Friday, November 27, 2009

Final Card: Earl Battey

Here is the final card for long-time Twins' catcher Earl Battey (#15). Starting in the 2nd series, Topps put a dot between the player's name and position. On this 1st series card, the player's name and position just run together.

Battey began his career in the White Sox organization in 1953. He had brief cups of coffee with the White Sox in 1955 and 1956. In 1957, Earl split the season between the Los Angeles Angels (the Brooklyn Dodgers' triple-A team), and the White Sox.

In 1958, Battey made the major leagues to stay, as the backup catcher to Sherm Lollar in 1958, and the #3 catcher behind Lollar and Johnny Romano in 1959.

Just before the 1960 season began, Battey was traded (along with rookie first baseman Don Mincher) to the Washington Senators for first baseman Roy Sievers. Earl immediately assumed the #1 catching job, a role he would keep through the 1966 season.

The three Twins catchers in 1966 and 1967 (Battey, Russ Nixon, and Jerry Zimmerman) were all the same age (31 in 1966). Battey was the starter through 1966, but in 1967 he played the least of the three, with Zimmerman taking over the #1 spot.

In 1967, Battey caught 41 games, and pinch-hit in 7 other games. His last game was in the final week of September.

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