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Rick Camp: 1953-2013

Apr 25, 2013, 3:32 PM EDT

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 3.31.02 PM

Rick Camp, who provided swingman duties for the Braves from 1976-1985 died today. He was 59. Camp had a career record of 56-49 with an above average ERA of 3.37. Not bad considering his strikeout rates were always low.

Camp is remembered for two things, primarily. The first one being his 2005 criminal conviction for attempting to defraud a mental institution. Which, hey, he did the time so let’s let that slide now that he is warming up in the Great Bullpen in the Sky.

The second was way better: On July 4, 1985 Camp, an awful hitter, even by pitcher standards, hit a game-tying home run in the 18th inning of a rain-delayed game against the Mets. Unfortunately the game went 19 innings, Camp coughed up five runs in the top of the final frame and got the loss. The game ended at 4AM. But even though he lost, man, that’s a humdinger of a game, ain’t it?

Here are highlights from that game. And get this: John Sterling called the homer right before he hit it, more or less.

RIP, Rick.

  1. Marty McKee - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I remember watching that game on TBS. I went out to watch fireworks or whatever, came home around midnight or so, and was stunned that this game was still on. Of course, I had to keep watching. I almost fell off the bed when Camp hit that HR. One of the most fun games I’ve ever seen. I wish it were on DVD.

  2. Kevin Gillman - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Craig, I am a big Indians fan, but I also became a Braves fan growing up. In fact, my Grandparents at the time lived in North Carolina, and they became Braves fans, as did I. I remember the mid 80’s, and I truly remember Rick Camp, and that game you’re talking about. My condolences to Rick, he and Steve Bedrosian were the anchor of that bullpen, despite being on bad teams.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      Sorry folks, but an aside to Kevin: Usually we offer our condolences, which are “expressions of sympathy” to the loved ones of the deceased for their sad loss, not to the actual deceased person.

      • Kevin Gillman - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:43 PM

        Thank you so much nothanksimdriving123 for telling me what I must write. Since you did that, then let me say your screen name is a run-on sentence, and not a proper name.

  3. timross13 - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    I was there that night! I was there with family and friends. Most left around midnight as it was a weeknight and they had to go to work. I was a student at Georgia Southern and was home for the summer. What an incredible game. It ended around 3AM, then they had the July 4th fireworks around 3:30AM. People were calling the police thinking we were being attacked. Crazzzy night…and morning.

    • addictedzone - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      I too was there. Went specifically to see Dwight Gooden pitch. The rain delays knocked him out after 2 and a third. Sadly, I was in the car driving home listening on the radio when the best part of the game took place.

  4. cranbery - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    R.I.P. Old Friend, and Thanks For The Memories!

  5. DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I recall that game oh so well – first thing I thoght when I saw this.

    Look at that box score, and you will see another rarrity. Tom Gorman came in in relief for the Mets and gave up 3 earned runs….and lowered his ERA!

  6. turdfurgerson68 - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    John Sterling?!? Nooo….

    Any mention of John Sterling involvement suggests that MLB should never EVER release any highlights of that game.

    They game video/audio should instantly be destroyed by fire…and then doused with acid.

  7. indaburg - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    My dog, I remember that game. 4th of July against my childhood Mets. Since it was summer, I was allowed to stay up late to watch the game, but I fell asleep waaaay before the end. I remember waking up and asking my mom if the Mets won. She said yes, and back to happy sleep I went. I got the details the next day. Rest in peace, Mr. Camp.

  8. Jeremy T - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Wow, it is really weird hearing Sterling on a non-Yankees broadcast. When did he switch?

    • louhudson23 - Apr 26, 2013 at 3:07 AM

      Sterling made a highly publicized and extremely well paid switch to the Atlanta Market in 1981(??). He called Braves and Hawks games and had a big radio show. I worked in a printing plant(Foote&Davies) at the time and would listen(and occasionally call in from a payphone on break) to his show wearing a headphones radio(ah,,,the technology) .I had a very nice long rant against what I predicted to be future arrival of inter-league play,which has bastardized baseball since it’s inception. Most of the calls(not mine) ended in him being told to carry his Yankee ass back North…. although he easily gave as good as he got….

  9. mazblast - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    I remember that game very well. I got back from a cookout and beer-drinking binge, settled into my sleazy chair, was surprised the game was still going, and watched, drinking and dozing. I kept waking up to the game–then Andy Griffith Show reruns–then the game–then Andy–then the game–on and on. Dog knows how many rain delays they had or how many times I dozed/passed out. The darned thing ended around 5 AM, and per their promise, the Braves set off the fireworks. Must have really upset the whole neighborhood. I extricated myself from the sleazy chair, shaved and showered, treated myself to breakfast out, and went to work.

    I tell young people this story and they don’t believe me.

  10. nfieldr - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    I knew Rick a little bit from several fantasy camps in the early to mid 90s. I haven’t seen or
    talked to him in 15 years, but I really liked him. He seemed like a pretty nice guy and I was shocked when I read of his troubles in 2005. RIP Rick.

  11. Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    The Mutts’ outfielder over whose head Camp hit the ball that night was Danny Heep, and in the replay Craig linked here you can only see him start to put his hands over his head in disbelief after 18 innings of standing out there. He actually continued to stand there holding his head in disbelief – and I recall Lindsey Nelson on the Mutts broadcast crying with hilarity, “Look at Danny Heep out there….!” Too bat it was cut short on this clip – but it was also a tug at the heartstrings to see the Kid scoring that run.

  12. skids003 - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Hey Craig, as a fellow Braves fan, just that one game would make him always memorable. RIP, Rick.

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