Biff Pocoroba

Biff PocorobaAccording to the story, Pocoroba was nicknamed “Biff” by his father because he wanted his son to answer to a distinguished name rather than his given name of Herman. Not sure how Biff is more distinguished than Herman, but then again the Pocorobas were from southern California.

The Dodgers were going to select Pocoroba in the 1971 MLB Draft, but the Braves nabbed him with the pick right in front of them. Pocoroba grew up a Dodgers fan and was initially disappointed. In the 1977 offseason he demanded a trade when he and the Braves couldn’t agree on contract terms, hoping to be sent to the Dodgers, Padres, or Angels. But none of those teams came up with a good package for Pocoroba, so Atlanta held on to him. He ended up spending his entire career with Atlanta, playing ten years for the Braves from 1975 to 1984.

Pocoroba was praised for his defensive ability and his knack for handling a pitching staff. He never won a Gold Glove and in fact, other than in 1977, he never played in more than 100 games in a single season. He served primarily as the second-string catcher, playing first behind Vic Correll and later for several years behind Bruce Benedict.

His best year came the year after his trade demand, in 1978 when he hit .337 in the first half and made the All-Star team. Unfortunately he got hurt in the second half and ended up at .312 after playing just 20 games after the break.