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.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 Post-Season - Cubs vs. Pirates

Tonight I'm turning back the clock on the NL Wild Card teams.

The Pirates won the World Series in 1971, defeating the Orioles. They repeated that feat over the Orioles again in 1979.

The Cubs? Well, they're the Cubs.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015 Post-Season - Astros vs. Yankees

Well not quite 2015, but 1967 "Heritage".

Here are the stars from these 2 teams back in 1967. (Of course, in '67 both teams finished in or near the basement.)

Coincidentally, the Astros are the first team, and Yankees the last team, in each of my binders from 1965 to 1972, as I have arranged my binders alphabetically by teams (NL: Astros to Reds, AL: Angels to Yankees).

Sunday, October 4, 2015

J.C. Martin (#538)

This is the 3rd consecutive 1967 high-number card posted. Let’s see how long I can maintain the streak… 

At age 78, J. C. Martin is the oldest living player from the 1966-70 era that I have not yet featured on one of my blogs.

J. C. was a backup catcher who stretched his career to 14 seasons. His first 9 were with the White Sox. After 2 seasons with the Mets (including the 1969 Champs), he returned to Chicago with the Cubs.

Martin was signed by the White Sox in 1956, and played 5 seasons in the minors (with a few MLB games in ’59 and ’60) before getting a full-time job with the Sox in 1961. He was with the Sox for the entire ’61 season, but as the backup at 1st and 3rd bases. (He had no catching experience up to this point.)

Martin returned to the minors for most of the 1962 season to learn the catching trade, and was the #1 backstop for the Sox’ class-A team in Savannah, GA.

J. C. returned to the bigs in 1963, and was the backup catcher for the Sox for the next 5 seasons, playing behind Cam Carreon for 2 seasons, and Johnny Romano for 2 seasons. (In 1964 he actually caught more games than Carreon, who missed part of the season with an injury.) In 1967 he split the catching chores with rookie Duane Josephson.

Martin was sent to the Mets after the 1967 season as the player to be named later for Ken Boyer, who was acquired in mid-1967. Backing up #1 catcher Jerry Grote, J.C. started 52 games behind the plate and another 13 games at 1st base in 1968, and made 44 starts behind the dish in 1969. He played 2 games in the 1969 NLCS (collecting 2 RBI) and 1 game in the World Series.

His time to bask in the World Championship glow was short, as he was traded to the Cubs the following March for backup catcher Randy Bobb. Martin played 3 seasons with the Cubs before he was released during spring training in 1974.