Who is this player? LaRue Washington, reserve outfielder, Texas Rangers As Spring Training 1980 opened, LaRue Washington had a decent shot to make the Texas Rangers' roster as a fourth outfielder. Showing excellent speed and a decent glove, he was penciled in to be a reserve. However, the Rangers had an opportunity to obtain Rusty Staub and they traded Washington along with other players to Montreal on March 31, 1980. With the Expos rich in outfielders and contending for a division title, LaRue did not play in the major leagues in 1980.
A native of Long Beach, California, Washington was drafted in 1975 by the Texas Rangers off of the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills. His skills almost immediately earned him a promotion to Triple-A Tuscon, where he batted .300 and stole 43 bases in his first season. He followed that with a .327 average with 50 swipes in 1978. He played a variety of infield positions with the Toros, primarily second base. The Rangers promoted him to the parent club in September 1978, and he was given a brief look.
He began the 1979 season at Triple-A and spent the majority of the season shuttling between Tuscon and Arlington. While in the minors, he again batted .300 but did not receive a full-time opportunity in his time with the Rangers. LaRue did have two hits in the first game he started against the A's, but was used primarily as a pinch runner. He did not return to the major leagues after the 1979 season, ending his brief two-year career.
He lasted two more years in the minor leagues and was traded to the Baltimore Orioles organization for the 1981 season. However, I was unable to find out his whereabouts after his playing days ended. Any help here would be most appreciated.
Why I love this card When I was a kid, my little sister was in dance class. I think that everybody's sister was in dance class at one time or the other (ballet, tap, etc.). The school that the girls in my neighborhood went to was the "LoRu School of Dance." You can probably figure out the rest in regards to how this card fit in at some point.
Something else.... If you ever search for Washington at baseball-reference.com, make sure that you put a space between "La" and "Rue" otherwise it will not search for him. Just in case you were wondering.
On this date in 1980 Former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas passed away, he was 81 years old. With a term lasting 36 years and 209 days, he is the longest-serving justice in the history of the Supreme Court.
This blog is inspired by several influences; first, the other blogs dedicated to a single season of Topps sets and the folks at http://www.deanscards.com/, who provide a great resource of all years of cards (and from whom I stole the awesome header).
Mainly though, this blog is inspired by my Dad who during the summer of 1980, fully introduced me to the great game of baseball through these cards. Every one of these cards is somehow connected to a memory of that time.