Rowland Office

Rowland OfficeWhen Rowland Office emerged as an outfield prospect with the Atlanta Braves in the early 1970s he was dubbed “Hank Aaron’s Caddy” because he had to pay his dues before breaking his way into the lineup. Eventually, after Aaron went back to Milwaukee, Office beat out a few other young flychasers and got a shot in the outfield for the Braves in 1975. Still, Office had a difficult time convincing a series of Braves managers that he deserved to have his name written in pen in the lineup.

The consternation over Office was from the offensive side, his defense in center field was generally applauded. He was a fast outfielder and he had a good arm. “That kid goes to the ball as well as anyone I’ve ever seen,” Houston manager Preston Gomez said.

But at the plate, Office struggled to stay consistent, he would fall into bad habits and go into a deep funk for weeks. Only once, in 1978, did he play as many as 140 games, and he never had as many as 500 at-bats in a season. The Braves always had guys around like Mike Lum, Tom Paciorek, and Barry Bonnell who got a lot of playing time in the outfield in the late 1970s. As a result, Office was typecast as a fourth outfielder-type. When he left the Braves as a free agent after the 1979 season, he walked into a similar logjam in Montreal, where they had Andre Dawson, Ellis Valentine, Ron LeFlore, Jerry White, and Tim Raines.