Calvin Pickering was a big strong guy who came up with the Orioles and hit the ball really, really hard whenever he hit it, which unfortunately was not often enough for him to hold down a steady job in the major leagues. CJ and I saw him a few years ago in Tucson, where he was playing for the visiting Calgary team from an unaffiliated league I think no longer exists. Here’s an e-mail interview with Pickering, featuring this great reminiscence:
Who was the toughest pitcher that you ever faced?: PEDRO MARTINEZ MOST DEFINITELY. I remember when we was playing them in Boston and they told me that I was in the lineup and Pedro was pitching. I was like cool so the first AB I think I walk then the second AB I hit a home run off him but the funny part about that AB is that he threw all fastball and I hit a home run so the 3 AB he threw me all CHANGEUPS and I flew out so when I was heading back to the dugout he told he pick you showed me that you can hit my fastball so I wanted to see if you could of hit my change up… I just started laughing on the way back in … ever since that day we been cool.
Pickering is the kind of player who’d probably get a longer look in 2013 than he did when he played. Terrible batting average, but walked so much that his OBP was a hundred points higher, and he had the power.