Thursday, December 31, 2015

Jim Maloney (#80)

Here is Jim Maloney’s 1st series (no dot between name and position) card. Maloney was the Red’s ace in the mid-1960s, and with the trading away of Joey Jay in June 1966 and Jim O'Toole after the ’66 season, he was the only remaining pitcher from the Reds’ 1961 World Series team.

Maloney was signed by the Reds in 1959 and made his big-league debut in late-July 1960, starting 10 of his 11 games during the second half.

In 1961 he was a swing man, starting 11 games while working out of the ‘pen in 16 others. He was primarily a starter in 1962.

Maloney was 1st or 2nd among Reds’ starters in wins, ERA, strikeouts, and innings pitched from 1963 to 1966. He was also consistently among the league leaders in strikeouts during that time, piling up more than 200 each season.

Jim won at least 20 games in ’63 and ’65, and was in double-digit wins every season from 1963 to 1969. He also made the All-Star team in 1965 – hard to do with all the Koufaxes, Marichals, Gibsons, Drysdales, and Bunnings under foot.

Maloney pitched his first no-hitter in 1965 against the Cubs, and in 1969, he and the Astros’ Don Wilson pitched back-to-back no-hitters against each other’s team, the 2nd time that had been done.

A ruptured Achilles tendon in 1970 limited him to 16 innings pitched over 7 games, and derailed his chance to stick around for the Big Red Machine era. Maloney was traded to the Angels for pitcher Greg Garrett. (Garrett’s major-league career consisted on 74 innings for the Angels in 1970, and 8 innings for the reds in 1971.) Jim pitched 30 innings over 13 games for the Angels in 1971, then was released in early-January 1972.

The next day he was picked up by the Cardinals (I think he is shown as a Cardinal in the 1972 Topps set) but was released on April 9th, before playing any games. The Giants signed him a few weeks later and assigned him to their AAA team, where he pitched in 7 games team before retiring in mid-June.

In his 12-year career, he won 134 games (all with the Reds). Maloney was inducted into the Reds’ Hall of Fame in 1973.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Don Cardwell (#555)

Here is Mets’ hurler Don Cardwell. This was Cardwell’s 1st season as a Met, and surprisingly, Topps is showing him in a Mets uniform!
(I guess it helps that this is a high-number card, released in late summer. It even has some 1967 game information on the back.)

Don was the opening-day starter for the Mets that season. It would be his only opener, because 1967 was Tom Seaver’s rookie season and, well, you know the rest.

Cardwell was signed by the Phillies in 1954, and made his major-league debut in April 1957. Don was inserted into a starting rotation that also included Robin Roberts, Curt Simmons, and Jack Sanford. Cardwell continued taking his regular turn until May 1960, when he was traded to the Cubs for 2nd baseman Tony Taylor.

He pitched a no-hitter in his first game with the Cubs, but otherwise for the next 2 ½ seasons, he was a workhorse starter for some bad teams.

After the 1962 season Cardwell moved on to the Cardinals, traded with outfielder George Altman in exchange for pitchers Larry Jackson and Lindy McDaniel. During the same off-season, he was flipped to the Pirates for shortstop Dick Groat.

Don pitched for the Pirates for the next 4 seasons, although he spent much of 1964 in triple-A. He won 13 games in both 1963 and 1965, manning the #2 spot in the rotation behind Bob Friend (’63) and Bob Veale (’65). In 1966 Cardwell was relegated to the bullpen for much of the season, in favor of youngsters Woodie Fryman, Steve Blass, and Tommie Sisk.

After the season, he was traded to the Mets (with outfielder Don Bosch) for pitcher Dennis Ribant and OF-C Gary Kolb. Don was in the Mets’ rotation for 3 ½ years, and in his early-30s, provided a veteran influence for young starters Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, and Gary Gentry. He also pitched in relief in game 1 of the 1969 World Series.

Don was sold to the Braves in July 1970, and pitched in 16 games for Atlanta before getting his release after the season.

Cardwell passed away in 2008 at age 72, in his birthplace of Winston-Salem, NC.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Steve Hamilton (#567)

Here is another high-number from the 1967 set. Steve Hamilton was signed by the Indians in 1958, and after making his big-league debut in early 1961 with 2 games for the Tribe, he was back in the minors until a May 1962 trade with the Senators for outfielder Willie Tasby.

Steve pitched in 41 games during his first year in Washington, starting 10 games. He would only start 7 more games over the remaining 10 seasons in his career (while working out of the ‘pen in 378 games).

After only 2 games with the Sens in 1963, Hamilton was swapped to the Yankees for reliever Jim Coates. Steve spent the next 8 years as the top (and sometimes the only) lefty in the Yankees’ bullpen. In 1968 he led the staff in saves.

Late in his career, Hamilton developed the slow, arcing “eephus pitch”. On one occasion in 1970, he got Indians’ slugger Tony Horton to strike out on consecutive floaters, causing Horton to crawl back to the dugout in embarrassment. (Blogger Commishbob has noted that he was at that game.)

In early-September 1970, the White Sox claimed him off waivers, but traded him the following spring to the Giants. He pitched his final season (1972) for the Cubs.

Steve played in the ’63 and ’64 World Series, and the ’71 NLCS. Hamilton also played in the NBA from 1958 to 1960 for the Minneapolis Lakers, and is one of only 2 people to have played in the World Series and the NBA finals.

Hamilton passed away in 1997 at age 63.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Let's Go Cubs!!!

C'mon Cubs! Are you really going to let this guy down?

Or this guy?

You have an opportunity for a bittersweet, storybook championship here. Don't let it slip away!

Bloggers: Everyone post an Ernie Banks card to their blog. (If you don't have one, steal the image above, or the single Banks card on my '68 blog.)

Let's get this thing done!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

2015 Post-Season - Mets vs. Cubs

Two of the NL's worst teams in the early and mid-1960s face-off in this year's NLCS.

First, a word from our sponsor: There's a new 1965 blog added to the mix. 

In the Mets' first 7 seasons (1962-68), they finished in 10th place 5 times and 9th place twice. The Cubs were almost as bad from 1960-66, finishing 7th three times, 8th twice, and 9th once before bottoming out in 10th place in 1966. They showed great improvement after that - finishing in 3rd place in '67 and '68 and almost beating the Mets for the 1969 NL East crown, before finishing in 2nd place.

Here are the 2nd-tier stars for the 1967 Mets (see the top stars here). Slim pickings, but as I said above: 7 years of 10th or 9th-place finishes...

After 8 years, the Cubs reached respectability in 1967 (I suspect thanks to Ferguson Jenkins, or more correctly, the Phillies' general manager). There's not much to see here, since we have already worked our way through the big stars (and lesser lights).

Maybe some Cubs and Mets fans can regale us with stories from the 1969 pennant race.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2015 Post-Season - Royals vs. Blue Jays

So now we have the two teams for the ALCS. I was hoping for an Astros vs. Rangers series, if for no other reason than to have an all-Texas affair. (Ok, truth be told, I could do more with those 2 teams on this blog than who we have here, but...)

Yes, there are no 1967 cards here, but then these 2 teams didn't exist in 1967. If I had thought ahead, maybe I should have done this series on my 1969 or 1970 blog, but there's always next year.

In the last round, we looked at 6 first-year Royals in their shiny, new uniforms. This time we have some early-season veterans in all their Topps airbrushed/capless glory.

Q. What is this rag-tag collection of Dodgers and non-Dodgers?
A. These are the only members of the 1977 expansion Blue Jays that had cards in the 1969 set. (Well, Phil Roof too, but he only played in 3 games for the Jays in 1977.)

In 1969, the Royals had a 69-93 record and finished 4th in the 6-team AL West, ahead of the White Sox (!) and the Seattle Pilots. For some reason, the geniuses-in-charge put both expansion teams in the same division. KC finished 28 games behind the AL West champion Twins.

In 1977, the Blue Jays finished at 54-107 - dead last in the 7-team AL East, and 45 games behind the Yankees.

Monday, October 12, 2015

2015 Post-Season - Cardinals vs. Cubs

Here are the top stars from the 1967 World Champion Cardinals. The Cards clinched the NL pennant on September 12th that season, an amazing feat considering that Bob Gibson missed most of July and all of August with a broken leg.

The Cubs bested the Pirates in the Wild-Card game, and advance to the NLDS. I already posted their top players from 1967 but here is another batch, including stars Ken Holtzman and Randy Hundley.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

2015 Post-Season - Dodgers vs. Mets

In 1967, the Dodgers were fresh off 3 World Series appearances in 4 years (winning in '63 and '65), but '67 to '69 were uncharacteristically lean years for the team - the longest stretch of underachievement during Walter Alston's tenure.

(note to self: I need to upgrade my Willie Davis card! )

The Mets finished in their customary last place in 1967, Tom Seaver's rookie season. The following year would be the first for Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, Tommy Agee, and manager Gil Hodges in the Big Apple. One year later they won it all.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

2015 Post-Season - Royals vs. Astros

Ok, the Astros made it past the Yankees in a 1-game Wild-card playoff. Now they take on the Kansas City Royals in the ALDS.

I was going to scan some of my 1967 Kansas City cards, but it turns out they were the Athletics, not the Royals. ;)    So, here are some late-series 1969 cards - the first to show the Royals in their new uniforms.

We already saw the 1967 Astros' best players a few posts ago, so here are some 2nd-tier guys.