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.