Friday, October 9, 2009

Many a Manny

The other day on another blog, there was a battle of the Pirates' Mannys: Manny Sanguillen vs. Manny Mota.
Here's my 2 cents (circa 1967):

Manny #1:
In 1964 and 1965, Manny Mota (#66) started about 1/3 of the games in center field. In 1966, Mota's former Giants teammate Matty Alou arrived in Pittsburgh and took over as starting centerfielder for the retired Bill Virdon. This development reduced Mota's starts in center field to 1/4 of the games each year from 1966 to 1968. After the 1968 season, Manny was drafted by the Montreal Expos.

Manny #2:
After a fine rookie season with the Kansas City Athletics in 1962, Manny Jimenez (#586) bounced between Kansas City and the minor leagues for a few years until the Pirates selected him in the minor league draft on November 29th, 1966. The card back tells us he was sent down on May 10th, 1967, but he appeared in 50 games for the Pirates in 1967. After spending 1968 with the Pirates, he ended his career in 1969 with 6 pinch-hitting appearances for the Cubs.

(The fellow in the background is most likely a coach. This picture was taken in early 1967, but no player wearing #6 appeared during the regular season. Numbers 7 to 39 were all used by players, and manager Harry Walker wore #3. Perhaps the coaching staff also wore the low numbers?)

Not quite a Manny:
We learn from the back of the Minnie Rojas (#104) card that while Minnie was pitching in the Mexican League in 1964 and 1965, he turned down a chance to play in the major leagues.

1 comment:

Dean said...

Minnie led the Angels in saves in 1967. After the 1968 season he was paralized in the auto accident that also killed his two daughters.