I found a big box of my old baseball cards at my dad’s house, in my old room. I used to have them organized by brand, year, team, position, but now they’re sitting in this box, a jumbled mess, neglected. So as I’m flipping through them, making stacks, I start pulling all the Phillies and any other eye-catchers and put them aside, thinking “blog post fodder!”
This is Joseph Martin Boever. I was 11 when he became a Phillie, and I don’t remember too too much about his pitching, other than recalling certain members of my family claiming he stunk. What I do remember is being fascinated by his surname. Spelled BOWver, pronounced BAYver. During a 3-year span, whenever I had the opportunity to be creative with an assignment for school, I would always give one of my characters that last name.
According to Baseball Almanac, his nickname is “The Saver.” He did have 21 saves in 1989 with the Braves, but 49 total during his 12-year career. So I’m thinking that nickname had more to do with a not-so-pithy rhyme, and less to do with his pitching prowess, though his lifetime ERA is a respectable 3.93.
Joe Boever’s last game was September 29, 1996. He played for 7 teams in both leagues and wore 6 different numbers during his career.