Sunday, November 6, 2011

#34 Paul Householder

Card:  This is Householder's third card but his first solo card.  He appeared on a three player future star card in both the '81 and '82 sets.

Picture:  The letters on his back are so long they almost reach around to front of his jersey. 
Householder looks a little like actor Steve Zahn.... 

Player:  Paul Householder was drafted in the 2nd round by the Cincinnati Reds in the '76 draft.  The switch-hitting outfielder slowly worked his way up the Reds system and made his major league debut in late August of 1980.  The well regarded prospect hit .244 in 45 at bats in his first taste of the big leagues.  Householder started '81 back in AAA and had a fine year batting .300 with 19 home runs.  Householder was called up in September and batted .275 with two homers in 69 at bats.

In '82 Housholder was the Reds everyday right fielder but his struggles against righthanded pitching (.180) plagued him all year and he finished with a .211 average along with 9 HR in 417 at bats to go with 17 stolen bases.  In '83 Householder was held back by an injury and didn't play until the end of April.  Playing rightfield and occasionally in center, Householder improved against righties but overall hit .255 with 6 HR and 12 SB.

Displaced by Dave Parker in right field, Householder was on the bench to start 1984.  Householder played sparingly with one hit in twelve at bats in April and was sent down to AAA.  Householder showed some pop with 18 HR in 408 at bats at Wichita but batted only .248 and was traded to the Cardinals in September for John Stupor.  Householder struggled in his brief time with St. Louis getting two hits in fourteen at bats.  At the conclusion of the season the Cardinals traded Householder in a five player deal to the Milwaukee Brewers.

With the Brewers, Householder filled the role of fourth outfielder receiving 299 at bats in 95 games.  Householder hit a career high 11 long balls to go with 15 doubles.  Householder returned in the same role to start '86 but after 78 at bats, he was demoted to AAA.  Householder's problems followed him to the minors hitting just .208 in Vancouver, which earned him his release at the end of the year.

Without a team until May '87, Housholder was picked up by the Astros.  The Astros used the 28 year-old as a pinch hitter for a while but sent him down to AAA Tucson after only one hit in twelve at bats.  Householder batted .273, and was not called back up to the majors and that was it for Householder's pro baseball career.

Flipside:  Householder's personal best game in '82 isn't mentioned because Topps only mentions highlights from wins.  Householder went 3-4 with a double and a homer in a losing effort against St.Louis on 7/18.

Oddball:  After his poor '82 season, Householder got engaged on New Year's Eve and was quoted as saying "With the kind of year I had, I'm ready to try anything." 

History:  Housholder had decent speed and power in the minors but was never able to find success in the majors.  The Reds had high hopes for the Columbus native but he never was able to hit enough to stick around and was out of pro baseball at the age of 29.


  1. For me, Householder is symbolic of my early '80s relief that "finally, the Reds aren't good anymore." After dealing with the Big Red Machine since the beginning of my interest in baseball, with all of their stars, it was nice to see players come up on that team that weren't all that great.

  2. I remember someone commenting that if you looked the back of Householder's jersey while standing at just the right angle behind him, you'd think his name was "Usehold", because that's all you could see...