Inspired by loyal reader Jim from Downingtown and in honor of the paperback availability date announcement from our friends at Big Hair and Plastic Grass, I decided to do some special "Big Hair" research and came up with what I consider to be the Biggest Hair'd Outfield to ever play on Plastic Grass.
This hairy dream team became possible following the 1977 season when the Phillies traded righthander Manny Seoane to the Cubs for Jose Cardenal. With Garry Maddox and Bake McBride already on the roster, this seemingly routine trade set the stage for the most funky outfield trio in baseball history.
Frankly, I was shocked when I discovered how long it took to happen. They were 155 games into the season before "The Three Afros" played in the same outfield at the same time.
On September 25th, 1978 the Phillies were in first place bearing down on their third straight NL East title. The Montreal Expos were in town. As typical, Garry Maddox started the game in center field and Jose Cardenal started for the 43rd time of the '78 season at first base. Buried the entire game by Expos started Dan Schatzeder, the Phillies scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth off Mike Garman to tie it up before Bake McBride got the call to pinch hit for pitcher Warren Brusstar. Unfortunately (or fortunately for this story) Bake got picked off of first and the home team did not score any more runs, sending the game into extra innings.
Bake McBride stayed in the game and went to right field in the 10th, but Jose Cardenal was still standing at first. In the bottom of the 11th innning, Phils Manager Danny Ozark sent Richie Hebner up to pinch hit for Lonnie Smith. Hebner fouled out to first and the Phils again failed to score, sending the game to the top of the 12th.
Faced with a defensive dilemma, Danny Ozark moved Cardenal from first to left field and inserted Hebner at first.
Pop the champagne! For the first time ever...three of the greatest afros in baseball history - Bake McBride (rf) and Garry Maddox (cf) and Jose Cardenal (lf) - were standing in the same outfield at the same time.