The revolution that was Dave Parker made some people uncomfortable. Especially in Pittsburgh. And when the '70s turned into the '80s, and the injuries sometimes kept baseball's first million-dollar-per-year player out of shape or the lineup, the animosity grew as his productivity fell.
There was the divorce from the Pirates and the admission of cocaine use at the 1985 baseball drug trials, but also a renaissance back home in Cincinnati. Another divorce, this time from the Reds, bred another resurgence—this time as an American League designated hitter.
A man opens the 1988 World Series program to the Oakland A's head shots and points to Parker.
Says Parker, "I may be the best-looking guy in this picture."
For almost 20 years, his heavy-metal voice resonated in locker rooms. His personality became the team's. He would use flattery and mockery, swear at you and with you, make you laugh and make you better.