That cheering you heard yesterday afternoon was my enthusiastic endorsement of the offer that was bringing one James
Tiberius Patrick Quirk from Houston to become the bench coach for the Chicago Cubs. What follows is a non-exhaustive and only partially untrue list of facts regarding Jamie Quirk, which should give you great joy:
1) Jamie Quirk was drafted in the first round of the 1972 draft by the Kansas City Royals, a full 35 spots before Gary Carter. Then again, Jamie Quirk was drafted as a shortstop.
2) Jamie Quirk once high-fived Steve Balboni and the resulting explosion killed 4/5 of Kansas City’s population, turning it into a small market city.
3) Jamie Quirk is 6’4″ tall, and is tied for the 5th tallest player to catch more than 500 games.
4) Jamie Quirk never caught a game as a professional baseball player until he was 24 years old, and had already been in the Major Leagues for four seasons. He ended up playing roughly five times as many games there as any other position.
5) Jamie Quirk is his own wingman.
6) Jamie Quirk played for eighteen seasons, and was worth more than one win above replacement in exactly two of them.
7) Jamie Quirk sired many beautiful babies all across this great land, but mostly during a five-game series in Montreal in 1983. That the Expos moved to Washington in 2003 is the only reason he’s agreed to return to coach in the National League.
8) Until Carlos Quentin came along, Jamie Quirk was the all time leader in home runs by a person whose name started with the letter Q. Do with that information what you will.
9) Jamie Quirk ate chicken and drank beer in the clubhouse all the time, and no one cared. It’s not like they were going to put him in the game.
10) Jamie Quirk was allowed exactly one at bat with the Cleveland Indians franchise. In that at bat, he hit a walk-off homerun off of the bespectacled and mustachioed Ron Davis. Afraid that Quirk might prove to be too great a competitive advantage, the Indians released him after the season.
11) Jamie Quirk was traded to the Brewers after 1976 with two other players for Darrell Porter, who lasted four years with the Royals and fetched a compensation pick for the club when he left as a free agent after 1980. The Royals used that pick on Mark Gubicza, who was eventually traded for one year of Chili Davis. The Royals got 65.6 WAR out of that deal over the next twenty-one seasons AND re-signed Jamie Quirk to his second of three stints as a Royal when he became a Free Agent after the season.
12) Jamie Quirk played from when he was 20 years old to when he was 37. Eighteen seasons. In which he played in an average of less than 54 games played per season. I wish I was a backup catcher. God bless you, Jamie Quirk. You’re living the dream for all of us.
Mike Bates co-founded The Platoon Advantage, and has written for many other baseball websites, including NotGraphs (rest in peace) and The Score. Currently, he writes for Baseball Prospectus and co-hosts the podcast This Week In Baseball History. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBatesSBN.