Happy birthday, Terry Forster, “the fat tub of goo”

Terry Forster enjoying a snack

Terry Forster enjoying a snack

Long before Chris Christie was the butt of David Letterman‘s jokes about his weight and excessive eating, back in 1985 Letterman teased the Atlanta Braves reliever Terry Forster, referring to him as a “fat tub of goo.”

As Sports Illustrated wrote about it on July 1, 1985, ” Letterman devoted the opening monologue on his June 17 late-night TV show to a weighty issue—Atlanta Braves reliever Terry Forster. “The fattest man in all of professional sports,” said Letterman, who had caught a Braves game on TV the previous weekend. “I mean the guy is a balloon. He must weigh 300 pounds. The guys doing the ball game. Skip Caray and Ernie Johnson, not once do they mention that this guy is enormous. They pretend the guy couldn’t be in better shape.

“He is a L-O-A-D. Not once, when they see this mammoth figure, this silo, get up in the bullpen…I just want them to say ‘ Terry Forster’s warming up, he’s a lefthander, an ERA of 3.5…what a fat tub of goo.’ Nobody says a thing. It ruined my weekend.”

After the remarks (note the “s” as Dave continued for many nights), Forster was deluged with commercial offers from pizza and potato chip firms.

Forster played for 16 seasons in the majors picking up 127 saves for the Chicago White Sox (1971–1976), Pittsburgh Pirates (1977), Los Angeles Dodgers (1978–1982), Atlanta Braves (1983–1985) and California Angels (1986). He led the league in saves with 24 in 1974. That season he appeared in 59 games, including one start, and pitched 134.1 innings.

Back in the day, Peter Gammons wrote about Forster as well

From the Sports Illustrated of July 13, 1987:

A WEIGHTY QUESTION
Pitcher Terry Forster is currently laboring with the Twins’ Portland, Ore., farm club in the Pacific Coast League, where his daily weigh-ins are on the honor system. Forster has written in 247 lbs. each day, but farm director Jim Rantz estimates Forster’s weight at something closer to 260. When Forster was spotted leaving the ballpark alone on a recent afternoon, manager Charlie Manuel called out, “Where are you guys going?”

Great trivia question…

Who has the highest career batting average with at least 75 at bats?

Rk Player BA AB From To PA H SLG Pos Tm
1 Terry Forster .397 78 1971 1986 86 31 .474 *1/H9 CHW-PIT-LAD-ATL-CAL
2 Ty Cobb .366 11434 1905 1928 13082 4189 .512 *89/H73145 DET-PHA
3 Red Dorman .364 77 1928 1928 89 28 .442 /*87H CLE
4 Ed Delahanty .360 1171 1901 1903 1331 422 .541 *7/398 PHI-WSH
5 Rogers Hornsby .358 8173 1915 1937 9480 2930 .577 *465/H3978 STL-NYG-BSN
-CHC-TOT-SLB
6 Shoeless Joe Jackson .356 4981 1908 1920 5693 1772 .517 978/3H PHA-CLE-TOT-CHW
7 Lefty O’Doul .349 3264 1919 1934 3658 1140 .532 *7H/918 NYY-BOS-PHI
-BRO-TOT-NYG
8 Tris Speaker .345 10195 1907 1928 11992 3514 .500 *8/H3971 BOS-CLE-WSH-PHA
9 Ted Williams .344 7706 1939 1960 9788 2654 .634 *79H/1 BOS
10 Josmil Pinto .342 76 2013 2013 83 26 .566 /*2HD MIN
11 Babe Ruth .342 8399 1914 1935 10622 2873 .690 971/8H3 BOS-NYY-BSN
12 Harry Heilmann .342 7787 1914 1932 8966 2660 .520 *93/8H47 DET-CIN
13 Bill Terry .341 6428 1923 1936 7108 2193 .506 *3H/97 NYG
14 Jack Cummings .341 132 1926 1929 151 45 .530 /*2H NYG-TOT
15 Lou Gehrig .340 8001 1923 1939 9663 2721 .632 *3/H976 NYY
16 George Sisler .340 8267 1915 1930 9013 2812 .468 *3/1H97845 SLB-TOT-BSN
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/14/2014.

Happy 62nd birthday, Terry!

On July 29, 1985 Forster appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, eating and cooking