The stats agree with Mr. Parker. He was the most dangerous player at the plate if he wasn’t aiming for the fences he would calmly stroke a base hit and get on base. Parker had a beast of an arm from the outfield and was as good defensively as he was with the bat. Parker was so good and beloved in Pittsburgh that he was able to make fans forget that Roberto Clemente was not in the field anymore. That in itself is one impressive feat.
Sadly for Parker, cocaine is a hell of a drug. His increasing weight, numerous injuries and drug problems made him the shell of the player he was in the early 80’s and the love he had in Pittsburgh went away. Parker did resurrect his career in Cincinnati and posted good numbers but his lost years in Pittsburgh may have prevented him from hitting the 3,000 hit plateau.
Make no mistake about how good Dave Parker was. Sure he had problems in the early 80’s but he didn’t go away and became a star again mid way through the decade. With Jim Rice getting in, a look at the similar numbers of Dave Parker may be in order. Chances are that it will happen but from a Veteran’s Committee down the road.