Lafayette Drillers Flashback: Gary Alexander
The Lafayette Drillers, a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, called Lafayette, Louisiana their home for two years, from 1975-1976.
The Drillers, who played their home games at Clark Field, were co-champions of the Texas League in 1975 with the Midland Cubs, finishing 72-57, before going 58-76 in 1976, the last year of affiliated professional baseball in Lafayette.
A number of outstanding players, who eventually made it into Major League Baseball ranks played at Clark Field in 1975 & 1976, including five former Lafayette Driller players.
All summer long, we're taking a look back at some of the former players for the Drillers.
Today, Gary Alexander.
Alexander, along with teammate Jack Clark, was part of a middle-of-the-order for the Drillers that gave Texas League pitchers nightmares.
Splitting time between catcher, outfield, and designated hitter, Alexander hit a .329 for Lafayette in 1975, while crushing 23 homers, and driving in 81 runs, as a 22-year old.
The very next year, in 1976, Alexander was with the San Francisco Giants, where he spent three years (1975-1977), before moving on to the Oakland A’s (1978), and the Cleveland Indians (1978-1980), before ending his MLB career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1981.
The Los Angeles, California native spent most of his seven-year career as a catcher, compiling a .230 batting average, while belting 55 home runs, and driving in 202 runs.
His best season was 1978, when he split time between Oakland and Cleveland, when he hit 27 home runs, and drove in 84 runs.
Alexander also caught a 1976 no-hitter while with the Giants, thrown by John Montefusco.
With the Drillers in 1975, Alexander finished tied for the club lead in homers, with Clark, with 23, while leadign the team in runs batted in hitting (.321), walks (76), runs batted in (81), on-base percentage (.453), and slugging percentage (.604). He also finsihed second in doubles (24) and runs scored (80).
Alexander played 48 games at catcher and 24 games in the outfield with the '75 Drillers.
The Drillers certainly would not have shared the 1975 Texas League title, if not for Gary Alexander.