Happy Birthday John D’Acquisto


Growing up as a kid in San Diego, I remember the 1978 season.  It was the first season my Padres finished over .500 at 84-78.  One of the key players for the Padres that season was a man named John D’Acquisto.  He was a first round draft pick of the Giants, and became the became the 1974 NL Rookie Pitcher of the year.  When he arrived with the Padres in 1977, he had already started the transition to the bullpen.  In 1978, he had his best season as a pitcher.  Spending most of the season in the bullpen, he pitched 93 innings, striking out 104 hitter with a 2.13 ERA and he had 10 saves.  Several times during that season, he came out of the bullpen to bail Rollie Fingers out of jams using his 95 MPH fastball (a fastball that you could hear all over the stadium when it hit the catcher’s mit).  John continued his career until 1983, when arm injuries finally caused him to retire from the game he loved.  Through the years, I would always look back and remember that ’78 season and could hear hear in my mind the call of the Padres PA announcer, “now coming into the game….#16…John D’Acquisto!” Such wonderful memories……

Fast forward to last year.  I was on Facebook one day when a name popped up that jarred all the memories of that season back; John D’Acquisto!  I couldn’t believe it when I saw the name and I immediately requested him as a friend and he accepted my request.  I told him how much I liked him and remembered him playing when I was a kid, and he was so kind in his words and happy to hear I remembered him.  I finally worked up the courage to ask John the question who his favorite player was and why, and he graciously took the time to answer my questions.  His favorite players?  “Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal and Nolan Ryan, but I was influenced by Koufax and Marichal.”  He told me that he wore Marichal’s #27 when he was in high school.  Knowing that he was with the Giants toward the end of Juan’s career, I asked him if he ever worked with him while he was with the Giants.  He told me, “Yes I did..I was in spring training when I was 19 and had the pleasure to work with Juan in 71, 72, and 73 before I took his place and he was traded to Boston.”   “He taught me a lot about the slider and how to bring my hand straight down and not wrap it because it could effect my control..Juan Marichal was a magician with control.”  “I could remember when we were in the first day of spring training and Marichal was on the mound throwing and he was painting the corners with something on it and he hadn’t done anything all winter long.”  “Quite an amazing pitcher.”
Thank you so much John for sharing your memories of your hero!  
Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,726 other followers

Follow Padres360 on Twitter
Blog Stats
Major League Leader

Developing & Inspiring Major League Leaders


My Ramblings on the Redbirds and other MLB News

Lead Me Out to the Ballgame!

Stories and Strategies to Develop Major League Leadership


Taking a 360 degree view of all things related to the SD Padres. Players, Management, Petco Park, Fans, Employees, Food, Fun!

TheBaseballPHD Photography

Images of the People, History, and Destinations of Major League Baseball


Discussing the People, History, and Destinations of Major League Baseball

The "Casual Fan" Of Baseball

Asking players, coaches, front office staff, and fans who their favorite MLB players are and why. Also love writing about my San Diego Padres

%d bloggers like this: