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Thread: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

  1. #1
    Member NebraskaRed's Avatar
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    Player Profiles - Steve Christmas



    Born on December 9th, 1957 in Orlando, Florida, Steve Christmas had a brief major league baseball career from 1983-86, primarily as a catcher. In high school, Christmas was the quarterback for Orlando Colonial High School. He attended college briefly before being signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 1977.

    Christmas worked his way up through the minors over the next five years. His best year came while he was with Indianapolis in 1982. That year Christmas went .306./.341/.452/.793. He was finally called up to the Reds in 1983.

    Even though Johnny Bench was playing first or third base by this point in his career, Christmas did not see a lot of playing time since he had to compete with two other catchers, Dann Bilardello and Alan Knicely. Though he was batting nearly .400 in the spring, Christmas was sent down again. Christmas was known as an easy-going, friendly guy, but by his own admission he would sometimes lose his temper. The day he was sent down again, Christmas exploded, barging into the offices of Manager Russ Nixon and GM Dick Wagner.

    ''I sort of went crazy,'' Steve recalls with a laugh. ''I let them know how I felt. A couple of days later, they gave me a slap on the wrist by loaning me out to Tucson in the Astros' system. That's when I really thought about quitting.Ē But he didnít quit. Christmas spend another year in the minors before being traded to the White Sox. Two years were spent there before he was shipped across town to the Cubs.



    Christmas says, ďIt's so frustrating. You keep thinking, 'Why me?' Or, 'Why not me?' And you think about putting a wife and daughter through the life of a gypsy. This year we were just unpacking in an apartment in Des Moines when I was called up to Chicago. We were in a hotel there, and I was about to get a place when the thing happened with my elbow. We were back in Orlando and then back to Des Moines again.''

    Christmas retired from baseball in 1986.

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  4. #2
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    This was back in the day when most Reds games weren't televised, so I don't know if I ever saw Steve Christmas wear his Reds uniform on the field during a game. But I do remember seeing him in the Reds bullpen for years.

    Now I know why.
    /r/reds

  5. #3
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    I remember the name but not much else. I went to retrosheet to see if that would help me remember. Good reason I couldn't recall much or anything about him. He went 1 for 17 with the Reds and only 6 for 37 for his entire career. You would think he would have gotten a better chance with the Reds considering who was catching those days. But then again you have to remember who was the GM and manager(s) in those days.

    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/C/Pchris001.htm
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    Seems like he would have been a nice platoon with Alan Knicely. A solid lefthanded hitting catcher platooning with a leftkilling righthanded catcher would have made for good production.

    The Reds, at that time, were a mess. Decisions were made in a vacuum called "the Reds way" and that vacuum was about 15 years behind the times....and management was proud of it.

    At the same time...they produced a ton of talent.

  7. #5
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    I remember going to an onfield clinic the Indianapolis Indians held in the late 70's and Christmas and Dave Van Gorder ran the catching portion. I was a big fan of Steve Christmas if for the only reasons were his cool name, he ran the clinic I attended and I was about 9 at the time.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    Ahem, Steve "Winter Holiday".
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    I remember going to Indianapolis Indians games and when he came to bat the organist would play Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

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    6 months of heartbreak Bob Borkowski's Avatar
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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    Time to reread this thread.

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  13. #9
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    What a great, timely thread. Thanks!
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    I always thought that Bob Barton Terry McGriff and Jesse Gonder were better

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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    According to Harry Carey, Christmas spelled backwards is Samtsirhc.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    I think Christmas' win above replacement is similar to Dave Van Gorder, Jerry Zimmerman, Hal Bevan and Sonny Ruberto

  17. #13
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Player Profiles - Steve Christmas

    So, I suppose his nickname was "Merry"?

    Pay attention to the open sky


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