PRODcast 159′s Old School Player of the Week: Freddie Patek
Freddie Patek (nicknamed “The Flea” or “The Cricket”) was a bite-sized human SS who played 14 seasons in the bigs with the Pirates, Royals, and Angels between 1968 and 1981. Listed at a generous 5’5”, 148 lbs, Patek was the late-20th Century’s version of Jose Altuve, which (like most things from the late-20th century) was not very good. He was worth 24.1 wins over that 14 year career, was an All-Star three times, and actually finished 6th in AL MVP voting in 1971 when he lead the league in triples with 11, caught stealing with 14, and finished the year with 6 HR, 36 RBI, 49 SB, and a .693 OPS?! I remember Patek fondly because the Angels (in a move that was extremely Angels – signing a player well past their prime whether said prime was good or not) had him 1980 and 81, when I was reeeeally getting into baseball, and he was small … like 5-year-old me.
Lookswise, there isn’t much to talk about besides his stature. He’s very small, and kinda looks like a 12-year-old who woke up with stubble one morning. He did have a mustache for a minute, which kinda made him look like the top half of a couple kids trying to sneak into a movie theater in a trench coat. The dadhat is replacement level, the dadlap (thanks to sansabelt is a tick above average for the era), and the hair is pure 70s child actor, which is absolutely fitting.