Saturday, June 16, 2018

Born on the Same Day - 3/3/1942

Another installment in my "Born on the Same Day" series, featuring players who were born on the same day (!) and year. 

This is post #22 in the series: Don Dennis and Bob Garibaldi - both born on 3/3/1942.


Don Dennis pitched 79 games for the Cardinals (mostly in relief) from 1965-66. Traded to the White Sox after 1966, he never played for them, but pitched for their AAA team for 3 seasons before retiring.

Bob Garibaldi played in the Giants' farm system from 1962-1970, and in the Padres' system from 1971-72. He played a few games for the Giants in '62 and '63, and 1 game each in '66 and '69. After his baseball career, he was a college basketball referee for many years.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The 1967 Reds

I last posted a 1967 team review in August 2016 (and that was after a 2-year delay since the previous one), so today’s post is long overdue. I have 7 more teams to review after the Reds, but those should occur more frequently now, since I only have about 100-120 player cards remaining (and only about a dozen stars). The upside to this delay is that most of these Reds players' cards have already been posted, so there are links to follow.


Here are the Reds, pictured in their 1966 uniforms. I think that was the last year for the vests and white hats (if Gary Nolan's and Lee May's 1968 cards are any indication). I seem to recall that the Reds spent a lot of time in first place in 1967. Unfortunately for them, September and October were not included in that run.

Only Gary Nolan, Tony Perez, Pete Rose, and Johnny Bench would still be around for Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" days.


The first 5 are the starting pitchers, in order of innings pitched:

Gary Nolan didn't even have a card in the 1967 Topps set, but as a 19-year-old rookie he led the team in starts (32), innings (226), complete games (8), and strikeouts (206, 53 more than perennial leader Maloney). He also led the starting staff in winning percentage (.636) and ERA (2.58).

Milt Pappas led the Reds with 16 wins as the #2 starter. Long-time staff ace Jim Maloney won 15 games and struck out 153 in 29 starts. In his first year as a full-time pitcher, #5 starter Mel Queen won 14 games and struck out 154.


Sammy Ellis was the team's #4 starter, but had an off year (8-11) with 80 strikeouts. Ted Abernathy was stolen from the Braves in the Rule 5 draft after the 1966 season, and led the team with 28 saves and a 1.27 ERA while pitching 70 games.

Bill McCool had primarily been a reliever since breaking in with the Reds in 1964, but started 11 games in '67 along with 20 relief appearances. Don Nottebart was just the opposite – although a starter for the Colt .45s from 1963-65, he was a reliever for the Reds in '66 and '67. In 79 relief innings, he posted a 1.93 ERA but an 0-3 record, and found himself relegated to triple-A for all of 1968.


Gerry Arrigo was a reliever and spot starter for the Reds in 1967. He and McCool were the only lefthanders on the 10-man full-season staff. Bob Lee was acquired from the Dodgers at the end of May, and pitched 50 innings in 27 games, all but one in relief.

Jack Baldschun spent most of the season in AAA, only pitching 13 innings across 9 games, all from mid-June to late-July. Ted Davidson’s season mirrored Baldschun’s – 13 innings pitched in 9 games, his all in September.


Here are the starting eight players:

Johnny Edwards was the Reds’ catcher from 1961 until 8/28/1967 – the day Johnny Bench made his 1st start. In his final season with the Reds, Deron Johnson split his time between 1st base and 3rd base.

Tommy Helms was the 1966 Rookie of the Year at 3rd base, but moved to 2nd base in 1967 and made 2 consecutive All-Star teams. Chico Cardenas was the Reds’ regular shortstop from 1962-68, making 4 All-Star teams during that time.


Tony Perez moved across the diamond to 3B in early-May 1967 to accommodate Lee May. He was an All-Star from 1967-70 and 1974-76. Perez topped 100 RBI 6 times, and 90 RBI 5 times in an 11-year stretch. Pete Rose led the league in hits 6 times in 11 years (from 1965-76), but only collected 176 hits in ’67 (his lowest total from 1965-80).

Vada Pinson started 156 games in center field, and led the NL with 13 triples in 1967. Tommy Harper started 87 games in right field, but was out of the lineup from late-May to late-July, and also the season’s final 2 weeks.


Here are the bench players, in order of at-bats:

Lee May started 68 games at 1B and 47 more in the outfield in his rookie season. He had more at-bats than all but Pinson, Perez, Rose, and Helms. Chico Ruiz started 47 games at 2B, mostly in July when Cardenas was out of the lineup (with Helms moving to SS).

Don Pavletich started 57 games at catcher (same as Edwards), but with the arrival of Bench, neither of those 2 were going to see any more playing time. Art Shamsky was a left-handed pinch-hitter, also starting a few dozen games at the corner outfield spots.


Floyd Robinson was primarily a pinch-hitter, but also started 30 games in right field. Jimmy Coker was the #3 catcher, starting 22 games (mostly in late-June and early-July when Edwards was unavailable).

Johnny Bench made his major-league debut on August 28th, and started 26 of the final 36 games. Dick Simpson had 54 at-bats in 44 games, mostly as a pinch-hitter.


Jake Wood was acquired from the Tigers in late-June for infield depth. Gordy Coleman was the Reds’ 1st baseman for the first half of the decade, but lost playing time to Perez in 1966, and with May joining the team in ’67, was a spare part. After playing 4 games during the first month, Coleman played in AAA for the rest of the season.

Len Boehmer (shown on his 1969 Yankees Rookies card) had 2 pinch-hitting appearances during a mid-season callup. John Tsitouris was a regular starter for the Reds from 1963-65, but only pitched 2 games in 1967.


Others:

Dave Bristol was the youngest major-league manager (age 33) in 1967. Aurelio Monteagudo did not play for the Reds in 1967 (or ever, for that matter). After a 15-year career with the Reds (which began in 1944 as a 15-year old), Joe Nuxhall retired before the 1967 season.


Darrell Osteen pitched 11 games in relief for the Reds, all before mid-June. He also appeared with Lee May on the 1966 Reds Rookies card.


Transactions from the end of the 1966 season until the end of 1967:

11/28/66 - Drafted Ted Abernathy from the Braves in the rule 5 draft.

12/15/66 - Traded Jim O'Toole to the White Sox for Floyd Robinson.
12/15/66 - Traded Hank Fischer to the Red Sox for pitchers Dick Stigman and Rollie Sheldon.

5/31/67 - Purchased Bob Lee from the Dodgers.

6/23/67 - Purchased Jake Wood from the Tigers.

7/15/67 - Signed Aurelio Monteagudo.

7/22/67 - Released Aurelio Monteagudo.

9/18/67 - Traded Len Boehmer to the Yankees for pitcher Bill Henry.

10/10/67 - Traded Deron Johnson to the Braves for outfielders Jim Beauchamp and Mack Jones, and pitcher Jay Ritchie.

10/11/67 - Sold Jake Wood to the Indians.

10/20/67 - Traded Floyd Robinson and Darrell Osteen to the Athletics for pitcher Ron Tompkins.

11/8/67 - Traded Art Shamsky to the Mets for infielder Bob Johnson.

11/21/67 - Traded Tommy Harper to the Indians for pitcher George Culver and 1B Fred Whitfield.

11/28/67 - Drafted Jimmie Schaffer from the Phillies in the rule 5 draft.

11/29/67 - Traded Sammy Ellis to the Angels for pitcher Bill Kelso.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Chuck Hinton (#189)

It’s been awhile since I've seen a card with "In Military Service" on the back! 

Hinton was a jack-of-all-trades player (but primarily an outfielder) for the Indians, Senators, and Angels from 1961-1971. In his 11-year career, he played every position but pitcher (although only catching for 73 innings, and 5 innings at shortstop). He did pitch 1 game in the minors.

Hinton was signed by the Orioles in 1956, and played in their farm system for 3 seasons (missing the '57-'58 seasons while in military service). He played Class-C ball in ’56 and ’59, and most of 1960 before getting a call-up to AAA.

Chuck was drafted by the expansion Washington Senators before the 1961 season, and was a regular outfielder (mostly in left) during the franchise's first 4 seasons. Hinton made his only All-Star team in 1964 (his last with the Nats).


After the 1964 season he was traded to the Indians for Bob Chance (the Tribe’s regular 1st baseman as a rookie in 1964) and Woodie Held, who had been Cleveland’s starting shortstop from 1959-62, but by now was a utility player (which is why Topps was saddling him with the “INF-OF” position).

Leon Wagner, Vic Davalillo, and Rocky Colavito were already manning the 3 outfield spots, so playing time was hard to come by for Hinton for the next 2 seasons. Still, he managed to start 56 games in the outfield and 36 at first base in 1965, and 82 in the outfield the following season.

With Colavito fading (and then finally traded) during 1967, Hinton finally saw the playing time he had in Washington. He started 119 games in the outfield, and was the #1 outfielder with 1115 innings played, (ahead of Wagner, Davalillo, Lee Maye, and Colavito).

Once again, just as he rose to the top he was traded. This time to the Angels for outfielder Jose Cardenal. Hinton only spent the 1968 season with the Angels, and because they seemed to employ too many outfielders, Chuck was used mainly as a backup to Don Mincher at 1st base (48 games), along with 37 games in the outfield and another 2 dozen split between 2B and 3B.

After that season he was traded back to the Indians for outfielder Lou Johnson. Now in his late 30s, Hinton spent his final 3 seasons as a backup first baseman and occasional outfielder.

Chuck had an interesting post-playing career. He was the head baseball coach at Howard University from 1972-2000, and in 1982 he founded the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.

Hinton passed away in 2013 at age 78.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Born on the Same Day - 6/28/1941

Another installment in my "Born on the Same Day" series, featuring players who were born on the same day (!) and year. 

This is post #19 in the series: Al Downing and Fred Talbot - both born on 6/28/1941.


This is the 19th post in the series, and the first one featuring teammates.

Al Downing pitched for 17 seasons, the first 9 (1961-69) for the Yankees. After splitting the 1970 season between the Athletics and Brewers, he pitched his final 7 seasons with the Dodgers. He was a 20-game winner in 1971, his first in LA. Three years later, he gave up Hank Aaron's 715th home run.


Unlike Downing, Fred Talbot did not begin his career with the Yankees (or even with Yankees-West). Fred came up with the White Sox in 1963, then was traded to the Athletics prior to 1965. He finally made it to the Big Apple midway through the 1966 season.

After several seasons in the Yankees' rotation, Talbot was quite the traveler in 1969 - playing for the Yankees, Pilots, and Athletics. He finished his career in 1970 - pitching 1 game for the Athletics.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Herman Franks (#116)

It’s been awhile since I’ve featured a manager’s card. This is one of the last managers from 1966-70 that I haven’t posted yet, and the last who was managing a team during the 1967 season.

Herman Franks was the Giants’ manager from 1965 to 1968. Oddly enough, the team finished in 2nd place every season during his tenure, but after 4 years of that he was given the boot.

He was replaced by Clyde King for the 1969 season, and they finished in 2nd place again! Franks later managed the Cubs from 1977-79.


Prior to managing, Franks was a catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Philadelphia Athletics, and others from 1939-48.

He began his pro career playing for the Hollywood Stars in the PCL from 1932-33. After a few more seasons in the Cardinals’ organization he made his major-league debut with the Cards in 1939.

Traded to the Dodgers in 1940, he played for Brooklyn in ’40 and part of ’41, then spent the rest of 1941 and all of 1942 with their AAA team in Montreal.

He was out of baseball from 1943-45 while serving as a lieutenant in the Navy, fighting in the South Pacific.

Herman returned to Montreal in 1946, and resurfaced in the majors with the Philadelphia Athletics from 1947-48.

He was a Giants’ coach under Leo Durocher from 1949-55, and again in ’58 and ’64. He also scouted for the Giants from 1956-63.

Franks passed away in 2009 at age 95.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Blog Bat-Around - Card-collecting Projects


I just came across this Blog Bat-Around (started by Night Owl) when I clicked on the Fleer Sticker Project blog. This is my first participation in any kind of bat-around, so here goes...

I have been collecting baseball cards since 1967. That's not to say I've collected every year since then, because I have an extreme aversion to modern sets issued by Topps and others. I detailed my collection some years ago on this blog, so I won't go into all that again, but I currently have most or all cards from 1965 to 1970, and 1972.

When I started blogging in 2009, many of my cards were still in boxes, but after seeing the occasional posts by Wrigley Wax about his World Headquarters, I decided to shape up and get them all into binders:

On the top shelf are my Phillies' team sets (1952-69, 70-79, 80-84, 85-89, 90-94, 00-present), with the blue binder all the way on the right containing my Eagles' cards from 1960-79. I have all the Phillies cards from 1964 through 1993 (except Mike Schmidt's rookie card), all the low numbers from 1960-63, and a few dozen from 1952-59 and 2008-10.

The middle shelf is my bread-and-butter for these blogs: one binder for 1960-64, then a binder for each year from 1965 to 1970 (except the Phillies cards, which are in the top row of binders).

The bottom shelf is a mixed bag:
1. the few dozen baseball cards that I have from 1971 and 73-80
2. the complete set from 1972
3. my moment-of-weakness purchase of the 2010 Topps 1st series cards
4. 1964-66 football cards
5. 1967-69 football cards
6. 1970-72 football cards
7. the 1993 Beatles card set
8 and 9. Miscellaneous other non-sports sets like the early-1960s' World War II and Combat TV show cards


What's missing?
1) I can't find my 1973 football card binder for about 2 years now!

2) In 1981 and again from about 1987 to 1992, I bought factory sets of Topps, Fleer, and Donruss cards. Where are they? I don't have enough interest in them to put them in binders, so they are still in their factory boxes, here in my closet:



So what am I currently collecting? 
I have already completed the '68, '69, and '72 sets, and I am 3 cards short of completing the '67 set. I haven't been buying any cards lately, but when I do it is to complete the '66 and '70 sets (which are about 85% and 95% complete) and the 1965 set (about 45% complete). I also like the 1963 set because it's very colorful, but many of the players are unfamiliar to me, so there's a lesser interest in completing that set.


One of my other collecting interests is diecast cars. Here's my Matchbox display case, about 2 feet above the card binder shelf:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Paul Casanova (#115)

Paul Casanova played 7 seasons with the Senators (1965-71) and 3 with the Braves (1972-74).

Casanova’s career had a rocky start. He was signed by the Indians in 1960 but released in June of that year. They signed him again in December but was released AGAIN in April 1961. (To prove it wasn’t just the Indians, the Cubs signed him in September 1961 and also release him the following April.)

For a while in 1961, he played for the Indianapolis Clowns, an independent team that was formerly in the Negro Leagues.

FINALLY, Paul hooked on with the Senators just after the 1962 season, AND THEY DIDN’T RELEASE HIM MONTHS LATER! In fact, he went on to be their starting catcher for several seasons.


After 3 seasons in their farm system, Casanova made his major-league debut with the Senators in September 1965 (5 games).
 
Paul was the team’s primary starting catcher from 1966 to 1970. He caught the lion’s share of games in ’66, ’67, and ’69, and just over half the games in ’68 and ’70 (with Jim French the #2 backstop in both seasons). Casanova also made his only All-Star team in 1967.

1971 was Paul’s last season in Washington. He started 81 games behind the plate, but rookie Dick Billings was gradually taking over, starting 61 games (mostly in the second half).

After the ’71 season, Casanova was traded to the Braves for catcher Hal King. Paul backed up Earl Williams in 1972, then split the starting assignments with Johnny Oates in 1973. In his final season (1974) Casanova was the #3 catcher behind Oates and rookie Vic Correll, and did not make a start after August 9th, as Correll assumes the bulk of the catching over the season’s final months.

He was released by the Braves in March 1975, ending his 10-year career.

Casanova passed away in August 2017 at age 75.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Steve Blass (#562)

Steve Blass was the Pirates' ace from 1968 to 1972. This is his high-numbered 1967 card.  Oddly enough, there are FOUR Pirates among the 47 cards that follow Blass' card in the 1967 set.

After winning 19 games in '72 and finishing 2nd in the Cy Young voting, Blass seemingly forgot how to pitch in 1973. That year, he led the NL with 12 hit batters (IN ONLY 88 INNINGS!), while compiling a 3-9 record and a 9.85 ERA. After pitching 5 innings in April 1974, his career was over.

Blass was signed by the Pirates in 1960, and pitched in the minors from 1960-63. He made his major-league debut in May 1964, and pitched 24 games as a starter and reliever in his rookie season.

He returned to the minors for all of 1965, making 25 starts for AAA Columbus.


Blass returned to the Pirates in 1966, joining a rotation led by Bob Veale that also included rookie Woodie Fryman, Tommie Sisk, and long-time Pirate Vern Law. After 1967, Law retired and Fryman was traded to the Phillies, leaving Veale and Blass as the Bucs’ top 2 starters.

Blass became a full-time starter in 1968, winning 18 games and leading the NL with a .750 winning percentage. He followed that up with 16 wins in 1969. By now Dock Ellis had joined the squad, supporting Blass and Veale.

Steve won 15 games in 1971 and 19 in 1972, and pitched in 6 games in the ’71 and ’72 post-seasons, including 2 complete game wins in the ’71 World Series. During his 5 prime seasons with the Pirates (’68-’72) he struck out 652 while walking 368 – a 1.77 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

In 1973, Blass came down with what became known as “Steve Blass disease” – an inability to find the plate. In 1973 he pitched 88 innings in 23 games, only striking out 27 while walking 84 (the same number he walked in 249 innings the previous season). His strikeout-to-walk ratio in 1973 was 0.32. His ERA also ballooned to 9.85.

After pitching just 1 game in April 1974, Blass spent the remainder of the season in the minors, trying to find his control. It never returned and he was released in January 1975.

Blass has been broadcasting Pirates’ games since the 1980s.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Steve Hargan (#440)

Steve Hargan was the 4th member of the Indians’ excellent starting rotation in the mid-to-late 1960s.

Hargan signed with the Indians in 1961 and made his major-league debut in August 1965. By mid-June 1966 he joined he starting rotation, where he stayed until early 1971.

Steve’s best years were 1966, 1967, and 1970. In those 3 years only, he won in double figures, and had an ERA below 3.00. He also had over 130 strikeouts in ’66 and ’67. In 1967, he led the AL with 6 shutouts, and made his only All-Star team.



Anchored by Sam McDowell, it seemed like McDowell, Luis Tiant, Sonny Siebert, and Hargan were always showing up among the AL pitching leaders:


Hargan's career derailed in 1971. After posting a 1-13 record that season, he only pitched 20 innings for the Tribe in 1972 while spending most of that season and all of 1973 in the minors.

After the 1973 season he was traded to the Rangers for pitcher Bill Gogolewski. Hargan bounced back with Texas, winning 12 games in ’74 and 9 games in ’75 as a starter. He was primarily a reliever in his 3rd season with the Rangers, only starting 8 of his 35 games on his way to an 8-8 record.

Hargan was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the expansion draft following the 1976 season. After only 6 games (29 innings) he was traded back to Texas in early-May. A month later he was flipped to the Braves, where he finished out the season (and his career).

He pitched in the minors in 1978 before retiring.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ollie Brown (#83)

“Downtown” Ollie Brown played for 13 seasons from 1965 to 1977. Early in his career he was a starting outfielder for the Giants (1966-67) and Padres (1969-71), then spent the 2nd half of his career as a backup for 4 different teams. He was known for having a cannon arm in right field.

Brown was signed by the Giants in 1962 and was a pitcher and outfielder in the minors (pitching a no-hitter in 1963). He made his major-league debut with the Giants in September 1965.

By 1966, the perennial logjam in the Giants’ outfield (Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda/Willie McCovey, Jesus Alou, Matty Alou, Len Gabrielson, Ken Henderson, Cap Peterson, Harvey Kuenn, Ollie Brown) had worked itself out through the trades of Cepeda, Matty Alou, Gabrielson, and Peterson. Those left standing were Mays (CF), J. Alou (LF), and Brown (RF).


After 2 seasons as a regular outfielder, Brown got squeezed out in 1968 when a) 3rd baseman Jim Ray Hart was moved to left field (Alou sharing RF with Brown), and b) rookie Bobby Bonds was called up in mid-season and took over the right field job.

Now that Hart and Bonds were outfield regulars, both Brown and Jesus Alou were left unprotected in the expansion draft, with Alou selected by the Expos and Brown by the Padres. Ollie provided some offensive punch during the Padres’ early years, hitting 20 and 23 homers in ’69 and ’70, while batting .292 in 1970. He started over 130 games in right field in each of his first 3 seasons in San Diego.

In May 1972 he was traded to the Athletics for outfielder Curt Blefary and pitcher Mike Kilkenny. He barely had time to unpack his suitcase when he moved on to the Brewers five weeks later.

After the 1973 season, Brown was part of a nine-player trade with the Angels. However, he never played a game for California as he was sold to the Astros during spring training in 1974.

By mid-June ’74 he was claimed off waivers by the Phillies, and spent his final 3 ½ seasons as a pinch-hitter and backup outfielder for Philadelphia. He also played in the ’76 and ’77 NLCS.

Brown’s younger brother Oscar was an outfielder for the Braves from 1970 to 1973. His older brother Willie (not the Raiders’ All-Pro cornerback) played for the Rams and Eagles.

Brown passed away in 2015 at age 71.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Denis Menke (#518)

Denis Menke was primarily a shortstop for the Braves and Astros from 1962-71, then was the Reds' 3rd baseman in their early "Big Red Machine" days.

I recall this card being issued late in 1967, maybe in the 5th series. I kept my cards grouped (and rubber-banded) by teams, and by then I already had most of the Braves’ lineup (Aaron, Carty, Torre, Boyer, Jones, Oliver).

Menke played 4 seasons in the minors (1958-61), and made his debut with the Braves in April 1962. He divided his time that season between Milwaukee and their AAA team in Toronto, backing up at 2B, SS, and 3B while with the Braves.


In 1963 he split the shortstop position with veteran Roy McMillan, and also started 47 games at 3rd base in August and September, while Eddie Mathews was moved out to left field.

After the first week of the 1964 season, Menke took over the shortstop job on an everyday basis (with McMillan soon traded to the Mets). He started 124 of the first 143 games at short, then moved to 2nd base for the season’s final 2 weeks while rookie Sandy Alomar got a tryout at shortstop.

Denis was back at shortstop for the first 23 games in 1965, but was out of the lineup for a month. When he returned in late-June, he was mostly used as a defensive replacement, pinch-hitter, and backup at shortstop, 3rd base, and 2nd base.

Menke was reinstated as the regular shortstop for 1966 and 1967, although he started 47 games at 3rd base in 1966 when Mathews was out of the lineup.

After the 1967 season, Menke was traded to the Astros with pitcher Denny Lemaster for shortstop Sonny Jackson and 1st baseman Chuck Harrison. Denis played 2nd base for most of 1968 (due to Joe Morgan’s injury), then spent the next 2 seasons as the Astros’ everyday shortstop. He made the All-Star team in ’69 and ‘70.

He was moved to 1st base for the 1971 season, replacing the Joe Pepitone/John Mayberry/Bob Watson tandem.

Menke was part of the big Reds/Astros trade after the 1971 season that saw him, Joe Morgan, pitcher Jack Billingham, and outfielders Cesar Geronimo and Ed Armbrister shipped to Cincinnati for Lee May, Tommy Helms, and Jimmy Stewart. Denis was the Reds’ 3rd baseman for the next 1 ½ seasons.

By June 1973, Dan Driessen had replaced him in the lineup, limiting Menke’s playing time for the remainder of the season. He returned to the Astros before the 1974 season, and played 30 games through mid-July.

After his playing career, Menke was a minor-league manager from 1977-79, and coached for the Blue Jays, Astros, Phillies, and Reds from 1980-2000.


He also appeared on the Braves' multi-player card in 1967.
(I thought it was odd that a non-pitcher was referred to as an "ace".)

.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hank Aguirre (#263)

As I work my way through the top 30 players not yet blogged (on this blog’s sidebar), it seems that Hank Aguirre is the dean of that group, having made his big-league debut in 1955.

Aguirre is one of the few players whose name my brother and I mispronounced when we started collecting baseball cards in 1967. To us, this guy was surely named Hank AAY-gwire.
(Others were the Cardinals’ Julian JAY-vee-er (pronouncing both J’s), the Tigers’ Al ka-LINE, the Braves' Orlando mar-tin-EZZ, and Angels’ 2nd baseman Bobby NEWP.)


Hank began playing minor-league ball in 1952, and the following year was acquired by the Cleveland Indians. After 3 seasons on their farm, Aguirre made his Indians’ debut in September 1955.

He split both the ’56 and ’57 seasons between Cleveland and their AAA team, then was traded to the Tigers (with catcher Jim Hegan) for pitcher Hal Woodeshick and C/OF Jay Porter.

Except for playing most of 1959 in triple-A, Hank spent the next decade (1958-67) with the Tigers. He led the Tigers with 10 saves in 1960, and although he had been mostly a reliever, for most of 1962-66 Aguirre was in Detroit’s starting rotation.

Hank’s career year was 1962 when he notched 16 wins, led the AL with a 2.21 ERA, and made his only All-Star team. With the Tigers’ acquisition of Earl Wilson in mid-1966, Aguirre was moved back to the bullpen.

A few days before the start of the 1968 season Aguirre was traded to the Dodgers. He compiled a 1-2 record in 39 innings that season, and was released in December.

He played his final 2 seasons with the Cubs. Appearing in 45 games in 1969, his playing time dropped off significantly the following season. He only pitched 14 innings over 17 games (the last on June 24th) before he was released in early-July 1970.

After retirement, he coached for the Cubs from 1972-74.

Aguirre passed away in 1994 at age 63.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

John O'Donoghue (#127)

John O'Donoghue is the oldest living player from the 1966-70 era that I have not blogged about yet.

I think of him as a Cleveland Indian, but he played more games for the Pilots/Brewers and Athletics than he did with the Tribe. After 2 seasons as a front-line starter with Kansas City, he became a supporting player for the remainder of his career.

John was signed by the Athletics in 1959, and made his major-league debut in 1963 (on Sept 29th!)

O’Donoghue was a starter for the Athletics for the next 2 seasons. In 1964 he won 10 games as a 24-year-old rookie, and was the youngest of the 3 primary starters (after Orlando Pena and Diego Segui) on the staff. (In 1965, 19-year-old rookie Catfish Hunter claimed that title.)

Meanwhile, in '65 John led the AL with 18 losses. He did have 9 wins, which was 1 less than the leader for this bad Kansas City team. He also made the All-Star team, despite his eventual 9-18 record.


John got a reprieve in 1966 as he was traded to the Indians in early-April for pitcher Ralph Terry. During his 2 seasons with the Indians he was the infrequently-used #5 starter, behind a strong rotation of Sam McDowell, Sonny Siebert, Steve Hargan, and Gary Bell / Luis Tiant.

After the 1967 season he moved on to the Orioles, in exchange for knuckle-baller Eddie Fisher. After leaving the Indians, John was used almost exclusively in relief for the remainder of his career.

He played for triple-A Rochester in August 1968 and April 1969, then was traded to the expansion Pilots in late-April, where he joined his old teammates Segui, Bell, and Fred Talbot in Seattle. John appeared in 55 games for the Pilots, and another 25 games for the Brewers in 1970, before his mid-June trade to the Expos.

He split the 2nd half of the 1970 season between Montreal and their AAA team. After 13 appearances in 1971, the Expos released him at the end of June, ending his 9-year career.

His son (also named John) pitched for the Orioles in 1993.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bob Priddy (#26)

Bob Priddy is one of the very few players who I always forget is in the 1967 Topps set. (The others are ….. oops, I forgot !) *

Priddy was traded to the Senators (along with Cap Peterson) for pitcher Mike McCormick in December 1966 – too late for Topps to correct the first-series cards for Priddy and McCormick (see below), but still time to include a “traded” note on the back of the 2 cards.

Actually there are 2 versions of these 2 cards – with and without the note on the back. (I think the “with” cards are more common.) Peterson’s card was in the 5th series, so there was time to portray him as a Washington Senator.



Bob was signed by the Pirates before the 1958 season as a 3rd baseman. He played in 46 games at the hot corner, and a dozen each at shortstop and the outfield (but no pitching).

In 1959 he became a pitcher exclusively, and for the next 5 seasons (1959-63) he pitched his way up the Bucs’ minor-league ladder. Priddy also had a 2-game cup of coffee with the Pirates in September 1962.

He split the 1964 season between the Pirates (19 games from mid-June to mid-July) and triple-A (21 games).

In February 1965 Bob and 1st base prospect Bob Burda were traded to the Giants for catcher Del Crandall. Priddy pitched most of the ’65 season in the minors, except for 2 early-season games and 6 in the final month.

1966 was Bob’s first full season in the majors, and also his last with the Giants. He appeared in 31 games (all but 3 in relief), slotted behind rookie closer Frank Linzy and the veteran Lindy McDaniel in the bullpen. Those 3 righthanders were joined by veteran southpaws Bill Henry and Joe Gibbon. (Take a moment to click on those other 4 relievers' names.  There sure was a lot of blue sky at the Giants' training camp!)

Priddy moved on to the Senators in 1967, picking up 4 saves in 110 innings over 46 games.

After just 1 season in Washington, it was on to the White Sox, joining pitcher Buster Narum and shortstop Tim Cullen in exchange for shortstop Ron Hansen and pitchers Dennis Higgins and Steve Jones. Priddy reached career highs in starts (18) and innings (110), but also fashioned a 3-11 ERA in 1968.

The following May he was shipped off to the Angels (with 2nd baseman Sandy Alomar) for 2nd baseman Bobby Knoop.

Bob’s stay with the Angels was the shortest of his career. Less than 4 months after arriving, he was flipped to the Braves (with 47-year-old Hoyt Wilhelm) for outfield prospect Mickey Rivers. He only played 1 game with the Braves in 1969, but relieved in 40 games for each of the next 2 seasons.

Priddy retired after the 1971 season, finishing up with 249 games in a 9-year career played for 6 teams.


*The others tend to be Dennis Higgins, Chico Salmon, Marcelino Lopez, Sandy Alomar, and (surprisingly enough) Mike Cuellar.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pete Richert (#590)

Here is Pete Richert’s high-numbered 1967 card. The 1967 7th-series cards were not sold in my area, so I had no idea who Pete was (other than that he was traded to the Orioles for Mike Epstein and Frank Bertaina in early 1967) until getting his 1968 card the following year.

Pete was signed by the Dodgers in 1958, and after 4 years as a starting pitcher in the minors he made his Dodgers’ debut in April 1962, setting a record by striking out the first 6 batters he faced.

From 1962 to 1964, he was up-and-down between the Dodgers and their triple-A team (first in Omaha, and later Spokane).

After the 1964 season, Richert was part of the 7-player deal with the Senators that saw Frank Howard, Ken McMullen, Phil Ortega, Dick Nen, and Richert headed to Washington in exchange for Claude Osteen, John Kennedy, and cash. (I wonder if any of these guys was ever called "Old 5-for-2"?)


Richert made an immediate impact with the Senators. In 1965 he led the staff in wins (15), strikeouts (161, almost double the next guy), ERA (2.60), innings (194), starts (29), and complete games (6).

He was the Sens' #1 pitcher in 1966 also, leading the team in wins (14), strikeouts (195), innings (245), and starts (34). His 3.37 ERA was the lowest among the starters. Pete made the All-Star team in both seasons.

You would think Richert would be a keeper, but after a 2-6 start in 1967, in late-May he was traded to the Orioles for a much-needed slugging 1st baseman (Mike Epstein). Richert was a starter for the Orioles for most of the season, but had an off-year (as did most of the Orioles in ’67), only going 7-10 in 26 games (19 starts) with 90 strikeouts.

The Orioles rebuilt their starting rotation in 1968, so Richert was relegated to the bullpen that season, and stayed there for the remaining 7 seasons of his career. In '68 he was the only southpaw in the ‘pen.

In 1970 Richert led the team with 13 saves, and had an ERA of 1.98 while pitching 54 innings across 50 games. In 1971 the team acquired lefty Grant Jackson from the Phillies, pushing Richert down on the bullpen ladder.

Pete pitched in 3 consecutive World Series for the Orioles (1969-71), but after the '71 season, he returned to the Dodgers in the Frank Robinson trade. For 2 seasons with the Dodgers, he was just another reliever not named Jim Brewer.

Richert spent his final season (1974) with the Cardinals and Phillies. The Dodgers traded him to St Louis for Tommie Agee, then in mid-season he was sold to the Phillies.