Sunday, April 3, 2016

One Flap Down

In honor of Opening Day, let us not forget HacMan, the player who created One Flap Down, Jeffrey Leonard, who was in the majors from 1977 through 1990 but who first rose to national notice during the 1987 National League Championship Series in which Leonard's San Francisco Giants lost to the St Louis Cardinals in seven games.  Though playing on the losing side, Leonard hit .417 with four home runs and was elected Most Valuable Player for the series.  It was also when many fans saw his One Flap Down home run trot for the first time.

The Cardinals did not appreciate his stylings and on his next plate appearance after the home run shown in the clip below, Cards pitcher Bob Forsch plunked him with a "message pitch" right in the ribs.

Leonard got the nickname HacMan early in his career because of his habit of swinging at first pitches.  He never did like taking a walk, drawing only 342 in 5,476 plate appearances.  In 1987 he walked only 21 times in 503 plate appearances.   And somehow it does not come as a surprise to learn from Baseball-Reference that he was a lousy left fielder.

While never considered a star, HacMan hit 144 home runs during his career and appeared in the 1987 and 1989 All-Star games.

Several years ago, Leonard and his wife started the One Flap Down Foundation to help single parents going through cancer treatment.

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