Al Hrabosky isn’t just a personality for FSMW, he also was a fiery pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1970s.
It was 1973 and all my passion revolved around the St. Louis Cardinals. I lived in Houston and used to follow them during their road games. I would go see them at Busch Stadium in St. Louis where I had the opportunity to talk with many players on the dugout during their workouts.
On one of their visits to Houston, I met the Cardinals team at the Shamrock Hotel, which was located just across from the now-demolished Astrodome in Houston. There, in the lobby of the hotel, I was talking to Joe Torre, Tim McCarver, and veteran pitcher Orlando Pena, when suddenly Al Hrabosky approached the group. I didn’t know Hrabosky personally even though he had already had a few cups of coffee with St. Louis’ main team in 1970, 1971, and 1972.
When I was introduced to Hrabosky, he was a 23-year-old boy who still didn’t have a beard or mustache. He said he liked to intimidate rival hitters, but if he had long hair it gave him a strong resemblance to the famous Spaniard bullfighter Manuel Benítez “El Cordobés.” I talked with him about the journeys of his previous year when he played for the Algodoneros de Guasave team in the Mexican Pacific Coast Winter League, as part of an agreement with the St. Louis Cardinals.
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