Visalia, California, has long been a good baseball town. Located in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, it has been a mainstay of the California League since 1946, except for a couple of intervals.1 As of 2015, 13 men born in Visalia had played in the major leagues, including Marty Perez, who got into 931 games from 1969 through 1978. Like many middle infielders, his glove got Perez to the majors, but he hit just well enough – with a slash line of .246/.301/.316 – to be a starter for much of his career.
Perez had to battle constantly to keep a starting job, though. “The competition was definitely brutal!” he said in 2015. He prided himself on fundamental execution. “I was a stickler for not missing signs, getting the runner over, being in the right position. I didn’t have the greatest talent, but I was smart.”2
Martin Roman Perez Jr. was born on February 28, 1946. His family was of Mexican descent. “My dad grew up in Mexico, playing soccer. My mother was Mexican-American, born in Pomona, California.” Her maiden name was Aurora García, and she was a distant relation of Mike Garcia, a star pitcher with the Cleveland Indians in the 1950s.
Martin Sr.’s job was to install air conditioners and sheet metal in buildings. “I worked with him a couple of summers,” Marty said. “I did not want to do that for a living.”3 Aurora Perez was not just a homemaker. “When we were younger, she worked until 3:00, then she met us at home. When we got older, we had sports and other things after school.”4 Marty was the third of five children; he had one brother and three sisters.
The baseball culture was strong in the San Joaquin Valley. “There were a tremendous lot of players,” Perez said. “Tom Seaver, Wade Blasingame, Jim Wohlford, many more.”5 Perez attended Redwood High School in Visalia. Two other graduates of this school have made it to the majors, Aaron Hill and Steve Stroughter, but at least one other big leaguer attended Redwood for a time. That was Jimmy Qualls, best remembered for breaking up Tom Seaver’s bid for a perfect game on July 9, 1969. “We were good friends,” Perez said of Qualls. “He was a good little hustler.”6
Visalia had a rough side too. “Oh yeah. There were guys, I wouldn’t hang around with them because of drugs, and they got mad at me. I had guys trying to run me over with a car, chasing after me with a switchblade. They’re all dead – ODs and what have you.”7
Perez was not big – he was 5-feet-11 and 160 pounds when fully grown. Yet he was, like so many big leaguers, a fine all-around athlete. He was quarterback and punter for the Redwood High football team.8 He also lettered in basketball. He never went out for track, but he had good speed. “One day after baseball practice, I was still in my baseball uniform and spikes, and I smoked the sprinters in a 60-yard dash. Then we ran a 100, and I was smoking them through 80 yards, but then they passed me.”9
“Basketball was my favorite – I found it the most satisfying. In baseball, pitching was what I really enjoyed, but my arm would hurt so bad the next day. My coach told me I should go to shortstop; that would be where I could make it as a pro.”10
In June 1964, right after Perez graduated from high school, the Los Angeles Angels signed him as an amateur free agent. (It was the last year before the draft took effect.) The 18-year-old reported to Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League (rookie ball). There he hit .273 with one homer and 18 RBIs in 42 games. During his second pro season, Perez moved up to Quad Cities in the Midwest League (Class A). He played 53 games there but missed four weeks after being spiked while covering second base. He then went back to Idaho Falls, but after just 14 games, he returned to Class A ball with San José in the California League.11 In aggregate, he hit .238-4-50 in 113 games.
At the age of 19, in 1965, Perez married Judy Anderson, who was one year younger. They had two daughters, Janet and Michelle. Perez also attended junior college at College of the Sequoias for one semester, “but that was all. I was going into the service, then I got married. I was in the Marine Corps reserves for six years.”12
Perez split 1966 between Quad Cities (.232-1-8 in 30 games) and San José (.226-0-9 in 32 games). A broken wrist kept him out half the season. “It was frustrating,” he said in 1971, “but I never even considered giving up baseball. People get hurt, but you heal and play again.”13
He then spent all of 1967 at Quad Cities (.289-3-40 in 100 games). The National Association of Baseball Writers named him to the West squad of Class A All-Stars.14 A promotion to the Double-A Texas League followed. With El Paso, he hit .252-5-36 in 116 games. The Sun Kings, under manager Chuck Tanner, became league champions. Perez confirmed how much players liked and respected Tanner – but he also emphasized the skipper’s tough side. “Don’t cross him! One time I did miss a sign, and after the game he pinned me against the wall and said [with a choice expletive for emphasis], ‘Don’t you ever do that again.”15
In the fall of 1968, Perez got his first notable mention in The Sporting News. The article described him as “an exceptional young shortstop” and noted that he had been put on California’s 40-man roster. It added, “He has been particularly impressive with the Angels’ instructional league team at Mesa, Arizona.”16
Perez continued his progress in 1969, rising to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Again playing for Tanner, he hit .280-1-40 for the Hawaii Islanders. In June The Sporting News wrote that his average “was a pleasant bonus for Manager Chuck Tanner, who had said early this season, ‘Perez would be a definite asset to the team if he hits only .220 or .230 because of his magic glove at short.’”17 When asked about playing in Hawaii, “Perez responded, “It was the height of my minor-league career. It was really, really nice.” One of his teammates was legendary playboy Bo Belinsky, of whom Perez said, “He was just skin and bone, but he could pitch.”18
When the rosters expanded that September, the Angels rewarded Perez with his first call-up to the majors. He appeared in 13 games at shortstop, second base, and third base, going 3-for-13. He started the last three games of the season at short.
In those years, Jim Fregosi was entrenched as California’s starting shortstop. He had held the position since 1963 and was a six-time All-Star, including five straight years from 1966 through 1970. “For a while I envisioned myself making a career of Triple-A ball,” Perez said in 1971. “They don’t come much better than Fregosi.” He watched the veteran and talked to other players. “I didn’t always agree with the tips they gave me, but I tried them,” he said. “Talking to other players is a pretty big help.”19
One of those others was veteran shortstop Ruben Amaro Sr., who was known for his glove. “We had a lot of talks about fielding. I was a good listener. He had a real good easy way with him, and he was so smooth on double plays. I learned techniques for when the runner is right on top of you. I got taken out on a DP only one time in my major-league career, and that was because Davey Johnson threw me a lollipop.”20
During the winter of 1969-70, Perez was slated to play with the Ponce Leones in the Puerto Rican Winter League.21 He was invited by former Dodger Jim Gilliam. “I never went, though. That September, I got sick, and I called Junior and told him.” Perez received an irate phone call from the club’s owner, Yuyo González.22 As it turned out, Jim Fregosi became Ponce’s manager that winter, which was the start of his career as a skipper.
Perez never did play ball in a foreign land. One could imagine that because of his parentage, he might have gone to the Mexican Pacific League in the winters, but “it never came to fruition. I just didn’t want to do it. It was a long [summer] season. I don’t know how guys played year-round.” He added, “Ballplayers today don’t realize how tough it was. We had to work in the offseasons.”23
During spring training in 1970, Fregosi missed the last three weeks after being struck on the left knee by a batted ball in infield drills.24 As the All-Star’s replacement, Perez was impressive – The Sporting News wrote, “It is likely that he would have made the club even if Fregosi had not been injured.”25 Perez was on the Opening Day roster, but Fregosi was back in the lineup, and Perez soon went back to Hawaii.
In his third straight year with Chuck Tanner, he hit .281-1-33 in 105 games. On May 6, pressed into duty in center field for the first time in his pro career, Perez preserved a 6-5 win for the Islanders with two spectacular catches.26 Shortly thereafter, he spent another stretch in the military. That August, he and second baseman Doug Griffin were described as “two of the biggest crowd-pleasers in the Islander lineup” and “the best double-play combination in the league this season.”27 Again Perez was called up at the tail end of the season, appearing in three games for the Angels.
On October 21, 1970, California sent Perez to the Atlanta Braves, the team with which he spent the bulk of his big-league career. The Angels got John Burns, a minor-league catcher who never played pro ball again, plus an undisclosed amount of cash – but actually, Perez completed the deal in which the Angels had received veteran outfielder Tony González from the Braves that August. Atlanta had not been especially satisfied with the play of either Sonny Jackson or Gil Garrido at shortstop.28
That November Perez became the subject of a Sporting News feature for the first time. Chuck Tanner had glowing words for him. When asked if Perez was a major league shortstop, he responded, “Yes sir. Marty has all the good basic tools. … He has the arm to make all the plays too. He can throw and he can field. He turns the double play very well. He is going to be a fine major-league fielder. And he comes in on a ball as well as anybody you’d care to see.” Tanner added, “I think Perez will hit in the big leagues. He’s a line-drive type hitter who sprays the ball to all fields.”29
That December Braves manager Luman Harris said, “Everywhere I go, somebody is saying something good about our new shortstop.”30 Not long after, Harris proclaimed, “I’m real pleased with our shortstop situation. If this youngster Perez is half as good as everybody tells me he is, he’ll be my starter.”31
During camp in February 1971, one Florida sportswriter remarked, “Perez has a deceptively fluid motion that makes playing shortstop look easy.”32 A couple of weeks later, Marty confirmed with a smile that the trade to Atlanta was a dream opportunity for him – but he cautioned, “I feel I have to win the job – it isn’t mine yet.”33 Indeed, Perez claimed the shortstop position, as Sonny Jackson (not noted for his arm) moved from short to center field.
Perez got into 130 games, starting 116 of them. His first of 22 big-league homers came on June 19, at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium off Jim Merritt. The fifth-inning blow helped turn a 4-3 lead for the Braves into an easy 9-3 win. Though he hit just hit .227-4-32 overall, the following spring he remarked, “Eddie Mathews [then the Braves’ hitting coach] told me to keep swinging the way I have been, not to change anything. My only problem last year was that I kept hitting the ball right at somebody. In 410 at-bats I only struck out 42 times, and I think that’s pretty good.”34
In the field, Perez committed 27 errors, but he formed an effective double-play tandem with Puerto Rican second baseman Félix Millán. Millán counseled the rookie on play up the middle and provided support when Perez was benched for a spell.35 Perez also credited his roommate, veteran Marv Staehle. “A few times I could have blown my cool, but he talked to me, telling me to hang in there, that I’d be back, things like that. Marv was a good roomie, a good baseball man.”36
Perez remained the Braves’ starter at short for two more years. His hitting remained mild in 1972 (.228-1-28 in 141 games). He also made 27 errors again, and his range was around the league average. He was challenged by rookie Leo Foster during spring training in 1973. In fact, Foster was named the starter but was hurt in a collision with Darrell Evans on a pop fly not long before Opening Day.37 “It was near the mound, and he got a concussion. Then I got hot with the bat. I remember seeing Leo at his stall in the locker room, crying because he’d been sent down.”38
The 1973 season was Perez’s strongest with the bat in the majors. His average was just .250, but he reached a career high in homers with 8 and drove in 57 runs in 141 games. He credited the help and advice of Lew Burdette, the Braves’ pitching coach, and Luke Appling, the Hall of Fame shortstop who lived in Atlanta. In particular, Appling counseled him on hitting to the opposite field more effectively. (As a result, Perez most frequently batted second in the lineup.) Perez himself also thought experience, confidence, and concentration were factors.39
“Those first two years with the Braves were not so inspiring,” said Perez. “But near the end of the ’72 season, I had an RBI hit to right field. After the game, Lew Burdette came to the back of the bus and said, ‘You need to go to Instructional League, learn how to hit to right field.’ Luke Appling showed me technique. In Instructional League, I played with the Yankees team, and I never hit a ball to left field the whole time – except once, when I faced Gene Garber. He knocked me down and I got mad.”40
On May 8, 1973, Perez was involved in a scary episode at Shea Stadium in New York. It was likened to the accident that had ruined Herb Score’s career in May 1957. Facing Mets lefty Jon Matlack, Marty hit a hard liner back through the box. Fortunately for Matlack, he got his glove up and tipped the ball slightly. Even so, it hit his forehead with enough force to ricochet into the home dugout on the first-base side. Perez reached second base on a ground-rule double, and Matlack came off the field on a stretcher, joking, “Don’t drop me!”41
By contrast, Perez was somber after the game. “It was frightening,” he said quietly. “I didn’t even feel like running, it was a sorry thing. I hope it never happens to me again. It’s a one-in-a-million chance. I know it’s part of the game but you never want to hurt somebody.” He visited Matlack in the hospital. Although X-rays revealed a hairline fracture of the skull under the egg-sized lump on Matlack’s forehead, he was back on the mound just 11 days later, wearing a foam-rubber protective device.
That September 10, Perez became part of a select club, as the fourth of just six men to pinch-hit for the great Hank Aaron. He told authors Jeffrey and Douglas Lyons, “I was on a nine-game hitting streak but wasn’t playing that day, and Henry was having muscle spasms, so Eddie Mathews [who had become the Braves’ manager] said, ‘Marty, get a bat.’ P.S. I almost hit a home run to left!”42 Although Retrosheet records show that Perez grounded out to third, his memory is different. “I got underneath it just a bit and hit it to the warning track.”43 Perez stayed in the game at short, Sonny Jackson took Aaron’s place in left field, and little Bahamian junkballer Wenty Ford, in his debut, went all the way that night for his only win in the majors.
Ford’s time in Atlanta was brief, though, and Perez retained no memory of him. Yet he well remembered the opposing starter that night, Juan Marichal. Many big leaguers found the great Dominican to be one of the toughest pitchers they ever faced, if not the toughest – but Perez was 6-for-15 against him with two doubles. Marichal once greeted him by saying, “Marty! Why you hit me so hard?”44
In December 1973, Atlanta obtained shortstop Craig Robinson in a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Looking back in 1976, Perez said, “They just gave Robinson the job. I was the starting shortstop and had a good year and they just took the job away from me.”45 In the spring of 1974, Eddie Mathews said, “Robinson has been handed the job. Now he has to prove he can play it.”46 But Braves beat writer Wayne Minshew later said, “Robinson had to prove he couldn’t play the position, not that he could.”47
Perez also pointed to something else that the Braves infielders had to contend with: field conditions. “You have to take into consideration Atlanta’s infield grass, which is the worst except for Montreal’s. When you play on artificial turf you get the true hop. But when you play on grass, especially an infield as bad as Atlanta’s, you get weird hops and of course they give you an error if you miss one.”48
Perez was not alone in his view. Second baseman Dave Johnson, who had come over from the Baltimore Orioles to replace Félix Millán as a result of trades after the 1972 season, was even more vocal. “We’ve got a 10-cent infield,” he sniped in August 1974. “A coach of a Little League club could keep his park in better shape than ours is in. You hear all this stuff about defense, but you learn more bad habits playing on a rock pile like this than you could overcome.”49
Actually, by that time Johnson was playing more at first base than at second. As Wayne Minshew wrote that September, “Most observers, not only those connected with the Braves but scouts who have watched him play, say Johnson’s days as a keystoner are over.”50 Perez, who had wanted a trade but didn’t get one, stayed focused and worked hard. After hitting well off the bench early in ’74, he became a frequent starter at second. He hit .260-2-34 in 127 games and adjusted well to his new position.51
Perez viewed 1973 and 1974 as the most enjoyable period of his big-league career. “Hank was going for his record [surpassing Babe Ruth’s 714 home runs] and all the photographers and newsmen were with us everywhere. That was fun, and I had two good years.”52
Craig Robinson was a well-regarded fielder, but he made 29 errors in 1974. He also hit a soft .230 (.265 slugging percentage). In 1975 Larvell “Sugar Bear” Blanks – who had more pop in his bat but was not known for his defense – became the Braves’ starter at short after Robinson got sick in spring training. Dave Johnson was gone (he’d taken a job in Japan after refusing to platoon at first base) so Perez remained the main man at second. He hit a career high .275 in 120 games, again with 2 homers and 34 RBIs.
Yet even though Perez had performed reasonably well, the Braves had a new second baseman in 1976: Lee Lacy, who’d come over in a six-player trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Perez backed up Lacy, who won the job because of his stronger bat – and yet another new shortstop, Darrel Chaney. (Atlanta had any number of middle infielders that decade.)
That February, the Braves got a new owner: Ted Turner, of whom Perez said, “He was definitely a maverick. The team was just one of his toys.”53 The most memorable thing about the club that season was Turner’s promotional stunt of putting players’ nicknames on the back of their uniforms. Perez’s jersey was labeled TACO. As author Dan Epstein wrote, the nickname “could easily have been misinterpreted as a racial slur, but actually originated in the fact that the Mexican-American second baseman really, really liked tacos.”54 Perez said, however, “Orlando Cepeda started calling me Taco one day in 1971, and it stuck.”55
On June 13, 1976, the Braves sent Perez along with Darrell Evans to the San Francisco Giants for Willie Montañez, Craig Robinson (re-obtained after just over a year), Jake Brown, and Mike Eden. “I asked them to trade me,” said Perez. “Baseball can be rotten sometimes, and this was one of those times. I’d rather play where they let me do my job, play every day. It gets cold in San Francisco sometimes, and the balls sting. But you just have to go out there and try to forget it.”56
San Francisco made Perez the starter at second base for the remainder of the season. He hit .259-2-26 in 93 games. On a club that featured a lot of griping, he was not one of the malcontents. “He did a hell of a job for us,” said manager Bill Rigney.57 Yet the team had other things in mind, as Perez recalled. “Rigney called me in, said they wanted to make me a utility infielder, pay me well, pretty much bribe me to sit down. I said, ‘I don’t want to do that.’ I don’t understand some of the stuff people in baseball do. Who knows.”58
Thus, on March 14, 1977, Perez was traded again. Contract status was the main reason; this time he went to the New York Yankees for outfielder Terry Whitfield, who was also unsigned.59 When asked what he thought about going to a pennant-winning club, Perez said, “I didn’t think of it either way. I knew I wasn’t going to play.”60
Indeed, just before the 1977 season started, the Yankees got Bucky Dent from the Chicago White Sox to play shortstop. Dent – an upgrade from Fred Stanley – formed a good-quality young middle-infield tandem with Willie Randolph. As a result, Perez became expendable; he played just one game in pinstripes before moving on again. In the April 27 deal that brought Mike Torrez to New York, he went to the Oakland Athletics with Dock Ellis and Larry Murray.
“I was happy with the Yankees, but I wasn’t happy about not playing,” said Perez that May. “I guess everybody knows I’m not signed, and that’s why they traded me.” When asked about Charlie Finley, the mercurial A’s owner/general manager, Perez responded, “I’m not looking for any trouble. I’ve read a lot about Finley in the past, and I just hope I don’t get involved with it. Whichever way it works, whether I sign with Oakland or not, whoever I sign with it’s going to be for a long time.”61
Perez hit .231-2-23 in 115 games as the primary second baseman for the A’s. “Perez is our best second baseman,” said manager Bobby Winkles, amid lack of progress on any contract talks for his infielder. “We’re going to play him until Charlie decides to do something different.”62 Perez also got spot duty at third base, a position he had played on occasion in the past.
After the 1977 season, Perez went into the re-entry draft, which was the modus operandi of free agency at that time. According to the Sporting News, he attracted interest from the Red Sox, the Indians, and the White Sox. “Nobody said anything about that to me,” said Perez. “Nobody approached me. I didn’t have an agent at that time. I had one from 1973 through 1976, but they didn’t do anything for me.”63
Perez re-signed with Oakland, and in 1978, he became a seldom-used reserve behind Mario Guerrero and Mike Edwards. “I thought I was going to have a good year, but that winter, I was working out at Georgia Tech and I broke a finger. I couldn’t do anything in camp.”64 He appeared in just 15 games during April and May, with just 12 at-bats. The A’s released him on May 17. “They wanted me to go down, and I said no – they got mad at me.”65
Perez worked out with his first club, the Angels, for a couple of weeks. California’s manager was Jim Fregosi, who had become a major-league skipper for the first time in early June after replacing Dave Garcia. Fregosi decided not to sign Perez, though.66 “It was at the last second.”67
So, on June 19, Perez signed as a free agent with the New York Mets. “I said I might as well.”68 He played for the Mets’ Triple-A farm club, Tidewater, and hit .261-0-24 in 69 games. He developed sciatica, though, and the painful nerve condition led him to retire.69
Perez held a few minor jobs before finding his new career: insurance. In late 1979 he joined Rogers-Wood and Associates, an Atlanta-based firm. “It took a long time to get going, there was no food in the refrigerator for a few years.”70 Perez served as a property and casualty agent with Rogers-Wood until 1992. Then he started his own company, Marty Perez Insurance, based in the Atlanta suburb of Lithonia. As of 2015, he continued to serve his clients’ needs.
Perez also stayed active in Braves alumni functions, meeting and greeting fans. Civic and charitable causes remained very important to him as well. He coached his daughters in youth ball but otherwise was not involved in baseball – “too busy trying to make money,” he said.”71
“I’m proud of what I accomplished,” said Perez in conclusion. “God blessed me with some talent that not everybody has. I’ve got a beautiful wife and a beautiful family, and I thank Him for that too. Now I’ve got to go out and sell some more insurance!”72
Last revised: March 20, 2015.
Grateful acknowledgment to Marty Perez for his memories (telephone interview, January 13, 2015).
The Topps Company
paperofrecord.com (The Sporting News online)
1 1963-67 and 1976.
2 Telephone interview, Marty Perez with Rory Costello, January 13, 2015 (Hereafter Perez interview).
3 Perez interview.
4 Perez interview.
5 Perez interview.
6 Perez interview.
7 Perez interview.
8 John David Fischer, The Cowhide – A High School Football Tradition (Victoria, British Columbia: Trafford Publishing, 2005).
9 Perez interview.
10 Perez interview.
11 Tony Petrella, “Untried Perez Hopes to Win Home as Atlanta’s Shortstop,” Palm Beach Post, February 24, 1971, D1.
12 Perez interview.
13 Petrella, “Untried Perez Hopes to Win Home as Atlanta’s Shortstop”
14 “Meet the Members of the Topps-National Association All-Star Teams,” The Sporting News, November 4, 1967, 30.
15 Perez interview.
16 John Wiebusch, “Weary Fregosi To Get Support In Amaro Glove,” The Sporting News, November 23, 1968, 43.
17 “Perez Pumps Up,” The Sporting News, June 21, 1969, 44.
18 Perez interview.
19 Petrella, “Untried Perez Hopes to Win Home as Atlanta’s Shortstop.”
20 Perez interview.
21 John Wiebusch, “Angels Weighing Offer by Orioles,” The Sporting News, November 8, 1969, 40.
22 Perez interview.
23 Perez interview.
24 John Wiebusch, “Swimming Prescribed To Aid Ailing Fregosi,” The Sporting News, April 11, 1970, 46.
25 John Wiebusch, “Soph Jinx? Doyle the Guy to Handle It,” The Sporting News, April 18, 1970, 26.
26 “Ems Ahead of ’69 Pace,” The Sporting News, May 23, 1970, 42.
27 Ferd Borsch, “Hawaii’s Gate May Hit Half Million,” The Sporting News, August 8, 1970, 38.
28 Wayne Minshew, “Perez May Cure Braves’ Headache at Shortstop,” The Sporting News, November 7, 1970, 46.
29 Minshew, “Perez May Cure Braves’ Headache at Shortstop.”
30 Wayne Minshew, “Brave Bullpen Opens for Workhorse Herbel,” The Sporting News, December 19, 1970, 44.
31 Wayne Minshew, “Atlanta’s Hill Prospects Excite Lum,” The Sporting News, January 2, 1971, 46.
32 Petrella, “Untried Perez Hopes to Win Home as Atlanta’s Shortstop.”
33 Wayne Minshew, “Ex-Angel Perez Puts Braves on Cloud 6,” The Sporting News, March 13, 1971, 48.
34 Tony Petrella, “Finally, Marty Perez Is No. 1,” Palm Beach Post, March 3, 1972, E3.
35 Wayne Minshew, “Braves Ecstatic Over DP Duo of Perez, Millan,” The Sporting News, January 8, 1972, 39.
36 Wayne Minshew, “Perez’ Fast finish Delights Braves,” The Sporting News, September 25, 1971, 12.
37 Wayne Minshew, “Going ‘Other Way’ Helped Perez Get on Right Track,” The Sporting News, June 16, 1973, 12.
38 Perez interview.
39 Minshew, “Going ‘Other Way’ Helped Perez Get on Right Track.”
40 Perez interview.
41 “Mets’ Matlack Jokes after Blow To Head,” Associated Press, May 9, 1973.
42 The others: Lee Maye (1962), Johnny Blanchard (1965), Mike Lum (1969), Johnny Briggs (1975), and Mike Hegan (1975). Jeffrey Lyons and Douglas B. Lyons. Out of Left Field (New York: Times Books, 1998), 45-46.
43 Perez interview.
44 Perez interview.
45 Larry Mlynczak, “Perez Hopes to Hold His Job at Second,” Palm Beach Post, March 30, 1976, D1.
46 Wayne Minshew, “Brave Attitude Makes Big Hit With Mathews,” The Sporting News, April 27, 1974,
47 Wayne Minshew, “Contented Perez Thanks Newsmen For Firing Barbs,” The Sporting News, April 26, 1975, 9.
48 Larry Mlynczak, “Braves’ Perez Fighting for Job, Palm Beach Post, February 26, 1974, D2.
49 “Johnson Raps Field,” The Sporting News, August 10, 1974, 30.
50 Wayne Minshew, “Relaxing Helps Brave Dave Snap Skid,” The Sporting News, September 21, 1974, 14.
51 Minshew, “Contented Perez Thanks Newsmen For Firing Barbs.”
52 Perez interview.
53 Perez interview.
54 Dan Epstein, Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ’76 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2014), 138-139.
55 Perez interview.
56 Art Spander, “Two Happy Fellas Replace Grumpy Giant,” The Sporting News, July 3, 1976, 18.
57 Art Spander, “‘Other Perez’ Does Job for Giants,” The Sporting News, October 30, 1976, 26.
58 Perez interview.
59 “Yanks Obtain Marty Perez,” United Press International, March 15, 1977.
60 Perez interview.
61 Tom Weir, “Trader Finley Swaps Headaches, Torrez for Ellis,” The Sporting News, May 14, 1977, 17.
62 Tom Weir, “Keeping A’s Out of Cellar Winkles’ Chief Goal,” The Sporting News, August 20, 1977, 20.
63 Perez interview.
64 Perez interview.
65 Perez interview.
66 Dick Miller, “Jackson, Baylor Arch Angels Without Honor,” The Sporting News, July 1, 1978, 20.
67 Perez interview.
68 Perez interview.
69 Perez interview. Some baseball references have shown Perez going back to Oakland and appearing in one final big-league game as a pinch-runner on September 16, but he said that is incorrect, and The Sporting News box score of that game does not show him.
70 Perez interview.
71 Perez interview.
72 Perez interview.