  LaCOCK!”

Gotta admit: I snorted a little when I joined in the laughter. 

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.




The expression on his face makes him kinda look like that guy on a yacht with 4 girls in white bikinis around him in that kinda stoned, really sleazy way. Is his name just a coincidence?

I do hope that guy does not have to ask “Who is Bob Gibson?” ever again!

I love that story about Gibson. Sorry the kid was too focused on the player’s name to understand he was learning about baseball greatness!


What was the kid’s name, Beavis or Butthead? I was only 3 for most of ’75 so I don’t remember Gibson playing but I have read the stories and he is bad to the bone. That is hilarious…plunking a guy in some old timer game because of a homer earlier in their careers.

Cici — Actually, I heard he changed his name from something else to “LaCock”. Don’t know where I heard that but I did somewhere.
Greg — He won’t. I made sure of it.
Jane — It was funny in the end. He learned something and I got a laugh out of it. Ha!
Ez_Mac — I wasn’t even alive in 1975, but I grew up around the Gibson lore of my forefathers. I love that story. One of my favorite baseball legends (that is also true) ever.

I so wonder what the schools are teaching kids these days. I ‘home school’ my kids on baseball history, so they’ll be ahead of there classmates. It makes me want to become a teacher.
“OK, class. Today we start learning about the ‘Dead Ball Era’. Turn to page 94.”

Mike — I think that’s a great idea. If I ever have kids, I will definitely consider that course.
Prince — Hard not to laugh. I know it😉

Way to enlighten the kid, Jeff. I never knew this story about Gibson, but I’ll be sure to remember it next time I’m faced with listing the most bada– major league pitchers. You better believe Gibson will be on there.
Nice blogging!


It is a little sad that the kid had to tell you what was funny.😉

“Hate me because I’m right”


AL — Gibby is a paragon of guts. He’d knock ya down still today if you crowd the plate!
Austin — I guess I found it funny at one time, but I’ve been hearing that story for 25 years now, so it has sorta worn off, y’know? But you are right. As am I. Great feelin’, eh?

Bob Gibson was a badass down here in St. Petersburg when the Cardinals used the city as their Spring Training home.
At that point in our countries history, this town was a little backwards still in the equality issues and most hotels only catered to certain types of people. Well, Gibson fought with hotel owners and restaurant staffs wanting to stay or eat with his teammates.
I admire the man that Gibson was not only as an athlete, but as a guy who tried to change the perception of nearsighted people in an everchanging world.
BTW, we had a guy named Faison Butz that lived in our town….You can say he was the butt of a few jokes in my youth.

Rays Renegade


RR — You’re right about Gibby as a fighter for equal rights. Good call. As for Faison Butz… I’d rather be named LaCock than Butz.


His dad (Pete’s, that is) was Peter Marshall, he of the Hollywood Squares. And “Marshall” was a stage name…his real last name was LaCock. So Pete should really be Peter LaCock, Jr.

Junior…Senior…ugh, that’s not a nice mental picture…

Loneranger — True story. I thought he’d changed it from something else to LaCock though, that Peter Marshall was a stagename for something else, but I have no clue. Our interns are off gallivanting the holiday so I can’t get them on the research. Oh well. LaCock will have to do for now, for all of us. ‘Tis the season.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 66 other followers

%d bloggers like this: