I think it was the earring.
To a 13-year-old girl in suburban New Jersey in 1979, a guy wearing an earring, as Dave Parker did (and does), was at once mildly scandalizing and deeply cool. It made sense that a guy who played for the Pirates would look like a pirate. It also helped that he was incredibly fun to watch. Baseball fans know when we’re watching someone special, and Dave was beyond special in his prime. When the same uncle who had brought me my Bucs pillbox cap asked me if I wanted a jersey, I immediately requested Dave’s. I remember him trying to steer me towards Willie Stargell or Phil Garner—Dave wasn’t particularly popular—but I insisted. Back then jerseys for women weren’t a thing, so I was able to get a lot of years out of it because it was huge. The last time I remember wearing it was at a sports bar during the 1989 World Series, when Dave was on the Oakland A’s. Unfortunately, it and the cap were lost in a move shortly thereafter (I moved a lot back then).
Recently, I had the privilege of being given a sneak peek at MLB Network’s documentary about Dave, The Cobra at Twilight, which will premiere on MLBN this Thursday, December 12, at 8 p.m. Narrated by Chuck D of Public Enemy, the documentary covers Dave’s stellar career, his battle with Parkinson’s disease and his reconciliation with Pittsburgh, a city that for a long time he believed hated him. I’ll talk more about the documentary on Trivia Answers Thursday, but let’s get to the questions.
Dave Parker was drafted in 1970 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In what round was he picked?
A. Third B. Twentieth C. Sixth D. Fourteenth
Which Hall of Famer was drafted after Dave that year?
A. Rich Gossage B. Bert Blyleven C. Bruce Sutter D. Dave Winfield
What was Dave’s original position?
A. Catcher B. Pitcher C. First baseman D. Left fielder
Willie Stargell made “We Are Family” the 1979 Pirates’ theme. What song did Dave want?
A. “We Are Family” B. “Stayin’ Alive” C. “Hot Stuff” D. “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”
Dave was the first pro athlete to make $1 million a year. Who was the second?
A. Terry Bradshaw B. Nolan Ryan C. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar D. Reggie Jackson