Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Final Card: Don Demeter

This is the last card for Don Demeter (#572). It's from the 7th series (a/k/a the "high-numbers").

Don began his career in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1953. In fact, he played in 3 games in late September 1956 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and was therefore one of the last active ex-Brooklyn Dodgers.

After serving as a backup outfielder in 1958, the regular centerfielder in 1959, and sharing centerfield in 1960 with Tommy Davis and Duke Snider, Demeter was traded to the Phillies in May 1961 along with third baseman Charley Smith for pitcher Turk Farrell and infielder Joe Koppe.

It was in Philadelphia (and later, Detroit) that Demeter had his best years. With the Phillies, he was a starting CF/LF, although in 1962 he started 95 games at third base. After the 1963 season, he was traded to the Tigers for pitcher Jim Bunning.

He continued in the same "swing" role he had with the Phillies - getting regular playing time, but spread out at different positions (usually CF and 1B). After 2 1/2 seasons in Detroit, he was traded to the Red Sox for pitcher Earl Wilson.

After taking over the regular centerfield job in 1966 (starting 50 games after his mid-June acquisition), Demeter became a spare part in 1967 with the emergence of rookie centerfielder Reggie Smith. In early June he was shipped to the Indians along with first baseman Tony Horton for pitcher Gary Bell, who helped shore up the Sox' rotation in their quest of the AL pennant in 1967.

Demeter's final game was in late August 1967.

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