Bevacqua put in 15 ML years although he never played more than 64 games at any one position in a season. Nicknamed “Dirty” for his aggressive, diving, hard-sliding style, he pinch-hit more than 300 times. In 1980, he led the NL in both pinch hits and pinch at-bats. His career batting average as a pinch hitter was 30 points higher than his BA as a starter.
In the 1984 WS, manager Dick Williams surprised many by selecting Bevacqua as the DH for the Padres. He was a goat in Game One when he tripped and was thrown out trying to stretch a double in a 3-2 loss. But he blasted a game-winning homer in Game Two and kept the Padres’ hopes alive for several innings with another homer in the fifth and final game. He won Topps bubblegum-blowing contest in 1972 and was pictured on a special card in the following season’s Topps set, with Joe Garagiola measuring the winning bubble.