Kurt Bevacqua

From BR Bullpen


Kurt Anthony Bevacqua
(Secret Weapon)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Kurt Bevacqua was a long time utility player and pinch hitter in the major leagues. He spent two separate stints with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Diego Padres. When he was drafted in 1967, he was drafted alongside 6 other players from his college team. Bevacqua was the only one to reach the major leagues.

His most frequent position was third base, but he was also used often at second base, first base and in the outfield, and at shortstop for a handful of games. He only played in over 100 games in a season twice in a 14-year career, with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1975 and with the Padres in 1979. That year, he set a personal high with 297 at-bats, the closest he would ever come to being a regular player.

He was the centerpiece of brawls, one with the Detroit Tigers in spring training of 1981, precipitated when Howard Bailey hit Bill Robinson in the face with a pitch. The giant brawl between the Padres and Atlanta Braves on August 12, 1984 was called the worst thing he'd ever witnessed in baseball by umpire John McSherry. Bevacqua went up in the stands after getting hit in the head with a full can of beer.

Bevacqua became an unlikely hitting leader for the Padres in the 1984 World Series. The designated hitter rule was in effect that year as San Diego faced the Tigers; manager Dick Williams used Bevacqua in the role, in spite of his hitting only .200 with 1 home run in 80 at-bats over the regular season, because he was the team's top pinch hitter. He responded by hitting .412 with 2 doubles and 2 homers, but the Padres were defeated in 5 games.

In 1975, while a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, he was the "Bazooka Bubble Gum Blowing Champion". A baseball card in the 1976 Topps set, which shows him blowing an outsize bubble, commemorates this exploit.

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