Friday, May 4, 2012

Flaky Bill Faul

Bill Faul spent less than two seasons with the Cubs, parts of the 1965 and 1966 campaigns, but managed to put together an impressive list of "accomplishments."

This Topps 1966 card is his only as a Cub, though it's pretty obvious he's wearing a Tigers uniform.
  • The Cubs purchased him from the Tigers at the end of spring training, 1965. He had been a star pitcher for the University of Cincinnati. Among his accomplishments there was a NCAA record 24 strikeouts in a game. Detroit signed him as a bonus baby in 1962 and he was 11-1 in AAA in 1964.
  • He was one of only a handful of Cubs to wear #13. In fact, it would be nearly 30 years before another Cub, flaky pitcher Turk Wendell, would don the unlucky number.
  • The most noted flakiness of Faul was his use of self-hypnotism. According to this article, he would hypnotize himself before a game. His teammates weren't so sure. The back of his '66 card mentions the hypnotism.
  • He allegedly like to bite the heads off of live parakeets and eat live toads.
  • The Cubs recorded an MLB record-tying three triple plays in 1965. Faul was on the mound for all three.
  • In May, 1966, he tried to get the umpire to get the Astros to stop the hand-clapping cartoons on the Astrodome scoreboard. The ump was not inclined to do so.
  • In July, 1966, he questions the pitch-calling of skipper Leo Durocher. It was not a smart think to do. Leo didn't like to be second-guessed. Faul was sent to the minors and it would be nearly four years before he would resurface in the major leagues.
After being demoted by Leo, he spent the rest of the '66 season in Tacoma. He was later sold to the Indians, sold to the Reds, returned to the Indians, sent to the Royals, and the acquired by the Giants. He knocked around organized ball through the 1973 season.

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