Jeffrey Leonard snatched the calendar off the bank of the visiting adviser at Busch Stadium.
It was anon afore Bold 1 of the 1987 Civic Alliance Championship Series, with Leonard’s San Francisco Giants due to face the St. Louis Cardinals. And Leonard, a adept afflicted in a 2-for-21 slump to abutting the approved season, wasn’t in the starting lineup, with a part-timer called Mike Aldrete in his place.
“Boy, you crazy,” Leonard said to no one in particular. Afresh he went in administrator Roger Craig’s appointment and bankrupt the door.
Seven years prior, while a affiliate of the Houston Astros, Leonard had absent best of the 1980 NLCS afterwards addition part-timer, Gary Woods, shined in a September call-up and took his spot. Leonard vowed if he got addition adventitious at the playoffs, he’d go off.
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Through an active career, through injuries and through an actualization in the Pittsburgh biologic trials of 1985 for cocaine use, Leonard assuredly begin himself on the border of the postseason already added — and not about to let the moment blooper by.
In Craig’s office, as Leonard afresh anecdotal to Sporting News, he fabricated his case.
“I aloof basically told him, I said, ‘You know, I accept to play. I don’t affliction about my slump. That’s approved season. This is a accomplished addition affair appropriate here,’” Leonard said.
Craig looked at Leonard and said what he had to say. Afresh he let Leonard go acquaint Aldrete he wouldn’t be in the starting lineup.
And so began one of the abundant accident efforts in MLB postseason history.
Leonard’s band on Baseball-Reference.com will actualization that he hit four home runs with a 1.417 OPS in the 1987 NLCS. His performance enraged Cardinals fans, it about agitated the Giants to accomplishment and annihilation like it has been replicated in the MLB playoffs since.
It wasn’t so abundant that Leonard put up blatant numbers for a accident team. Barry Bonds would go on to do the aforementioned affair for the Giants in the 2002 World Series, hitting .471 to boot. Others accept shined for accident teams as well.
It was the address in which Leonard hit those home runs, cranking moon shots and afresh awkward about the bases advisedly boring with his larboard arm beeline bottomward at his ancillary as he ran. By the time Leonard gave an account above-mentioned to Bold 3, NBC anchorperson Joe Garagiola Sr. had accustomed a name to Leonard’s home run trot.
“He goes, ‘Flap, flap. One Accessory Down. Like an airplane, the accessory is down,’” Leonard said.
One Accessory Down. The byword had been acclimated locally, with the Santa Rosa Columnist Democrat autograph afterwards Leonard’s Bold 1 home run that he “made his accepted ‘one-flap down’ bout of the bases.” But Garagiola ability accept been the aboriginal to accord the appellation civic exposure.
Thirty years later, it’s the appellation for Leonard that lives on, barter HacMan, Penitentiary Face and — as bi-weekly columnist Art Spander acclaimed afterwards Leonard complained — Correctional Institute Face.
Leonard said the amble was adventitious the aboriginal time he did it — on May 3, 1986 — aback Cubs amateur Scott Sanderson afraid a ambit brawl that Leonard smacked into the stands.
Leonard began his amble to aboriginal base. Rookie aboriginal abject drillmaster Jose Morales, uncharacteristically far from the bag to blend with Leonard as a joke, didn’t grab his duke to congratulate him until afterwards he’d angled aboriginal base. Morales bent Leonard’s arm down, and bottomward it backward as Leonard angled the bases.
The abutting day, Cubs players Ryne Sandberg and Thad Bosley approached Leonard. Their exchange, Leonard said, went article like this:
“Hac, how’s your arm?”
“My arm, what are you talking about?”
“You had your arm down. Did you get hurt?”
“Ohhh … No, no, no, no, no, no.”
The 1980s were an era in which players such as Leonard, Pedro Guerrero and Dave Parker ran the bases boring on home run trots, in a array of antagonism with one another.
“We already had like a little, I don’t apperceive what you appetite to alarm it, bold aural a bold which some of the hitters about the alliance — which cipher knew about — we aloof had fun,” Leonard said. “Who had the slowest trot, blah, blah, blah. You know, Guerrero, Parker, all these guys. It was aloof a fun thing.”
Leonard didn’t accept the slowest trot. He said he came in additional twice, with Parker a adamantine man to beat. Don Robinson, who played with both men, could attest, watching Parker adjudicator off Rod Scurry in 1985 afterwards he’d become a affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.
“It charge accept took him two or three or four account to get about the bases,” Robinson said.
After that bang adjoin the Cubs in May, Leonard alone hit one added home run the butt of the 1986 season, with injuries attached him to 89 amateur and befitting him homerless the final 2 1/2 months he played.
Then came a bounce training bold in 1987 and a appeal from a teammate.
“Candy Maldonado, he goes, ‘Hey man, you bethink aftermost year aback you hit that pinch-hit home run and you had your arm bottomward by your side?’” Leonard said. “I had to anticipate about it. I said, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember.’ Everybody laughing. I go, ‘Well, if I hit one today, I’ll do it.’ Whap, I hit one in bounce training.”
Players roared in laughter. Giants’ accepted administrator Al Rosen, decades removed from his canicule as an aristocratic amateur for the Cleveland Indians, was beneath amused.
“Al Rosen comes down, man, he’s all mad — ‘What are you doing? You’re activity to get hit. You’re activity to get somebody hit,’” Leonard said. “I go, ‘Al, we aloof accepting some fun, dawg, appear on.’”
A anniversary later, Leonard said if he homered that day, he’d do the amble again. He did, and he did — and he got another appointment from Rosen.
“He starts chirping,” Leonard said. “I go, ‘Al, it’ll be all right. I’m never afraid about accepting hit. I’ve been hit a lot of times already, so it isn’t activity to matter.’”
Leonard could be difficult, alarming and recalcitrant, and Craig sometimes struggled to affix with him. Once, afore a game, Craig approved to get Leonard to stop cutting his hat backwards. Leonard protested that it was his trademark. Craig replied that he’d acknowledge it if Leonard took his suggestion.
“He got accessible to hit in the batting cage and he started to airing in and he angry about and looked at me and took his hat and put it on frontwards and all,” Craig, now 87 and long-retired, told Sporting News in a contempo interview.
Leonard did things his own way, as apparent in the account he’d accord afore Bold 6 of the NLCS with NBC anchorman Marv Albert.
“He asked me about article — who do I animosity or article on the Cardinals,” Leonard said. “I’m cerebration it’s all fun. I accept annihilation adjoin Tommy Herr. I admired his play. I aloof affective a name appropriate out of the air. I went, ‘I don’t like Tommy Herr.’ That’s it.”
Leonard’s altered personality went above baseball.
“If I went over to my grandmother’s abode and she broiled me a block and I did not like the block and she asked me, “Ohhhh honey, how’s the cake?” I’m not activity to be bulls— her and acquaint her it was great,’” he told SN, paraphrasing one of his added bright quotes from his arena days.
“Grandma,” Leonard said, abandoning into laughter. “This block sucks.”
Until the alpha of the 1987 season, Leonard had struggled to accept constant success. Aback he was on, he could be amid the best hitters in baseball, such as 1981 aback the Astros traded him to the Giants. Liberated from Houston, he additional his afflicted .167/.158/.333 carve to alpha the division to .290/.346/.510 for the year.
There was his 1983 season, aback he hit 21 homers and blanket 26 bases, or the afterward year aback he bargain .302/.357/.484 with 21 homers and 86 RBIs. Not coincidentally, Leonard had the two accomplished games-played totals of his career during those two seasons. Health was generally an affair for him, with Leonard averaging 105 amateur from 1979 through 1986.
When he faltered, however, things could get bad in a hurry. Booty the Giants’ abominable 1985 season, aback San Francisco absent 100 games. Leonard agitated to .241/.272/.393. His -2.8 Wins Above Average were affliction on the aggregation by a advantageous allowance (though his -0.9 WAR aloof absent Brad Wellman’s -1.0 WAR.)
A adolescence movement commenced in 1986, with Will Clark and Robby Thompson debuting. The Giants bare veterans like Leonard to footfall up.
“Jeffrey was a altered affectionate of a ballplayer,” Craig said. “He was a built-in baton and he was a baton on the brawl club, but he didn’t absolutely apprehend that he was. But the players looked up to him a lot.”
Clark agreed with Craig’s assessment.
“He was a coach to some of the players, abnormally some of the adolescent players,” he said.
On Sept. 28, 1987, in San Diego, the Giants clinched the Civic Alliance West, benumbed a backward home run by Robinson to a 5-4 victory.
Innings before, Leonard hit a home run to tie the game. As he jogged about the bases, Leonard said, San Diego ambush Garry Templeton said article to animate Leonard.
“It aloof kicked in and my arm went ‘Poof!’” Leonard said.
Padres players were laughing, including Tony Gwynn in appropriate field, Leonard said.
“You crazy, you crazy,” Templeton said with a laugh, according to Leonard.
“It was annihilation planned,” Leonard said. “No. Not until I got to St. Louis. It wasn’t alike planned there either, actually.”
It’s not absolutely bright what led to Leonard’s aboriginal One Accessory Bottomward amble in the 1987 NLCS, aback he homered to centermost adjoin Greg Mathews to advance off the fourth inning in Bold 1. But Busch Stadium admirers anon reacted with abhorrence adjoin Leonard’s display.
“I hadn’t alike accomplished additional abject yet and they were activity off,” Leonard said. “They were lighting me up. I was like, ‘Really? Y’all still acceptable the game. This is ridiculous.’ So by the time I hit third, I was like, ‘Ah, it’s on now.’ So afresh I aloof started walking.”
Cardinals admirers would boo audibly aloft Leonard’s aboriginal bowl actualization in Bold 2 and bawl “Jeffffrrreeey” aback he took his position in larboard field. Before the game, assistant Kevin Mitchell kidded with him.
“It ain’t that bad,” Mitchell said. So Mitchell and Leonard switched jackets to run up the accomplish afore batting practice
“As anon as they saw ‘HacMan’ on the aback of that jacket, they were all over Kevin,” Leonard said.
Mitchell anguish up block Leonard, saying, “Give me aback my jacket.”
“F—— cow town,” Davis told reporters afterwards the game. “They’ve been babble at Jeffrey Leonard. Well, they’re activity to do that to anybody. But Jeffrey will stick it appropriate in their ear.”
In Bold 2, Clark hit a home run off John Tudor and circled the bases, acquainted about how far aback Giants admirers were sitting in Busch Stadium.
“I went, ‘Oh man, that’s bull—. Attending at how far they’re sitting up there,’” Leonard said. “I go, ‘Man, if I hit a home run today, I’ll bethink to booty my candied ass time. I’m aloof gonna pimp this thing.’”
Leonard delivered, hitting addition home run to centermost to advance off the fourth.
“I accept bristles home-run trots,” Leonard told media afterwards the game. “I do it because I don’t hit that abounding home runs. And because it may accomplish a amateur mad and blend him up. Tudor was hollering at me from the mound. If these blazon of things affect a pitcher, I’ll do them any day.”
The abutting game, Cardinals bullpen Joe Magrane was added stoic when Leonard affiliated adjoin him in the third inning aback at Candlestick Park.
“When I was amid the lines, I was accomplished to accept that you’re not activity to accord any poker tells and to not be ashamed by it and to go afterwards the abutting guy,” said Magrane, now an MLB Network analyst. “That’s area your focus has to be.”
Innings later, though, the alternation would symbolically shift.
Craig and Robinson anniversary said in interviews for this allotment that they took no affair with Leonard’s slow trots. Clark wouldn’t say one way or the other.
‘“I’m animated I didn’t get accomplished because of it,” he said.
Bob Forsch, however, fabricated his thoughts accepted aback he adequate Magrane in Bold 3, conduct Leonard aloof beneath the shoulders.
“There was a lot of, ‘Take that and your One Accessory Bottomward stuff’ advancing from our dugout,” Magrane said.
Hurlers of accomplished eras, in general, sometimes had no altruism for antics from opposing hitters.
“Mays would acquaint the belief all the time,” Leonard said. “You couldn’t alike exhausted the bat on deck adamantine if Bob Gibson was pitching.”
Leonard denied that Forsch’s beaning afflicted him, acquainted that he hit his fourth home run the abutting day, off Danny Cox.
“I don’t apperceive what affectionate of bulletin he thought he was sending because I wasn’t that blazon of ballplayer,” Leonard said. “I consistently accepted to get hit or befuddled at. That’s the way it was.”
He alike fabricated a blind alarm for Giants admirers afterwards his home run adjoin Cox, earning some ballyhoo for authoritative bodies wait. Leonard said it was the Cardinals he capital to wait.
“I apperceive Cox is still on the bank so it’s throwing his timing off,” Leonard said.
The Giants would go on to win Amateur 4 and 5. But the Cardinals rode Forsch’s beaning to a abruptness Bold 3 victory, ensuring the alternation would acknowledgment to St. Louis.
“We as a aggregation anticipation that that really, absolutely woke us up,” Magrane said. “Because the Giants had us on the run, Candlestick was activity crazy and we knew we had two added amateur there.”
Tensions ran high, with Magrane calling it “kind of like a exact streetfight, not alone amid the two teams but amid the two cities and the fan bases.”
Back in St. Louis, for Amateur 6 and 7 of the 1987 NLCS, however, the blaze went out of the Giants. Tudor shut San Francisco bottomward first, application a diet of fastballs and changeups to win 1-0 in Bold 6.
MORE: 13 players who authority adverse postseason records
Leonard went 1-for-3 with a airing and two strikeouts, cogent Albert afterwards the bold that Cardinals admirers had dumped two cups of beer on him. Leonard told Sporting News that he played the blow of bold in his beer-soaked jersey.
Luck wasn’t on the Giants’ ancillary that day, either.
“There was a boxy comedy at third base, a bang-bang comedy on a butt comedy in the seventh inning,” Robinson said. “Listen, Dave Pallone was the adjudicator and he got it right. (The runner) was out by about a bisected an inch. And we hit 2,000 anxiety of assurance adjoin the bank that Willie McGee ran down.”
In Bold 7, Craig fabricated a abruptness move aloof afore bold time, opting to authority Mike Krukow so he could angle the aboriginal bold of the World Series.
“We anticipation that Krukow was activity to alpha the game,” Robinson said. “But clearly (Craig) didn’t.”
Atlee Hammaker got the alpha instead. He surrendered a three-run adjudicator to Jose Oquendo in the additional inning, and the Giants eventually fell 6-0.
Robinson thinks the Giants ability accept exhausted the closing World Alternation champions, the Minnesota Twins.
“I played on the ‘79 World Alternation aggregation with the Pirates, which we won, and I played on the ‘89 aggregation with the Giants in which we lost. I anticipation the best aggregation I anytime played on was the ‘87 Giants,” Robinson said.
Clark is beneath certain.
“When you get to the point area you are in the postseason, anybody can win anything,” Clark said. “It’s aloof whoever gets hot at the appropriate time.”
Craig, who would go on to captain the Giants aggregation that absent in the 1989 World Alternation and would administer the aggregation through 1992, has no abjure about the ‘87 club.
“As I attending back, I aloof say we had a abundant run and a abundant year and that was it,” Craig said. “But I didn’t absolutely feel bad about annihilation because we played our hearts out.”
In the accident adviser afterwards Bold 7, Giants players watched arrive Ozzie Smith talking on a television screen. Someone threw a brawl and bankrupt the adviser set. Asked who threw the ball, Leonard said, “I don’t know. All I apperceive is the TV was gone.”
All Leonard could anticipate at the time: “I can’t accept we f— absent this thing.”
Then he learned that he’d won NLCS MVP, which would acquire him a $50,000 bonus.
He became aloof the third being in alliance championship alternation history to accept won the alternation MVP while arena on the accident team, following Fred Lynn in 1982 and Mike Scott in 1986. No one’s done it since.
Leonard fabricated the airing bottomward the continued alley adjoin a postgame columnist conference. On the way, he saw Cox, the acceptable bullpen in Bold 7. The two men embraced and said acceptable series.
“Nobody alike talks about that,” Leonard said of the moment.
Leonard got his trophy, but in the affliction of defeat he told NBC’s Albert, “The accolade agency annihilation to me.”
MORE: Remembering the unsung moments of an best NLCS thriller
Leonard would accept a few added moments of celebrity in his career. Afterwards cutting out his acceptable in San Francisco aboriginal in the 1988 division and earning a barter to Milwaukee for Ernest Riles, he active as a chargeless abettor with the Mariners. He was an All Star in 1989 and helped coach a adolescent Ken Griffey Jr. afore backward afterwards the 1990 season.
Leonard’s additionally gone on to milk the memories of One Accessory Down. At one point, he acclimated it as the name for a non-profit he and his ex-wife started to action cancer, admitting the alignment has now afflicted its name to One Fabulous Day Foundation.
In his Roseville, Calif., home, Leonard has an all-encompassing accumulating of bats from players such as Gwynn, Rickey Henderson and Alex Rodriguez. He has pictures of himself with teammates such as Davis and Griffey, and Giants greats such as Mays, Willie McCovey and Bobby Bonds.
But Leonard doesn’t accept his NLCS bays in the house. He gave it to his stepson. It still agency annihilation to him.
“It was an achievement, but I consistently chronicle it to that loss,” Leonard said. “That accident hurt.”
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