I posted this article on Ed Armbrister under the thread that was brought forward on the two players signed from India in 2008. The question of whether playing cricket could translate into a baseball career. I mentioned the two Red Stockings mainstays, the brothers George & Harry Wright. It also made me think of Ed Armbrister, hailing from the Bahamas, another one-time British colony.
I came across this SABR bio on Armbrister, a player I think of often when we talk about bench construction and the job of those extra players. I wonder at times what the reaction of the "throw in" Ed Armbrister in the blockbuster trade that brought over Joe Morgan et al to the Reds.
Reading about Armbrister and particularly the success he had in the minors, makes me think about how various players succeed at different levels, but not necessarily at the highest level. Vern Rapp managed Armbrister, George Foster & Ken Griffey as his outfield in Indy and said, “These can be the finest three players I’ve ever managed as far as outfield talent is concerned. They all have excellent speed, good range, and fine arms. This could be the finest outfield, at least defensively, in the minor leagues."
So here's the question I'd like to see discussed: in the Reds history, lets look at some of these extra players who made up various rosters. They've each brought different things and somehow "the whole" worked. Perhaps another springboard is the phenomenal factoid that in 1975 and 1976, the actual starting eight "Big Red Machine" players only had 88 games where they all started (they went 69-19 in those games - .784 record!). That left an awful lot of bench guys in the games.
Now this isn't necessarily only about the BRM. We've had plenty of extra guys filling out the rosters. What did they bring to the club?
Anyway, I think this could be an interesting thread.