Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Born on the Same Day - 2/18/1939

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

This is post #10 in the series: Dal Maxvill and Bob Miller - both born on 2/18/1939.

Maxvill played for 14 seasons (1962-75), the first 11 with the Cardinals. After 4 seasons on the bench, he was the Cards' starting shortstop from 1966 to August 1972. He played his final 3+ seasons as a backup with Oakland and Pittsburgh. Dal won a Gold Glove in 1968 and played in 4 World Series ('64, '67, '68, '74).

Miller had a 17-year career (1957, 59-74). Primarily a reliever, he also made quite a few starts from '62-'63 and '69-'70. Bob began with the Cardinals, then played for the 1962 expansion Mets, where he was one of 2 pitchers named Bob Miller on the team. His longest stay with any one team was 5 years with the Dodgers (1963-67). Miller later played for 8 other teams before winding up back with the Mets to close out his career.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Born on the Same Day - 11/7/1938

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

This is post #9 in the series: Jake Gibbs and Jim Kaat - both born on 11/7/1938.

Gibbs played only for the Yankees during his 10-year career. Some cups of coffee from 1962-64 were followed by full-season work from 1965-71, including the starter's job from 1967-78.

Kaat played for 25 seasons (1959-83) and is one of a handful of players to have played in 4 decades. He also won 16 Gold Glove awards during his career. After playing for the Twins for his first 15 seasons, he made stops with the White Sox, Phillies, Yankees, and Cardinals. He also played in 2 World Series ('65 Twins, '82 Cardinals).

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Chico Cardenas (#325)

Here is Reds’ shortstop Chico Cardenas (not to be confused with another Reds’ middle infielder, Chico Ruiz).

Cardenas was signed by Cincinnati in 1956, and at age 17 began his pro career with the Class C Tucson Cowboys in the Arizona-Mexico league.

After 2 seasons at Class A Savannah, Cardenas was promoted to the Reds’ AAA team in Havana Cuba, his native land. He played there in 1959 and for part of 1960. (Later that season, the team moved out of Cuba, to Jersey City).

Chico made his major-league debut with the Reds on July 25, 1960. Cardenas immediately took over the starting shortstop job for the next 38 games, replacing injured veteran Roy McMillan, who had been the starter for the past decade. McMillan and Cardenas shared the post for the month of September.

In December 1960 McMillan was traded to the Braves, but Cardenas was still the backup, this time to Eddie Kasko. Chico played in 74 games in 1961, starting 43.

Chico took over the starting shortstop job in the 2nd week of the 1962 season, and held onto it through the 1968 season. He made 4 All-Star teams with the Reds, and collected over 600 plate appearances 4 times. In 1966 he showed surprising power with 20 home runs.

After the 1968 season, Cardenas was traded to the Twins for pitcher Jim Merritt, and was their starting SS for the next 2 seasons, while again making the All-Star team in 1971.

Chico played one year with the Angels (1972), which would be his final season as a regular. (Acquiring Cardenas allowed the Angels to trade Jim Fregosi to the Twins for Nolan Ryan.)

He spent the final 3 seasons of his career as a utility player for the Indians (’73) and Rangers (’74-’75).

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Born on the Same Day - 11/17/1933

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

This is post #4 in the series: Dan Osinski and Orlando Pena - both born on 11/17/1933.

Osinski played for 6 teams in 8 seasons, primarily with the Angels and Red Sox. Pena played for 8 teams over 14 seasons (1958-75), the longest stint being 4 seasons with the Kansas City Athletics.

The closest these two came to being teammates was in 1962, when they both played for the Athletics (Osinski in April, Pena in August and September).

For the 3rd time in 4 posts, I found a birth date discrepancy on one of the cards. The back of Pena's card shows his birth date as 11/17/1935, but Baseball-Reference.com and Wikipedia both have 11/17/1933, so I'm once again ignoring Topps' version of the facts.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Born on the Same Day - 1/31/1931

Today I started a new series called "Born on the Same Day", featuring players who were born on the same day (!) and year. The scope of this exercise is those players (or managers) who have cards in the 1965-1970 sets (because that's what I dooze). Ideally, I should also have their cards.

In researching this, I found 51 pairs and 2 trios. In a few pairs both are stars, some pairs have 1 star, and other pairs are just 2 guys named Joe. In a few cases, these players were also teammates. 

I am going to post these in chronological order, and distribute them across my 1966-1970 blogs depending on which cards I have for who. The series began earlier today on my 1968 blog

So now that I've dispensed with all two managers, let's get to the players: Ernie Banks and Hank Aguirre - both born on 1/31/1931.

Ernie's team is hopefully going to snare a World Series championship this month. Hank and Ernie were teammates on the 1969 and 1970 Cubs (Aguirre's final 2 seasons).

The back of Hank's card shows his birth date as 1/31/1932, but Baseball-Reference.com and Wikipedia both have 1/31/1931, so I'm subscribing to the theory that Baseball-Reference's research department in 2016 is better than Topps' research department in 1967 (or even today, for that matter - heh heh!)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Al Weis (#556)

Here is one of the rare high-number cards, showing utilityman Al Weis in his final season with the White Sox.

Weis was signed by the ChiSox in 1959, and played in the minors for 4 seasons before making his major-league debut with 7 games in September 1962.

Al played 99 games in his rookie season of 1963, and although he only started 53 games between 2B and SS (well behind regulars Nellie Fox and Ron Hansen), somehow Topps selected him to their All-Rookie team that season, displaying the trophy on his 1964 card.

In 1964 Fox had moved on, and Weis shared the 2nd base duties with rookie Don Buford (both were switch-hitters).

Al backed up Buford during the 1965 season, but with Don mostly playing 3rd base in 1966, Weis had increased playing time, sharing the 2nd base job with Jerry Adair, Wayne Causey, and Buford. In 1967 it was back to the bench, as Weis played only 50 games (14 starts).

After the season, he was traded to the Mets with outfielder Tommie Agee for outfielder Tommy Davis and pitcher Jack Fisher. Al played for the Mets for 3 1/2 seasons, with most of his playing time coming in ’68 and ’69. He played in all 3 games in the 1969 NLCS, and all 5 games of the ’69 World Series. Although he hit .215 with only 23 RBI that season, in the World Series he hit .455 with 1 home run and 3 RBI, while starting 4 of the 5 games for the Amazin’ Mets.

The 1969 post-season was his moment in the sun, as he was back to utilityman status in 1970, starting only 31 games as the backup 2nd baseman. He was released on July 1st, 1971 after playing in only 11 games to that point.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Yay! (Mostly)

As of late tonight, most of my blogs have had their blogroll and other links gadgets restored, 9 days after a Google gaffe removed them.

1960s - restored
1963 - no
1965 - restored
1966 - restored
1967 - restored
1968 - restored
1969 - no
1970 - restored
1967 football - restored
1968 football - restored
1971 football - restored
1972 football - restored
1960s Pop Culture - never lost them

Saturday, October 1, 2016


 A recent "update" by Google Blogger has trashed all of my blogs as well as the blogs from many other people (gauging from the number of complaints in the Help Forum).

On the same day that they rolled out an "upgrade", they have removed all the blogroll and other link list gadgets from peoples' blogs.

I have noticed that this has not affected everyone, as blogs such as White Sox Cards, Wrigley Wax, and Night Owl Cards seem to be unaffected.  Maybe it is limited to blogs using certain templates. I have 10 blogs using the "Rounders" template and they are all affected.  Also affected is my 1960s blog, which uses a template the name of which I don't remember.

I remember that the 1980 set blog also uses the Rounders template, but since I no longer have a blogroll on my blogs to navigate to other blogs, I can't check that one.

This is REALLY annoying.  I have spent a lot of time developing the setup and layout of my blogs, and now this.  What makes it worse is that being a programmer myself, I am led to believe this entire issue was caused by insufficient TESTING by Google staff of their new "upgrade" before rolling it out into production, and am not easily convinced that this is just a random occurrence that "Google is aware of and is working to fix it".

Every time I go to one of my blogs I am reminded of the mess that they have become, thanks to Google.  I will return if and when Google manages to fix this.