Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Virgil Trucks Giveaway: Who is "Fire" Trucks? Part 1

When hammering this out earlier, I realized one long post would be too long. We're going multi-parts.
One of the reasons I'm really looking forward to the book is that I'm a big fan of stories and people who can really tell them. If you check out this interview from Baseball Almanac, you'll see why I'm so stoked.

Among other things, Mr. Trucks says that, when he was with the Tigers during the 1945 World Series against the Cubs, he saw THE guy with THE goat at Wrigley field. Now, for several years I've been operating under the assumption that this was mostly an ESPN invention designed to bring drama back into baseball after the Red Sox "lifted the curse" that the media had invented for them. But NO, Mr. Trucks says he saw the guy with the goat at Wrigley field. Incredible.

In addition to the cards I sent him, I included a piece of paper with some questions, which Mr. Trucks answered in detail.
What's that in the middle there you ask? Well, it's this:
That's right, man has a stamp about what his best moment playing ball is. I guess he gets that a lot, but to someone who analyses books for a living the "no-hitters stamp" is awesome! Post-modern? Text in the age of mechanical reproduction? Awesome. I'll get into his stats tomorrow, but fact is between the minors and majors he threw 6 no-hitters, the ones listed above being in the majors and in the same season (a feat only accomplished only by Mr. Trucks, Johnny Vander Meer, Nolan Ryan, [edit] and Allie Reynolds).

Best hitter he ever faced? He wrote Ted Williams and Joe Dimaggio. Well, statistically speaking, he did pitch really carefully to Ted, holding him to a .250 BA but walking him 11 times in 39 total plate appearances. Ted also took Mr. Trucks deep three times. For some reason Dimaggio's stats don't have a "vs" category, so we can't compare him to Ted, but it'd be interesting to know.

Where'd he get the name "Fire" Trucks and why? A reporter, Jack House, from The Birmingham Alabama News gave it to him because...he could throw "over 100 mhp"!!! and "my last name, Trucks."

But let's be serious. It's a superb example of what a nickname should be. For example, if "Fire" Trucks is an OF, the name doesn't give us much of a mental picture, does it? But "Fire" Trucks as a pitcher? THAT guy throws 100mph heat. The name is perfect! It works on every level imaginable.

So, if you are interested in the giveaway, register on the previous post here. I forgot to add in that post that, once things are closed, I'll randomize the list 3x at, top x names get the goods. Simple enough. Scans below are of the "Fire" Trucks card Mr. Trucks sent, as well as the postcard for his book, which features BOTH awesome Trucks stamps. Have a good one!


  1. Very cool to add the questions. Nice job. Virgil seems like a nice fella (and obviously is). You can check out my similar posts here.

    Like I said in my last comment, I'm glad that you went for the book. I'm a big reader and have wanted the book, but money has been tight this year. So, I have stuck to the paperbacks.

  2. It should be noted that Allie Reynolds also threw two no-hitters in the same season.

    My favorite Virgil Trucks trivia: He is the uncle of Allman Brothers' Butch Trucks.

  3. D'oh. Missed Allie Reynolds, he's even mentioned on the back of Virgil's card! Nice catch, Michael.