Monday, March 7, 2011

Hoofing Around Third and Heading Home

A great action shot shows the Braves' backup catcher taking the extra base and heading home in a big hurry:

Card #452 -- Paul Casanova, Atlanta Braves

(Read the comments for an explanation of when this picture was most likely taken. Thanks ecloy.) 

Paul Casanova was a Cuban native who came up with the Senators in 1965 and remained with them until the team moved away from the D.C. area. The team didn't keep him during the move, however, as he was traded to Atlanta before they ever played their first game in Texas. Since Atlanta already had a capable catcher in Earl Williams, Casanova was relegated to a backup role. In 1973, he managed to catch Phil Niekro's no-hitter on August 5.

After a diminishing role with the team after Johnny Oates arrived, Paul Casanova was released by the Braves after '74 and never played in the majors again.

One interesting thing about Casanova was that he played all his 811 games behind the plate. That's an unusual stat, considering the number of catchers who also play at other positions to ease the strain on their knees, as well as the fact that he spent several years as a second-stringer and might have been compelled to fill in elsewhere.


  1. OK here goes. Casanova only scored 8 runs in 1972. 3 of them on artificial turf fields. One game, in Cincinnati, he scored from third so that is ruled out. Another was in the Astrodome, where this picture wasn't taken. That leaves June 11, 1972 in Philly. Casanova doubles leading off the third against Steve Carlton. Marty Perez and PH Orlando Cepeda strike out before Felix Millan singles to left, scoring Casanova from second.

  2. The outfield fence looks more like Candlestick (which had artificial turf until 1979) than Veterans Stadium. I'm sure he was scoring a run in the 8th inning of the game on October 1, 1972, on a double by Ralph Garr.