Saturday, October 5, 2019

Larry Jaster (#356)

Larry Jaster pitched for the Cardinals from 1965 to 1968, before finishing up his career with the Expos and Braves.

He was signed by St. Louis in 1962 and pitched for 4 seasons in the Cards' farm system, then made his major-league debut in September 1965. (The back of this card says "the young lefthander’s debut in the majors last season…", so Topps was off by 1 year.)


After struggling early-on in 1966, he spent most of May and June back in the minors before returning in late-June. Larry started his last 15 games, and ended up with a nice 11-5 record, led the league with 5 shutouts (all against the NL champion Dodgers), and finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting. The team’s rotation was led by Bob Gibson, then the other three (all with similar production) were Jaster, Al Jackson, and Ray Washburn. Jaster's edge was his age – 6 to 8 years younger than the other 2 guys.

Jaster looked to be a fixture in the rotation for years to come, but Steve Carlton (who made 9 starts in the last 2 months of 1966) and Dick Hughes (the 29-year-old rookie who seemingly came out of nowhere) soon passed him. Larry only started 23 of his 34 games (and was probably helped by the fact that Gibson missed 6 weeks with a broken leg) and by Labor Day (with Gibson's return) he was out of the rotation altogether.

With Jackson traded and Hughes in the bullpen, Larry was the #5 starter in 1968.  That didn’t save him from the expansion draft, where he was selected by the Expos. He had a dismal 1-6 record for an obviously bad expansion team, and was traded to the Braves in the off-season for pitcher Jim Britton.

Jaster began the 1970 season with Atlanta, but by late-June was sent down to AAA, where he played for the rest of 1970 and all of 1971-74 - his only further big-league time was 5 games with the Braves in September 1972.

After his playing career he was a minor-league pitching coach for the Braves and Orioles.

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There were 490 single-player cards in the 1967 set. With Jaster's post, I have now featured all but 11 of those players on one of my blogs. The players from the 1967 set yet to be blogged are:

Sandy Alomar - 2B, Mets
Bob Barton - C, Giants
Jim Beauchamp - OF, Braves
Rob Gardner - P, Mets
Jim Gosger - OF, Athletics
Orlando Martinez - INF, Braves
Aurelio Monteagudo - P, Reds
Chico Salmon - INF, Indians
Carroll Sembera - P, Astros
Jim Stewart - INF-OF, Cubs
Chris Zachary - P, Astros

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

10 Years Already? / Joe Moeller

Today marks the 10th anniversary of this 1967 blog (my first of many). I found Blogger a day earlier when I happened across this post on the 1969 set blog (which was run by someone else at the time). I made a non-anonymous comment there, but didn't actually have a blogger account at that time.

The next day I thought, "Hey, this is something I could really get into!" and signed up. Within a few days I had set up 3 blogs: this one, the 1968 set blog, and a 1960s Baseball blog.  The next month, a 1966 set blog soon followed, and a year later my 1963 and 1970 blogs launched. I was hooked!

I took ownership of the 1969 set blog from the previous owner in January 2012, after it had been idle for a few years.

Yes, it's a lot of blogs, but I have an interest in all the sets (well, not enough in the 1963 set, as you've probably noticed). At the 5-year mark I took a 12 month break, although at the time of my 5-year post, I wasn't sure if I would be returning.

A few months ago I was considering whether to take another break at this 10-year mark, but there's still a few projects I want to complete (1969 Final Cards, the remaining 5 team reviews, the '69 and '70 League Leaders) before I go on hiatus again. I have been slacking off this past summer, so what I thought I could finish by this week hasn't happened.

Although there's 160 unposted players and managers listed in my blog index, I am only planning on blogging around 100 of them. After that, who knows?

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So who's the high-profile player I saved for my 10th anniversary post? (Oops!) Ok, Joe Moeller will have to do.


Joe Moeller was signed by the Dodgers in 1960. He had an 8-year career (1962-71), all with the Dodgers. He was primarily a relief pitcher, except in '62, '64, and '70.

Although he spent most of 1962 and all of 1964 with Los Angeles, he was back in the minors for all of 1963 and 1965. Joe returned to the Dodgers for all of 1966, but continuing the trend, he spent parts of '67 and '68 in the minors. Along the way, the Astros selected him in the Rule 5 draft after 1967 (hence his 1968 "Houston" card) but returned him to the Dodgers the following Spring.

Joe managed to stay with the Dodgers for all of 1969-71, but those were his final big-league days.

He pitched in the minors for the Padres and Phillies in 1972 and 1973, before retiring.


 I also have Joe's 1968 card:


and this "variation" that was the first post on my 1968 blog.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Dave Morehead (#297)

Dave Morehead had an 8-year career from 1963 to 1970.  After 6 seasons with the Red Sox, he played his final 2 years with the Kansas City Royals.

Morehead was signed by Boston in 1961 and made his big-league debut in April 1963 by shutting out the Senators. A month later he pitched a 1-hitter against Washington. (If only all his starts could be against the Nats!)


For his first 3 seasons he was a starting pitcher, making around 30 starts per season, and pitching from 165 to 190 innings per year. His strikeout totals those years were 136, 139, and 163. Although he led the AL with 18 losses in 1965 (the Sox lost 100 games that year), he remained in the starting rotation, and pitched a no-hitter against the Indians in September.

The bottom fell out of his career in 1966. As the back of his card says, he had arm trouble limiting him to just 12 games. This continued to plague him through the 1969 season. Whereas he was routinely starting 30 games and pitching 160+ innings, he averaged just 11 games and about 34 innings for the Sox from 1966-68, while spending a good deal of time in the minors.

After the 1968 season, he was selected by the Royals in the expansion draft. He spent part of 1969 in the minors, and although appearing in 21 games for KayCee, only 2 were starts, and he pitched only 33 innings while compiling a 5.73 ERA.

Dave finally bounced back in 1970, starting 17 of his 28 games and posting a 3.62 ERA in 121 innings. Although only compiling a 3-5 record, his other stats were good compared to his previous 4 seasons.

Arm troubles resurfaced, and he was released during spring training in 1971.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Born on the Same Day - 6/1/1942

First a commercial: A few months ago I set up a blogroll blog here. It currently has over 230 blogs listed, and some shortcuts on the sidebar. 


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

This is post #26 in the series: Randy Hundley and Ken McMullen - both born on 6/1/1942.


After a few games with the Giants in '64 and '65, Randy Hundley had a long career as the Cubs' #1 catcher from 1966 to 1973. Injuries slowed him down, and he played sporadically in his last 4 seasons for the Twins ('74), Padres ('75), and Cubs again ('76-'77).

Ken McMullen began his career with the Dodgers as a backup from 1962-64. Traded to the Senators with Frank Howard, Ken was the Nats' starting 3rd baseman for 5 season, then moved on to the Angels in 1970, anchoring the Halos' hot corner for 3 seasons. He returned to the Dodgers as a bench player from 1973-75, then finished up with the Athletics and Brewers from 1976-77.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The 1967 Athletics

Last week on my 1969 blog I reviewed the first Royals team to play in Kansas City. Today on this blog I am reviewing the last Athletics team to play in Kansas City.

I started collecting baseball cards in May 1967. Before that time, I has NO IDEA who any of the players were, except for four: Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, who were pop culture figures in the early-1960s so I must have heard of them on the TV; the Phillies' Johnny Callison, because I remembered some kids referring to him in elementary school recess (“I wanna be Johnny Callison!”); and Harmon Killebrew, because my elderly neighbors' grandchildren would come visit them from Minnesota every summer, and they would go on about Killebrew and the Twins.

My knowledge of the team names probably came from my brother and me having those child’s baseball jackets, with all the team logos on them. When I started collecting cards in May 1967, I can remember the first Athletics card I got was Phil Roof. I had never heard of the Athletics, probably because they were not on that jacket I had a few years earlier. I remember saying to my brother “Who are the Athletics? Are they a minor-league team? Do they make minor-league cards too?” (That is how na├»ve I was at the time.) Thinking back now, I probably never heard of the Astros or Angels either, but I don’t remember questioning them.



In their final season in Kansas City, a few good things were happening. They were building a foundation of good, young starting pitchers (Jim Hunter, Jim Nash, Johnny Odom, Chuck Dobson, and Lew Krausse), it was Rick Monday’s rookie season, and Reggie Jackson made his major-league debut in June. Otherwise they were a bad team, finishing in last (10th) place with a 62-99 record.


Here are the pitchers, in order of innings pitched:

Jim Hunter (13-17), Jim Nash (12-17), and Chuck Dobson (10-10) were the top three starters. Lew Krausse (7-17) (hey, what’s with this "losing 17 games" trend?) and John Odom (3-8) each started about half their games. All five were between the age of 21 and 24 and surprisingly, all were righthanders. In fact, the only lefties on the staff were Paul Lindblad and Tony Pierce.

Paul Lindblad was primarily a reliever but also made 10 starts. Rookie Tony Pierce appeared in 49 games (43 in relief). Jack Aker pitched in 57 games (all in relief) and led the staff with 12 saves. Diego Segui was the 9th and last member of the "core 9" pitchers (all the remaining hurlers pitched in less than 16 games), working 70 innings in 36 games. Segui was the "old man" of that group at age 29.

Roberto Rodriguez (see rookie stars card below) appeared in 15 games, mostly in August and September. These next three were veterans at the end of their careers: Jack Sanford was acquired from the Angels in mid-June for Roger Repoz, and wrapped up his 12-year career with 10 games for the A’s. Bill Stafford spent most of the season in triple-A, but pitched his final 14 major-league games in August and September.  Bob Duliba finished up with 7 games in April and early-May. George Lauzerique and Bill Edgerton also pitched for the Athletics in 1967.


The starting eight:

Phil Roof had started 119 of the final 128 games in 1966, but got more of a break in 1967, starting 107 games. Rookie Ramon Webster started 78 games, splitting the job with Ken Harrelson and Danny Cater. Rookie John Donaldson was called up in early June and started all but 10 games the rest of the season. Bert Campaneris led the team with 145 starts.

Danny Cater was all over the place, starting 51 games at 3rd base, 54 in left field, and 33 at 1st base. Jim Gosger was actually the 3rd outfielder but he split his time at all 3 positions (LF/34 starts, CF/27, RF/29). Although his 841 outfield innings were double that of 4th outfielder Cater, he played less in left field than Cater.

Rookie Rick Monday took over the center field job in game #10 and never looked back. He was named to the Topps All-Rookie team, but Topps forgot to put the trophy on his 1968 card. Mike Hershberger was the Athletics’ starting right fielder from 1965-67. In 1968 Reggie Jackson came along, and that was it for Mike's playing time.


Here are the subs, in order of at-bats:

Dick Green was the starting 2nd baseman until Donaldson arrived in early-June. He made 48 starts at 2B and another 47 starts at 3B. Ken Harrelson was the team's regular 1st baseman in 1966, but began the '67 season with the Senators. He returned in early-June and started most games at 1B in July and August, until he was released in late-August following Al Dark's firing.

Although Joe Nossek played in the same number of games (87) that he did in when he was the primary center fielder in 1966, with Monday onboard Joe was the 5th outfielder in ’67. Sal Bando started 38 games at 3rd base in mid-May and September, but spent the rest of the season in triple-A.


Reggie Jackson had 2 stints with Kansas City in 1967, starting 18 games in left field in June, and 13 games in right field in September. Ted Kubiak played in 53 games as a rookie, mostly as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement, although he started 14 games at shortstop.

Dave Duncan was the Athletics' backup catcher in June and September, appearing in 34 games. Roger Repoz started 6 of the first 9 games in center field, then Rick Monday took over. Roger found a seat on the bench until his mid-June trade to the Angels for Jack Sanford.


Ken Suarez started 22 games as Phil Roof’s backup, although he had no playing time during Duncan’s June stint with the team. Ed Charles began the season as the starting 3rd baseman, but was traded to the Mets in early-May when Bando was called up. Ossie Chavarria played 38 games as a backup infielder, also starting 10 games at 2nd base. Joe Rudi played 19 games in April and September, but spent most of the season in the minors. Allen Lewis played in 34 games, mostly as a pinch-runner.


Others:

Al Dark was the manager for 1966 and most of 1967, but was fired in late-August. He returned to manage the A’s in ’74 and ’75, and with better players finished in first both years, winning the World Series in 1974. Wes Stock retired before the season and became the pitching coach.  He was activated for 1 game (May 7th). Gil Blanco and Rene Lachemann were in the minors for all of 1967.


Rookie Stars cards:

Randy Schwartz had cups of coffee in September ‘65 and ’66, but didn’t play for the Athletics again. Tim Talton played 46 games, mostly as a pinch-hitter.  He was with the team for the entire season, but did not play from mid-May to mid-July. George Lauzerique played 3 games in September.


The back of the 1968 team card:




Transactions from the end of the 1966 season to the end of 1967: 
10/14/66 - Larry Stahl selected by the Mets off waivers.

11/28/66 - Bill Landis drafted by the Red Sox in the rule 5 draft.
11/28/66 - Tommie Reynolds drafted by the Mets in the rule 5 draft.
11/28/66 - Drafted Dave Roberts from the Pirates in the rule 5 draft.

11/29/66 - Manny Jimenez selected by the Pirates in the minor league draft.
11/29/66 - Rick Joseph selected by the Phillies in the minor league draft.

04/07/67 - Returned Dave Roberts to the Pirates.

04/11/67 - Released Wes Stock.

05/02/67 - Signed Wes Stock as a free agent.

05/10/67 - Traded Ed Charles to the Mets for Larry Elliot.

05/16/67 - Released Wes Stock.

06/09/67 - Purchased Ken Harrelson from the Senators.

06/15/67 - Traded Roger Repoz to the Angels for Jack Sanford and Jackie Warner.

08/14/67 - Sold Joe Grzenda to the Mets.

08/15/67 - Released Jack Sanford.

08/20/67 - Fired manager Al Dark. Named coach Luke Appling as interim manager.

08/25/67 - Released Ken Harrelson.

10/15/67 - General Manager Eddie Lopat resigned.

10/19/67 – Purchased Andy Kosco from the Twins.

11/21/67 - Traded Ron Tompkins to the Reds for Floyd Robinson and Darrell Osteen.

11/28/67 - Drafted Ed Sprague from the Cardinals in the rule 5 draft.
11/28/67 - Jim Holt drafted by the Twins in the rule 5 draft.
11/28/67 - Andy Kosco drafted by the Yankees in the rule 5 draft.
11/28/67 - Skip Lockwood drafted by the Astros in the rule 5 draft.
11/28/67 - Ken Suarez drafted by the Indians in the rule 5 draft.
11/28/67 - Bill Edgerton selected by the Angels in the minor league draft.

12/03/67 - Purchased Jim Pagliaroni from the Pirates.


Team reviews remaining: Mets, Tigers, Astros, Angels, Padres.
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Friday, July 12, 2019

Wade Blasingame (#119)

Wade Blasingame pitched for 10 seasons from 1963-72. The first half of his career was with the Braves, and the last half with the Astros. (He also pitched 12 games for the Yankees in his final season.)

He was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1961, and made his major-league debut in September 1963.


Blasingame was a member of the Braves' starting rotation from 1964 until June 1966, when he moved to the bullpen. His best season was 1965, when he tallied 16 wins and 117 strikeouts. (He never again reached 10 wins or 100 strikeouts.)

In June 1967 he was traded to the Astros for pitcher Claude Raymond, and resumed regular starting duty with Houston. Blasingame was a reliever for the 1968 and 1969 seasons before returning to the starting rotation for '70 and '71.

1972 was his final season, and not a very good one at that.  After only pitching 8 innings over 10 games, the Astros traded him to the Yankees in early June. He did no better in the Bronx, only pitching 17 innings over 12 games.

Blasingame was traded to the Cardinals during spring training in 1973, but never played for them. He pitched for AAA teams in the Cardinals', Cubs', and Padres' organizations from 1973-74 before retiring.

Apparently, he became a lawyer after his playing career!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Barry Moore (#11)

Barry Moore pitched for the Senators in the late-1960s. The record shows he had a 6-year career, but it was more like 4 ½ years. After making his debut on 5/29/65, he didn’t play in the majors again until late-July 1966.

Moore was signed by the Senators in 1962. He joined the starting rotation in July 1966, and over the next 3 ½ seasons started 80 of his 102 games with the Nats. Barry and Frank Bertaina were the southpaws, complementing Camilo Pascual, Joe Coleman, Phil Ortega, and Dick Bosman.


In April 1967, Barry pitched a 1-hitter against the Twins.

After the 1969 season, Moore and pitcher Dennis Higgins were traded to the Indians for 2nd baseman Dave Nelson and pitchers Horacio Pina and Ron Law.

Moore split the 1970 season between the Indians and the White Sox. Although a starter for the Tribe, he was mostly a reliever after his June trade to Chicago.

Following the 1970 season, he was traded to the Yankees for outfielder Bill Robinson, but never made it back to the majors.

 He played for the Pirates’ AAA team from 1971-73 before retiring.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Born on the Same Day - 3/24/1937

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

A few days ago, I just happened to find 4 other players who shared (2) common birthdays (Dick Egan/Bob Tillman, and Doug Clemens/Julio Gotay).

This is actually the 23rd post in the series, but since it comes chronologically after Jerry Adair and Roland Sheldon, I'm going to call it post #8.5: Dick Egan and Bob Tillman - both born on 3/24/1937.

Dick Egan was a relief pitcher who played for the Tigers in 1963 and 1964. After a season in the minors, he appeared in 10 games for the Angels early in the 1966 season, before wrapping up his career with 20 games for the Dodgers in 1967.

Bob Tillman played from 1962-1970. He was mostly a backup catcher, except for 1964-65 when he was the Red Sox' regular backstop. After 5 1/2 seasons with Boston. he made a brief stop in the Bronx before finishing up with 3 seasons in Atlanta.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Chuck Dobson (#438)

Here's another last look at a Kansas City Athletics' player. I really like these A’s cards – it's sad to see the mess Topps created in the 1968 set after the team moved to Oakland.

This looks like a Spring Training shot, with palm trees behind the fence. His rookie card in 1966 (below) shows him in the same location.

Chuck Dobson was signed by the Athletics late in 1964. After one game in the Florida Instructional League that year and splitting the 1965 season between A and AA ball, he debuted with the Athletics at the start of the 1966 season. His first major-league appearance was to start Kansas City's final home opener on April 19th, where he collected his first career win.

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Dobson was one of several youngsters who made up the Athletics' starting rotation for the next few years. He teamed with Catfish Hunter, Blue Moon Odom, and (for the first few seasons) Jim Nash and Lew Krausse. In the early 1970s they would be joined by Vida Blue.

Chuck won between 10 and 16 games every season from 1966 to 1971. He missed all of 1972 due to elbow surgery, and spent all of 1973 in the minors, only pitching 1 game that year for Oakland (on 9/25).

Released by the Athletics during Spring Training in 1974, he hooked on with a Mexican League team until the California Angels came calling in late-June.

Although he pitched a few games for the Angels in '74 and '75, he spent most of 1974-76 pitching for their AAA team, before retiring.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Andy Kosco (#366)

Andy Kosco was a spare outfielder (and sometime starter) for several teams from 1965-74, most notably the Twins and Yankees.

Kosco was signed by the Tigers in 1959. (I always assumed he started in the Twins' organization.) After 5 ½ seasons, and having flip-flopped between A and AA ball several times, the Tigers released him on June 3, 1964.

Three days later the Twins picked him up, and after spending the remainder of that season in single-A, he jumped to AAA ball in 1965, and by August he made his major-league debut with the Twins.

Andy spent the entire 1966 season with Minnesota, but only saw action in 57 games, as a pinch-hitter and #3 left fielder. He was back in triple-A for most of 1967.


In October 1967 he was purchased by the Athletics, but was lost to the Yankees a month later in the Rule 5 draft. Kosco got regular playing time (131 games) during his one season in the Big Apple, starting 93 games as the primary right fielder and another 23 starts at first base as Mickey Mantle's backup (in the Mick's final season).

Andy was traded to the Dodgers after the season for pitcher Mike Kekich. He played 2 seasons in LA, his best season coming in 1969 with 67 starts as the primary right fielder, and another 36 starts in left field.  He only hit .248, which may have contributed to his fall to #5 outfielder in 1970.

Kosco bounced around for the rest of his career. He spent 1971 with the Brewers (traded for pitcher Al Downing), and split the 1972 season between the Angels and Red Sox.

He was traded to the Reds prior to the 1973 season, and spent the first half in the minors. Andy was a part time player for Cincinnati for the second half of '73 and the first half of '74. In the closing months of the '73 season, he platooned in right field with Ken Griffey Sr.

Kosco’s final MLB game was on July 30, 1974. I wonder if he was injured during the 2nd half, because he has no minor-league record that season, and was released by the Reds in October.

 Kosco retired after playing for the Phillies' AAA team in 1975.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Tito Fuentes (#177)

This is Tito Fuentes’ first solo card. In 1967 he was the Giants’ 2nd baseman, not shortstop. (Hal Lanier’s position is similarly incorrect on his card.) I recall Fuentes as having an extremely closed batting stance.

Fuentes was signed by the Giants in 1962 and played 3 seasons in the minors as a 2nd baseman. In 1965 he switched to shortstop, playing 90 games in triple-A before making his major-league debut in August.

Tito was the team’s primary shortstop in 1966, starting 74 games there (including every game after July 21st). He also started 52 games at 2nd base, as he and Lanier flip-flopped between the 2 positions for the first half of the season. Fuentes finished 3rd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, behind Tommy Helms and Sonny Jackson.


In 1967 he started 105 games at 2nd base, and only played 9 innings at shortstop (no starts). His batting average dropped from .261 to .209, which may explain why he spent all of 1968 in the minors (resulting in his omission from the '68 and '69 Topps sets).

Tito returned to the Giants in late-May 1969, but didn’t draw any starting assignments until early-July. With Ron Hunt now firmly entrenched at 2nd base, Fuentes' few-dozen starts all came at 3rd base and shortstop.

Fuentes split the 2nd base starting assignments with Hunt in 1970, while also spending a good deal of time at SS and 3B.

His days of utility swing-man were over in 1971. For the next 4 seasons Tito was the Giants' regular 2nd baseman. He started over 150 games each year from 1971-73, and had over 700 plate appearances in 1973.

After the 1974 season he was traded to the Padres for shortstop Derrel Thomas. He played 2 seasons with San Diego, then was granted free agency.

Tito signed on with the Tigers for 1977, and was their starting 2nd baseman for 1 season – the last before Lou Whitaker’s long tenure.

The Expos acquired him from the Tigers in January 1978, but released him during spring training. Tito was idle until mid-season, when he was picked up by the Athletics in late-June. After playing 13 games, he was released in late-July.

 Fuentes played briefly in the Inter-American league in 1979.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Casey Cox (#414)

I didn’t realize until today that Casey Cox only had one season under his belt when this card came out.

Cox was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 1962 (I didn’t know that!), then was picked up by the Indians after that season in the 1st-year draft (didn’t know that either!).

In May 1963 the Senators made a waiver claim for him, and he spent the next 2 1/2 seasons on their farm before making his major-league debut in April 1966. He led the staff with 66 games as a rookie, also picking up 7 saves.


After a full season in 1966, Casey pitched most of 1967 with the Senators (except for a brief trip to the minors in late-May/early-June), but pitched almost all of the 1968 season for the Senators’ AAA team.

Cox returned to Washington in 1969, this time also mixing in some starts (having previously only pitched in relief). He posted a 12-7 record and was 3rd on the team in innings pitched (171).

In 1970 he was primarily a starter (30 of his 37 games), but slipped to an 8-12 record. (The Sens’ top 3 starters each lost 12 games that season.)

After 1970 Cox went back to a primarily-relief role. After 2 more seasons with the club, the Rangers traded him to the Yankees in late-August 1972 for pitcher Jim Roland.

Cox was rarely used in the Big Apple, only pitching 5 games in the season’s final month. After pitching 1 game in 1973 (on April 6th) he was released a week later.

Casey pitched the remainder of 1973 for the Cubs’ AAA team before retiring.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Tommie Reynolds (#487)

Tommie Reynolds was a journeyman outfielder for the Athletics, Mets, and others from 1963-72. Check out the huge gap between his first and last names. I think Topps planned to print "TOMMIE" (like they did on the card back) but changed their mind at the last minute.

It's also odd that his position is listed as "OF-1B", because he only played 2 innings at first base and that was in 1972.  (His first minor-league game at 1st base was in 1968.)

Reynolds was signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1963, and made his major-league debut with 8 games that September. Tommie started the 1964 season with the A’s, but by early-May found himself back in the minors until a September call-up.


In 1965 he was with the team for most of the season (except for May and June) . He was the team’s #3 outfielder (behind Mike Hershberger and Jim Landis), starting 72 games in left field and another 7 games in right. Upon his return from the minors, Tommie started 68 of the final 92 games in left field.

With all that playing time during the 2nd half, it’s puzzling why he spent all of 1966 in the minors. Maybe it was his .237 batting average? Maybe his 1 home run? In any case, he was stuck in triple-A all year, until the Mets picked him up in the Rule 5 draft after the season.

Reynolds played in 101 games in ’67, but only had 136 at bats. As the Mets’ 4th outfielder he only starts 24 games. Repeating recent history, he played all of 1968 back in triple-A.

Almost 2 years from the date of his acquisition by the Mets, the Athletics “Rule-Fived” him again. He was back with the A’s (this time in Oakland) and in 1969 received the most playing time of his career (107 games, 315 at bats). He almost duplicated his playing time from the 1965 A’s, starting 71 games in left and 6 in right as the team’s #3 outfielder.

He was one-and-done in Oakland though. The Angels acquired him in May 1970 and he played parts of the next 2 seasons with California.

After 1 season with the Brewers (1972), he played for their triple-A team from 1973-77 before retiring.

Reynolds was a coach for the Athletics and Cardinals from 1989-96.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Ed Brinkman (#311)

Ed Brinkman was a light-hitting shortstop for the Senators in the 1960s and Tigers in the early-1970s. Together with Tigers’ shortstop Ray Oyler, they set the lowest of bars for hitting prowess, in the days before Mario Mendoza established the “Mendoza Line”.  (Fittingly, Brinkman eventually replaced Oyler in Detroit.)

Brinkman was signed by the Senators in 1961, and made his major-league debut with 4 games in September of that year. After splitting the 1962 season between the Senators and their class-B team, he made the big club at the start of the 1963 season.

Despite his weak bat, he was Washington’s starting shortstop from 1963-1970, except for missing 85 games in 1968.

Well, he came from the same high school as Pete Rose, so he's got THAT going for him! 


Notice the spike in his batting average in 1969 and 1970? Those are the 2 seasons when Teddy Ballgame was his manager. After he moved on to the Tigers in 1971, he reverted to his old batting ways.

Ed was traded to the Tigers in October 1970 (with pitchers Joe Coleman and Jim Hannan, and 3rd baseman Aurelio Rodriguez) for pitcher Denny McLain, 3rd baseman Don Wert, and outfielder Elliott Maddox.

Always a good glove man, he won a Gold Glove award in 1972 and surprisingly, made the All-Star team in 1973.

After the 1974 season, Ed was one of 3 players traded to the Padres for 1st baseman Nate Colbert. On the same day, San Diego flipped him to the Cardinals for pitchers Sonny Siebert, Alan Foster, and Rich Folkers. (What a haul!)

In June 1975 he moved on to the Rangers in exchange for outfielder Willie Davis, then was purchased by the Yankees a week later. The Yankees released him the following Spring.

After his playing career, Brinkman was a minor-league manager for the Tigers, and later a coach and scout for the White Sox.

He passed away in 2008 at age 66.

His brother Chuck Brinkman was a catcher for the White Sox in the early-1970s.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Dick Selma (#386)

Dick Selma had a 10-year career (9+, if you factor in his 1st season was just a few games in a September call-up). He was primarily a reliever, but started quite a few games for the Mets in 1968 and the Cubs in 1969.

Selma was signed by the Mets in May 1963, and played 3 seasons in the minors before making his major-league debut in September 1965. In both 1966 and 1967, he split his time between the Mets and their AAA team.

In 1968 he started 23 of his 33 games, and was the team's #4 starter behind Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and the veteran Don Cardwell.


With Nolan Ryan, Gary Gentry, and Jim McAndrew around to fill starting slots, Selma was left unprotected in the expansion draft, and was selected by the Padres with the 5th pick.

He was their Opening-Day starter in 1969, but by late-April was traded to the Cubs for pitchers Joe Niekro and Gary Ross. Dick posted a 10-8 record as the Cubs' #4 starter in his only season there. (The 1969 Cubs had a tight starting rotation. Only 4 pitchers started more than 5 games!) 

After the 1969 season, Selma was shipped off to the Phillies (along with outfield prospect Oscar Gamble) for outfielder Johnny Callison. Dick played for the Phillies for 4 seasons.

In 1970 he pitched 73 games (all in relief) and led the team with 22 saves, while posting a 2.75 ERA. He only pitched 24 innings over 17 games in 1971.

Dick returned in '72 to pitch 98 innings over 46 games, but had a bad year, going 2-9 with a 5.56 ERA. (That’s ok, all 12 Phillies' pitchers not named Steve Carlton had a bad year in 1972!) 

Selma began the 1973 season with the Philllies, but was released in early May. Two weeks later he was signed by the Cardinals and assigned to their AAA team. He was sold to the Angels in the season's final week but did not see any action.

Dick pitched 18 games for the Angels by mid-June 1974, then was sent to the minors. He was sold to the Brewers in late-July, but after a 2-game stint in August left him with a 19.29 ERA, the Brew Crew said "no thanks" and returned him to the Angels.

He also pitched for the Dodgers' triple-A Albuquerque team in 1975-76 before retiring.

Selma died in 2001 at age 57.