The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 28, 1982, Image 17

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Battalion Sports
October 28, 1982 Page 17
eet Mr. Modesty
Metzger still cherishes dream fulfilled during major-league career
If ficials close to thcim
said Wayt’s twocoi
r female Kenyan
the companions i
iX held lor question
U.S. Embassy spdi
a f ull and compkiti
:>n by the Kemat
it has been detnanof
he State Depaitmc
t was in Kenya
t*r a contract with
er, Public Admits
ices of McLean, V
organized the Depa
iXt'icultural Econoi
mess at Haile Seta
ity in Ethopia in III
I'd as its head
lived in Kenya several
oorstep so as to at]
X alcohol to undi
hough the wnt
■0 |)er 3.1-quart
•rviceisnot strictlvh
customers. Unigatil
serve all classes o(|j
t her it’s the RoyalM
one on the dole,"HI
ut we haven't yet hi
.largaret leaveanoij
lo/en eggs and ah
" he said,
e one drawbackBtU
he wine comes ini
I carton, ratherthan|
.• shaped bottle,
daresay that’s nfl
omantic," Bell sail
Former Astro shortstop Roger Metzger, who retired
from major league baseball in 1980, enjoyed several
successful seasons in Houston. Now living in Bren-
ham, Metzger no longer has any connection with pro
baseball, but says he misses playing the sport. The
former Astro and San Francisco Giant player, who
won a Gold Glove in 1973, is a restaurant owner.
by John P. Lopez
Battalion Staff
BRENH AM — At first glance,
the Roger Metzger household is
just like countless other homes.
There are pictures of two chil
dren on the mantel, there’s a
dog roaming the back yard and
there are two cars in the garage.
There isn’t a room full of
awards and game balls, although
Metzger received more than his
share of both during his 12 year
major-league baseball career.
Metzger is a modest man. Just
ask his wife, Tammy.
“He doesn't know why (jour
nalists) always want to interview
him,” she said Wednesday.
“He’s really amazed when peo
ple always want to know more
about him.”
The only semblance of Metz
ger’s accomplishments is in a
small corner of the living room,
where a few of his awards are on
a shelf and there is a straw basket
full of autographed baseballs.
One ball bears the inscription,
“Roger Metzger — First major-
league home run off Bob Gib
son." Metzger modestly adds:
“After I hit that, Gibson decided
to retire. I guess he thought that
if I could hit one off him, it was
time for him to quit.”
Another ball says, “Roger
Metzger — First major-league
single. Hit off Don Sutton.”
Metzger’s wife Tammy answers:
“Roger never got another hit off
Sutton after that.”
The only scrapbook Metzger
has was given to him by a friend.
On the inside flap of the book is
a short note to Metzger that
states: “Dear Roger, You have
provided me and your many ...
f riends with a whole lot of plea
sure during your nine years with
the Astros ... 1 hope you enjoy
(the scrapbook) as much as I
have putting it together.”
The only conspicuous award
in the Metzger’s living room is
the Gold Glove trophy awarded
to him after the 1973 season.
Metzger doesn’t like to be in the
limelight and he never has. He
even to have played in the big
“One of the biggest thrills I
had while I was in the majors was
playing in the same game with
people that were super heroes to
me — people like (Willie) Mays,
(Hank) Aaron, Pete Rose and
Steve Garlton,” Metzger said.
“Looking back, it’s something
that I’ll always cherish. I was one
of 600,000 players who wanted
to play in the big leagues. And I
was able to fulfill a dream. A lot
of players in all sports are kept
away from the pros because of
just one break. I consider myself
very fortunate.”
Fortunate or not, Metzger ex
celled as a shortstop with the
Houston Astros and San Fran
cisco Giants. He was considered
by coaches and players to be one
of the most sure-handed fielders
in the league and still holds the
record for most triples in a sea
son with the 14 he hit for the
Astros in 1973.
Metzger played college ball at
St. Edward’s University in Au
stin, but he didn’t think about
making a career out of baseball
until his second year at the
“In my sophomore year in
college, I got interested in base
ball a little more and I started
thinking that maybe I had a
chance,” Metzger said. “In that
summer I was asked to go play in
a summer league in Liberal,
Kansas, but only as a reserve
player. Fortunately, when I got
there, there were quite a few
other players involved in post
season games, so I got to play
quite a bit. And luckily, about
eight games into the season I
started playing shortstop regu
Metzger was drafted by the
Ghicago Gubs in 1969 and went
through their farm system be
fore moving up to play in three'
games with the parent club in
1970. The following year he was
traded to the Astros, where he
held down the starting shortstop
position for eight years. In 1973,
Metzger was named the Astros’
Most Valuable Player and in
1974 he was voted the team’s
most popular player.
Metzger said that although
Houston was never in a pennant
race while he was playing, the
Astros had a much better team
than people gave them credit
“Right after we made the
(Joe) Morgan for Lee May and
Tommy Helms trade (in 1972) I
felt like we had the type of team
that could be a contender lor the
pennant,” he said. "To me, the
trade didn’t hurt as much as
people said it did, because Mor
gan was unhappy with the Hous
ton situation and he never dis
played any power like he did in
Cincinnati. And at the time, I
felt like Helms was just as good a
second baseman as Morgan.
“I thought we had good pitch
ing and strong hitting, but we
didn’t have anybody in the bull
pen like a (Bruce) Sutter or
(Kent) Tekulve that could win it
in the eighth or ninth inning.
We just never jelled as a (earn.
The hitting and pitching was
either good or bad. But we were
never consistent for any length
of time.
“I think the team was based
on power,” Metzger said. “The
only base-stealing threat we had
was (centerfielder) Gesar Cede-
no. And I thought I could run
pretty well, but I’m not excep
tionally fast. So it was based on
power, which is foolish in the
Astrodome. The only* way it’s
ever going to be a home run hit
ter’s park is if they move the
fence in about 30 feet down the
line and another 20 feet in the
“Even then it won’t be an
advantage because the other
staff photo by John P. Lopez
Although Roger Metzger has retired from professional
baseball, he’s still as ambitious as ever. Here, Metzger
stands in the storeroom of his Brenham restaurant,
of which he is owner and proprietor.
teams would be able to knock it
out just as easily.”
In 1979, after Metzger was
already playing for the Giants,
Metzger nearly lost what short
stops live and die by — the ability
to make a good throw to first
“I was here at home building a
playhouse for my two boys,” he
said, “and 1 was cutting a piece
of wood with a saw and I just got
into a bind. The saw grabbed the
piece of wood and pulled my
hand through with it.”
The accident left Metzger
with his first three fingers cut off
at the second knuckle, which
would have ended the career of
most ballplayers. But Metzger
said he wanted to try to continue
“After the accident, I figured
that if there was any feasible way
to play, I wanted to do it,” he"
said. “Once I got my hand back
in shape, I went out and tried tq
do some hitting and throwing to
See METZGER page 19
National Democratic Policy Committee
forum on:
High Technology Agricultural
And Industrial Development
For Economic Recovery.
Topics include:
• Research and development of advanced tech
• Utilization of advanced technology through capi
tal-intensive investment
• Low interest rates and easy money policy f° r
above categories of investments
• Agro-industrial development centered around nu
clear energy installations.
Oct. 28
Open to the Public
7 p.m. Rudder 404
No Admission
BEST SFIOT—SEND $3.00 (includes postage and handling) TO SPAR, INC.
College of Agriculture
(For more information call Brian Wilson 696-3095)