Hassey caught a perfect game for Len Barker with Cleveland in 1981 and left Oakland just in time to join the Expos and catch a perfect game for Dennis Martinez in 1991 before retiring: Hassey’s the only guy to catch two perfect games. Which brings up the question: how much credit does a catcher deserve for catching a perfect game? Hassey also caught the A’s near-perfect game on May 26 against the Yankees.
Hassey’s best season came in 1985 with the Yankees: .296 with a .509 slugging percentage on 13 homers and 16 doubles in about a half season. His reward was to get traded to the White Sox on December 12, essentially for Britt Burns, a promising starter age 26 whose hip problems kept him from ever pitching in the majors again, then get traded back to the Yankees next February 13, then get traded back to the White Sox on July 30, 1986. He still managed to put up a .406 OBP in 1986. With the A’s, he was a backup to Terry Steinbach: in 1989 he was a frequent late-inning replacement for Steinbach, especially late in the year, when Steinbach’s legs were presumably getting weary.
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At first glance, it’s a fairly routine 7-5 win for the A’s over the Orioles. Ron Hassey contributes a two-run homer as hitters three through eight account for all the A’s offense: two homers, three doubles, seven singles, and three walks. Gallego and McGwire turn a double play in the first. Gallego and McGwire turn a double play in the second. Hubbard, Gallego, and McGwire turn a double play in the fourth. Hubbard, Gallego, and McGwire turn a double play in the sixth. Hubbard, Gallego, and McGwire turn a double play in the seventh. The game ends with Honeycutt getting the Orioles in order.
The Orioles had gone down in order in the third, and in the fifth their one runner came on a two-out triple. If you want to belittle the infield, you can point out that in the eighth, with Cal Ripken on first and no one out, there was no double play. But Honeycutt balked Ripken to second, so the ensuing grounder to third by Mickey Tettleton meant there was no chance for a double play. It’s the first game of a doubleheader: the A’s lose the second game 5-1 to start a 4-game losing streak, their longest of the year.
Hassey had a rare bunt single in the fourth: he explained: “Mack had just hit a home run so they were playing back. I looked at the third baseman (Craig Worthington) and saw he was playing back and off the line. So I thought I’d give it a try.”
La Russa said: “You are never going to have a doubleheader that’s fun. It is one of those things you have to do in the big leagues. As banged up as we are we were able to get through it without losing anybody.”
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