Sunday, January 31, 2010
Jim Cosman played in the minor leagues from 1963 to 1971 for 4 organizations (primarily the Cardinals, but also the Mets, Reds, and Cubs). His only major-league action was 1 game in '66, 10 games in '67 (all for St. Louis), and 1 game in 1970 with the Cubs.
Dick Hughes was a little more successful. He was signed by the Cardinals in 1958, and spent 9 seasons in the minors (mostly with Cardinals' teams) before making his major-league debut in September 1966 at age 28.
Although he only played in the major leagues for 3 seasons, he was a key member of the Cardinals' pitching staff in both 1967 and 1968, as they went to the World Series in both years. In 1967, Dick was a starter for most of the season, while in 1968 he pitched mainly in relief. His last major-league game was in game 6 of the World Series.
In 1969, he played 15 games for the Cardinals' class-A team in St. Petersburg, FL, and then his career was over. (It seems like this may have been an unsuccessful rehab assignment.)
Saturday, January 30, 2010
This is the final card for George Altman (#87). 1967 was also his last season, most of which was spent in triple-A.
After playing the 1955 season with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues, George was signed by the Cubs in '55, and played all of 1956 and part of 1958 in the Cubs' farm system. Sandwiched between those 2 seasons was a year and a half in the military.
Altman made his major-league debut with the Cubs on April 11, 1959, and was the Cubs' regular center fielder during his rookie season.
In 1960, he was replaced by Richie Ashburn, and was used as a backup outfielder. George was back in the starting lineup the next year, as he took over the right field job in 1961 and 1962. In 1962 his outfield mates were Billy Williams (LF) and Lou Brock (CF).
After the 1962 season, Altman and pitcher Don Cardwell were traded to the Cardinals for pitchers Larry Jackson and Lindy McDaniel, and catcher Jimmie Schaffer. He was the Cardinals' regular right fielder in 1963, playing alongside Stan Musial and Curt Flood. (Wow, in 2 years, Altman played alongside 4 all-stars!)
Altman only lasted 1 season in St. Louis, and was traded to the Mets for pitcher Roger Craig. George was the Mets' regular left fielder in 1964, since their #1 outfielder (Joe Christopher) played in right.
Once again, Altman's stay lasted only 1 season. He was traded to the Cubs for outfielder Billy Cowan in January 1965.
George's 2nd tour with the Cubs was not as productive. In 1965 he was in the Cubs' 5-man committee of left fielders. In 1966 he backed up rookie sensation Byron Browne in left field. In 1967 he played 4 games for Chicago and 108 games for triple-A Tacoma.
Friday, January 29, 2010
1965 Topps Baseball:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 22, 25, 32, 33, 34, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 53, 54, 55, 58, 60, 61, 62, 68, 70, 71, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 81, 82, 83, 88, 89, 90, 94, 95, 97, 99, 100, 103, 108, 110, 111, 113, 114, 118, 119, 120, 125, 126, 130, 132, 133, 134, 135, 137, 138, 139, 140, 142, 143, 144, 145, 150, 151, 152, 153, 155, 157, 160, 165, 166, 167, 170, 172, 173, 175, 176, 178, 180, 181, 182, 185, 188, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 197, 199, 201, 207, 209, 210, 212, 213, 214, 215, 218, 220, 221, 222, 223, 227, 228, 229, 230, 232, 236, 237, 238, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 250, 251, 252, 254, 258, 259, 260, 264, 265, 266, 267, 270, 271, 272, 275, 276, 277, 279, 285, 286, 290, 293, 294, 295, 300, 302, 303, 305, 306, 308, 312, 315, 318, 319, 320, 321, 325, 326, 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 340, 341, 343, 346, 347, 348, 350, 351, 354, 358, 359, 360, 362, 364, 365, 366, 368, 371, 374, 375, 377, 378, 379, 380, 381, 382, 385, 386, 388, 389, 390, 392, 396, 397, 398, 400, 403, 405, 408, 410, 411, 412, 415, 416, 420, 423, 424, 426, 431, 432, 435, 438, 439, 445, 447, 450, 452, 453, 456, 458, 461, 465, 468, 469, 470, 472, 473, 475, 477, 478, 479, 480, 481, 484, 486, 487, 490, 492, 493, 495, 497, 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 506, 509, 510, 512, 513, 515, 516, 519, 520, 522, 523, 524, 525, 526, 527, 528, 529, 530, 531, 532, 533, 535, 536, 537, 538, 540, 543, 545, 546, 547, 548, 549, 550, 553, 554, 556, 557, 558, 559, 560, 561, 563, 565, 566, 568, 569, 570, 571, 572, 573, 574, 576, 581, 582, 585, 586, 587, 588, 589, 590, 591, 593, 594, 596, 597, 598.
1966 Topps Baseball:
50 - Mickey Mantle
110 - Ernie Banks
300 - Roberto Clemente
450 - Tony Oliva
500 - Hank Aaron
Also high numbers: 524, 525, 526, 528, 532-542, 544-548, 550, 552-559, 561-567, 569, 570, 572-577, 579, 580, 582, 583, 584, 586, 588-590, 592, 593, 594, 596, 597, 598.
1967 Topps Baseball:
569 - AL Rookies (Rod Carew)
581 - Mets Rookies (Tom Seaver)
1969 Topps Deckle-edge Inserts:
11b - Jim Wynn
22b - Joe Foy
1970 Topps Baseball:
189 - Yankees Rookies (Munson)
580 - Pete Rose
600 - Willie Mays
Also high numbers:
634 - Bud Harrelson
640 - Al Kaline
660 - Johnny Bench
665 - Jim Lonborg
699 - Hank Aguirre
700 - Frank Robinson
702 - AL Rookies
712 - Nolan Ryan
715 - Mickey Lolich
1968 Topps Football:
100 - Johnny Unitas
196 - Bob Griese
For the following years, these are Topps baseball cards that I HAVE:
145 (reprint), 161, 171, 264, 328.
85, 129, 175, 178, 208, 382, 398, 412, 436, 452, 472, 503.
13, 52, 64, 79, 82, 97, 103, 125, 127, 130, 138, 167, 185, 194, 211, 226, 233, 251, 264, 285, 293, 308, 319, 331, 345, 347, 355, 366, 384, 416, 438, 447, 451, 472.
3, 20, 59, 65, 78, 93, 103, 105, 111, 144, 154, 179, 190, 202, 219, 222, 234, 262, 281, 299, 316, 341, 353, 359, 377, 394, 411, 433, 468, 479, 502, 522.
17, 46, 76, 77, 104, 111, 116, 146, 157, 181, 212, 220, 249, 269, 284, 294, 303, 328, 352, 359, 374, 385, 434, 453, 494, 581.
8, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 29, 31, 32, 33, 42, 44, 46, 48, 55, 56, 58, 69, 71, 81, 82, 84, 86, 87, 88, 91, 94, 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 103, 118, 125, 132, 139, 149, 157, 160, 161, 175, 177, 187, 190, 191, 192, 221, 231, 241, 268, 283, 305, 318, 341, 348, 365, 366, 370, 385, 404, 434, 551.
16, 21, 26, 33, 43, 45, 58, 83, 104, 121, 129, 135, 153, 157, 168, 173, 187, 191, 194, 207, 208, 212, 222, 231, 238, 243, 244, 248, 251, 254, 265, 278, 279, 285, 293, 298, 302, 310, 319, 321, 345, 347, 355, 365, 379, 389, 396, 412, 432, 448, 451, 462, 464, 479, 482, 493, 513, 520, 533, 561, 585.
1 - Gary Peters
2 - Ken Johnson
5 - Rocky Colavito
6 - Ron Hunt
13 - Nellie Fox
15 - Jim Gentile
16 - Dean Chance
17 - Dick Ellsworth
19 - Dick Groat
22 - Turk Farrell
24 - Frank Howard
31 - Warren Spahn
33 - Pete Ward
36 - Johnny Callison
39 - Luis Aparicio
43 - Tommy Davis
44 - Tony Oliva
54 - Leon Wagner
Thursday, January 28, 2010
The yellow areas are my "wheelhouse". My 1st period of collecting began in May 1967 and stopped after the 1972 football season. I got the low-numbered '67, '68, and '69 cards, and all of the '72 cards in the year issued.
The release of the 1979 and 1980 Burger King Phillies sets, coupled with the Phillies winning the 1980 World Series, got me started in the hobby again. I decided to limit my collecting to:
A) Completing my '67, '68, and '69 sets
B) Collecting the Phillies cards from all years
C) Buy 1981 factory sets
How did I do?
A. The '67, '68, and '69 high numbers were acquired mostly in the early 1980s. I now have them all except 4 cards from the 1967 set.
B. During the 1980s and early 1990s, I collected Phillies cards from 1964 (an arbitrary starting date, based mostly on economics) up through 1993. This included:
1. All Topps from 1964 to 1993 (except the Mike Schmidt rookie).
2. All Fleer from 1981 to 1992.
3. All Donruss from 1982 to 1992.
4. Most Upper Deck and Score from '90 to '92, and all Bowman from '90 and '91.
C. In 1981, I got the Topps and Fleer factory sets, and the Topps Traded set. In the early 1990s, I also went factory-set crazy, and have all the factory and update sets for Topps, Fleer, and Donruss from 1988 to 1992, and the 1992 Score set.
After 1993, I stopped collecting again until the fall of 2008.
With the Phillies winning the World Series in 2008, I got back into card collecting. Interests since late 2008 include:
1. Recent Phillies cards (Topps base set, some Topps Heritage and Upper Deck). I have most from 2004 to 2010.
2. Phillies cards from 1963 back to the early 1950s. I currently have all the 1960 to 1963 Phillies except the high numbers, and a few from earlier years. I also have some Phillies from the early 1960s' Post and Fleer sets.
3. Started collecting the non-Phillie 1964 to 1966 Topps cards. I'm currently focusing on adding to my 1966 set.
4. In early 2010, I began adding to my collection of 1970 baseball cards, and now have most of the 720 cards.
Sometime in the last 20 years, my 1969 cards of Willie Mays, Johnny Bench, and Rod Carew went missing. I have recently replaced these.
Oh, I forgot to mention football cards:
Monday, January 25, 2010
Peters was signed by the White Sox in 1956, and spent 7 seasons (1956-62) in the minor leagues, while making a few appearances during the 1959-62 seasons.
In 1963 he joined the White Sox for good as a 26-year-old rookie, and what a rookie season it was! He compiled a 19-8 record, his 2.33 ERA led the league, and he led all White Sox starters (Ray Herbert, Juan Pizarro, John Buzhardt, Joe Horlen) in games and innings pitched. He was also named American League Rookie of the Year.
Peters followed that up with another fine season in 1964. He led the starting rotation (same 5 guys) in wins (20), games, starts, complete games, and innings pitched, and was named to the all-star team.
1965 was an off-year for Gary, but 22-year-old Tommy John had now joined the rotation (replacing the aging Ray Herbert), and went 14-7 to help pick up the slack. Peters rebounded in 1966, and although his 12-10 record is not spectacular, his 1.98 ERA was tops in the American League.
In 1967, Peters was back on top in the "workhorse" categories of games, starts, and innings pitched, but his 16-11 record was eclipsed by Horlen's 19-7. The Sox' top 3 of Peters, Horlen, and John were as good as any in the league.
Look out! In 1968 Gary's record came crashing down to 4-13. He was even used in relief for 6 games. Peters would play one more season in Chicago before being traded to the Red Sox (along with catcher Don Pavletich) for utility infielder Syd O'Brien, and a minor-league pitcher. What a humbling end to a great run in Chicago!
Peters' first 2 seasons in Boston went well, as he pitched in 34 games each season, and compiled records of 16-11 and 14-11. However, in his final season (1972) he was shifted to the bullpen, making 29 of his 33 appearances as a reliever. He finished with a 3-3 record, and was released after the season, ending his 14-year career.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Romano was signed by the White Sox in 1954, and played in their minor-league system for 5 years. His major-league debut came in September 1958, when he played 4 games for the White Sox.
In 1959, Johnny started 34 games, as the backup to Sherm Lollar. After the season, he was traded to the Indians with first baseman Norm Cash for catcher Dick Brown, outfielder Minnie Minoso, and 2 other players.
In 1960, Romano started 88 games behind the plate, more than 3 times as many starts as any of the other 3 catchers used that season. In '61 and '62, he had a better grip on the starter's job, starting 140 and 128 games during those seasons.
Romano and Joe Azcue (acquired from Kansas City early in 1963) shared the starting job for the 1963 and 1964 seasons. At the close of the 1964 season, Johnny went back to the White Sox as part of a 3-team, 8-player deal:
Rocky Colavito - Athletics to Indians
Cam Carreon - White Sox to Indians
Tommie Agee - Indians to White Sox
Tommy John - Indians to White Sox
Johnny Romano - Indians to White Sox
Mike Hershberger - White Sox to Athletics
Jim Landis - White Sox to Athletics
Fred Talbot - White Sox to Athletics
Romano was the undisputed starting catcher for the Sox during 1965 and 1966. After the season, he was traded to the Cardinals for pitcher Don Dennis and outfield prospect Walt "No-Neck" Williams. Although he stuck around all season, Johnny only played in 24 games during his 10th and final season.
Well, that wraps up the 1967 cards for veterans with 10 or more years who retired in the late 1960s. (I still have another week to go on the 1968 blog.) You can see the entire list here.
Friday, January 22, 2010
After playing for several seasons in Canada, Gomez was signed by the (old) Washington Senators in 1950 and assigned to their Havana, Cuba minor-league team. In mid-1951, he was returned to his previous team.
After the 1951 season, he was drafted from his Canadian team (this time by the Yankees) and assigned to their Kansas City farm team. In mid-1952 he was released.
Finally the yo-yo stopped. Gomez was signed by the New York Giants in January 1953 and spent 6 seasons as one of their starting pitchers. In 1954 he won 17 games.
After the 1958 season, San Francisco traded him to the Phillies for pitcher Jack Sanford. After Gomez left the Phillies, his career crashed and burned. What happened? Maybe he was injured, or maybe it was just being on a bad team.
Ruben spent all of 1959 with the Phillies but only pitched in 20 games (half in relief). He spent most of 1960 and all of 1961 in the minors.
In 1962 he was traded to the Indians, and then to the Twins. When Minnesota released him before the 1963 season, he was quickly re-signed by the Indians, but spent the entire season in the minors.
Before the 1964 season, the Indians shipped him to the Mexican League, where he played for the next 4 seasons, except for a brief stint with the Phillies in April 1967.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Latman was signed by the White Sox prior to the 1955 season, and played 3 seasons in the minors (almost exclusively as a starting pitcher) before making his major-league debut in September 1957. After that 7-game cup of coffee, he was back in the minors for most of 1958, but played in 13 games for the White Sox.
In 1959, Barry was with the Sox for the entire season. For the next 6 years, he would start and relieve (about 50/50). After the 1959 season, Latman was traded to the Indians for pitcher Herb Score.
Barry played in Cleveland for 4 seasons. Looking at his stats, it seems he was what is called an "innings eater" (code for "not so good, but he's a warm body"). He pitched 140-170 innings per season, had an ERA over 4.00, and aside from his 13-5 record in 1961, he couldn't manage 9 wins per season.
After the '63 season, Latman and Joe Adcock were shipped to the Angels for slugging outfielder Leon Wagner. [Based on Adcock's age, Latman's ineffectiveness, Wagner's power numbers in the early 1960s, and no reason to believe the Wagner would lose it by 1968, it seems like this was a bad deal for the Angels at the time.]
Anyway, Latman continued his pedestrian career on the west coast: another bad year in 1964, and a trip to the minors for most of 1965. The Angels dumped him on the Astros after the 1965 season.
After 1 1/2 seasons in Houston, the Astros had seen enough - releasing him in August 1967.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
O'Toole was signed by the Reds in 1957 out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (the alma mater of 40+ major-leaguers, including Harvey Kuenn and Rick Reichardt). He played only one season of minor-league ball - with the Reds' double-A Nashville team in 1958, and made his major-league debut in September of that year.
The following season (at age 22) Jim played his first of 8 full seasons with the Reds. He was the #4 starter in his rookie season. He moved up a notch in 1960, as veteran Don Newcombe was showing his age.
In 1961, O'Toole led the staff in innings pitched, starts, strikeouts, and had the lowest ERA among the starters. His 19-9 record (along with Joey Jay's 21-10) led the Reds to the World Series. The Reds lost to the Yankees in 5 games, and Jim's record was 0-2. However, he pitched opposite Whitey Ford in both starts.
Jim had a few more good seasons after 1961, but in 1965 and 1966 his career took a nosedive, and he was finally traded to the White Sox after the 1966 season for outfielder Floyd Robinson.
Jim's 1967 season in Chicago was nothing special, and the last of his 15 appearances came on July 22nd. In 1968 he played for the Angels and Pirates triple-A teams, and was in the Seattle Pilots' training camp in 1969 before hanging up his glove.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Woodeshick was signed by the Phillies prior to the 1950 season, and played one year of minor-league ball for them. After the season, he was traded to an unaffiliated minor-league team. A year later he was acquired by the New York Giants organization.
After 1 year with a Giants' farm team, the 1953 and 1954 seasons are unaccounted for in his Baseball-Reference.com record. Was he injured? Was he in the military? Usually, Baseball-Reference.com will document military service, but not missing seasons due to injury. Woodeshick's Wikipedia page says he was in the military. In any case, he returned to the Giants' farm system in 1955.
After the 1955 season, Hal was drafted by the Tigers, and spent most of 1956 and all of 1957 in the Tigers' farm system. He appeared in 2 games for Detroit in September 1956. Hal was acquired by the Indians in 1958, and divided his time between the majors and triple-A.
In May 1959, Woodeshick was traded to the (old) Washington Senators, and finally got some decent playing time. He appeared in 31 games in 1959 and 41 games in 1960.
Following the 1960 season, the Senators moved to Minnesota, but unfortunately for Hal, he did not, as the expansion Senators selected him off the Twins' roster. His punishment would be short-lived, as he was traded to the Tigers in June for infielder Chuck Cottier.
Just as Woodeshick was counting his blessings for having escaped from an expansion team, the upstart Houston Colt .45s purchased him from the Tigers after the 1961 season!
With Houston, Hal was the #4 starter behind Turk Farrell, Ken Johnson, and Bob Bruce, starting 26 of his 31 games in 1962. In 1963, he compiled an 11-9 record with 10 saves as Houston's closer. In 1964 he appeared in 61 games and picked up 23 saves.
1965 was a different story altogether. After appearing in 27 games (32 innings), he was traded to the Cardinals on June 15th for pitchers Mike Cuellar and Ron Taylor. (This seems like a win-win. The Astros get Mike Cuellar, and Woodeshick not only escapes Houston, he goes to one of the top NL teams.)
Woodeshick took over the closer's role with the Cardinals, appearing in 51 games while collecting 15 saves in the 2nd half of 1965. The following season, the emergence of Joe Hoerner and Nelson Briles pushed Woodeshick down 2 slots in the bullpen.
With the addition of Ron Willis and Jack Lamabe, Woodeshick only pitched 36 innings in 1967, with his final appearance coming on September 4th. He pitched 1 inning in game 6 of the World Series.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Rodgers began in the New York Giants' system in 1954. He played there for several years until his major-league debut with New York in 1957.
Rodgers was back in the minors for most of 1958, but played a few dozen games with San Francisco. 1959 was the opposite - a brief time in the minors but most of the season in the majors. Rodgers was primarily the backup shortstop during his time with the Giants.
After the 1960 season, Rodgers was traded to the Milwaukee Braves for third baseman Alvin Dark, but in the spring training 1961 he was traded to the Cubs for pitcher Moe Drabowsky. Andre played 4 seasons with the Cubs, the last 3 as their everyday shortstop. He replaced Ernie Banks, who had moved over to first base.
He was traded to the Pirates for infielder Roberto Pena after the 1964 season. During his three seasons with Pittsburgh, he was used mostly as a pinch-hitter and utility infielder. Each year saw his playing time decreased more and more, as in 1966 and 1967, he played less than 20 games in the field. His final game was on September 16, 1967.
He played for the Pirates' triple-A team in 1968 before retiring. Rodgers, who was born in Nassau Bahamas, died there as well, 11 days after his 70th birthday in 2004.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Jim played in the White Sox organization in 1952 and 1953, then missed the next 2 years for military service. He returned to baseball in 1956, and made his major-league debut with the White Sox in early 1957.
As mentioned above, he wa a key member of the Sox for seven seasons (1958-64). Before the 1965 season, Jim was part of a 3-team, 8-player trade with the Athletics and Indians:
Rocky Colavito - Athletics to Indians
Cam Carreon - White Sox to Indians
Tommie Agee - Indians to White Sox
Tommy John - Indians to White Sox
Johnny Romano - Indians to White Sox
Mike Hershberger - White Sox to Athletics
Jim Landis - White Sox to Athletics
Fred Talbot - White Sox to Athletics
Landis was the Athletics' regular centerfielder in 1965, receiving more playing time than he had the previous season in Chicago. After 1 season in Kansas City, he was traded to the Indians for catcher Phil Roof and a minor-league outfielder named Joe Rudi.
Just as in Kansas City, Jim only lasted 1 season in Cleveland. In January 1967 he was traded to the Astros (with catcher Doc Edwards) for outfielder Lee Maye. His time in Houston was short, as he was traded to the Tigers in June for pitcher Larry Sherry.
In mid-August he was released, only to be signed by the Boston Red Sox on August 22nd. However, six days later he was released. (This was just after Tony Conigliaro was beaned, and the Red Sox were looking for help in right field. After 1 start, they must have decided that Jim Landis was not the answer. Ken Harrelson was signed as their new right fielder.)
Jim was one of 5 players to play for more than 2 teams in 1967 (along with Jim King, John Buzhardt, Jack Lamabe, and Ken Harrelson).
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Jim began playing minor-league ball in 1950 with the independent Vernon (TX) Dusters in the class-D Longhorn League. Prior to the 1951 season, he was acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals and spent the next 4 seasons with their minor-league teams. After the 1954 season, the Cubs selected him in the rule 5 draft.
He made his major-league debut in April 1955, and was the Cubs' regular right fielder that season. The following year, he was the backup in left and right field.
The next few years seem like wasted seasons for King. In April 1957 he was traded back to the Cardinals, but spent most of the year in triple-A. In 1958 he was traded twice: in April he went to the Giants and divided his time between San Francisco and their triple-A team in Phoenix, then in July he was traded to the independent Toronto Maple Leafs.
In 1960 (while still playing for Toronto) he became the property of the Cleveland Indians. After the season the expansion Washington Senators drafted him from the Indians.
In his first 2 seasons with the Senators, he shared right field with Gene Woodling and also subbed in left field. In 1963 and 1964, Jim was Washington's everyday right fielder. In 1965 and 1966 his playing time decreased, as he began sharing right field again, with Willie Kirkland in 1965 and Fred Valentine in 1966.
King began the 1967 season as the regular right fielder, but soon lost out to the newly-acquired Cap Peterson. On June 15th he was traded to the White Sox for outfielder Ed Stroud. Six weeks later he was traded to the Indians for outfielder Rocky Colavito. The White Sox and Indians used him mainly for pinch-hitting duties.
Jim was released by the Indians after the season, ending his 11-year career.
Brandt was signed by the Cardinals in 1953 and spent 3 seasons in their farm system.
His major-league debut came on April 21, 1956 with the Cardinals. In mid-June, he was traded to the New York Giants as part of a 9-player trade. (Three of the other players were future managers Red Schoendienst, Alvin Dark, and Whitey Lockman.) He was part of a left field platoon with Dusty Rhodes.
He missed all of 1957 and most of 1958 for military service, but returned (now to San Francisco) for a handful of games in 1958.
1959 to 1964 were Brandt's prime years. Each season, he played in 137 or more games, and had 470 or more plate appearances. After one more full season with the Giants, Jackie was traded to the Orioles following the 1959 season.
Brandt became Baltimore's everyday center fielder from 1960 to 1964, although he also made 42 starts in right field in 1961.
In 1965, rookie Paul Blair took over in center field, which was the beginning of the end for Brandt. He was relegated to pinch-hitting and backing up all 3 outfield positions. Jackie and Sam Bowens competed for the job of 5th outfielder.
After the 1965 season, Brandt was traded to the Phillies with rookie pitcher Darold Knowles for veteran reliever Jack Baldschun. Here he was used mostly to pinch hit, and as a backup in center field.
After rarely playing in early 1967, Brandt was sold to the Astros in early June. Appearing mostly as a pinch-hitter and backup first baseman, he was released on September 9th.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Bob Shaw (#470) was signed by the Tigers prior to the 1953 season, and spent the next several years in their farm system. His major-league debut came on August 11, 1957 with the Tigers.
1958 was Bob's first full season in the majors. Although he began the season with Detroit, in June he was traded to the White Sox along with 3B/1B Ray Boone for pitcher Bill Fischer and outfielder Tito Francona.
Bob was a starter and reliever for the White Sox. In 1959, he compiled a record of 18-6, and his .750 winning percentage led the American League. All good things must come to an end, as in June 1961 Shaw was traded to Kansas City in an 8-player deal. Poor Bob, he went from the 4th-place White Sox (just 2 years removed from a World Series appearance) to the last-place Athletics!
Not to worry. After the season he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves (with infielder Lou Klimchock) for catcher Joe Azcue, third baseman Ed Charles, and outfielder Manny Jimenez. He posted a 15-9 record in his first season with the Braves, but after slipping to 7-11 at age 30, he was traded to the Giants after the 1963 season.
After another disappointing season in 1964, Bob compiled a 16-9 record the following season. In June 1966 he was sold to the Mets. The Mets had three 11-game winners in 1966: Shaw, fellow-journeyman Jack Fisher, and up-and-coming Dennis Ribant. The starting rotation was rounded out by the aging Bob Friend and 21-year-old Tug McGraw.
In late July 1967, Bob was sold to the Cubs. After only 9 appearances, he was released on September 19th, ending his 11-year career.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Secondly, at some point late in the season, all 8 starters were batting over .300. I'll have to dig into Baseball-Reference.com sometime to verify this, but that's for another day.
This was an eventful season for the Reds:
Pete Rose moved from 2B to LF.
Tommy Helms moved from 3B (where he was the 1966 Topps rookie) to 2B.
Tony Perez moved from 1B to 3B.
First baseman Lee May began his first full season.
It was also Gary Nolan's rookie season. At age 19, made his major-league debut starting the 4th game of the season, and became the staff ace.
Chico Cardenas missed 2 months in the middle of the season, forcing Helms to SS, Rose back to 2B, and Lee May to LF.
Johnny Bench made his major-league debut on August 28th, and started 26 of the final 32 games.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Kralick played in the White Sox' farm system from 1955 until he was released in June 1958. After the 1958 season, he was signed by the (old) Washington Senators. Jack spent most of the 1959 season at double-A Chattanooga, but appeared in 6 games for the Senators.
1960 was his first full season in the majors, and he was the #4 starter (in starts and innings pitched) behind Pedro Ramos, Camilo Pascual, and Don Lee. In 1961 the team moved to Minnesota, and Kralick moved up a notch, behind Ramos and Pascual. 1962 was more of the same for Kralick, but with 2nd-year man Jim Kaat leading the rotation (in place of Ramos).
In May 1963, Kralick was traded to the Indians for pitcher Jim Perry (as the Twins began their quest to corner the market on pitchers named Jim).
Jack led the Indians in wins in 1963 and 1964, but after that he faded into relative obscurity as Cleveland's rotation was taken over by Sam McDowell, Luis Tiant, Sonny Siebert, and Steve Hargan.
On May 1, 1967, he was purchased by the Mets. This seems like a dubious move by the Mets, since Kralick's final major league game was on April 23rd, and he has no minor league record during or after 1967.
Here's a funny news item I found a few months ago about the Mets' acquisition of Kralick.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
He also has the indignity of Topps spelling his first AND last name differently on the front and back of the card. (At least they didn't use a deceased player's picture for him!)
Cecil Upshaw was a different story. Upshaw pitched in the Braves' farm system from 1963 to 1967. After Phil Niekro was moved into Atlanta's starting rotation midway through 1967, Upshaw assumed the "closer" role and held it through the 1972 season (except for missing the entire 1970 season with torn ligaments, which occurred when his ring finger got caught on something while horsing around with teammates).
In April 1973 he was traded to the Astros. After the season, he moved on to the Indians, Yankees and White Sox, and was released prior to the 1976 season. He was never able to duplicate the success he had with the Braves.
Friday, January 8, 2010
In 1960, Howard began the season at triple-A Spokane, but was soon recalled to the Dodgers. He made his first start on May 13th, and by the end of the season, he had started 91 games in right, 21 games in left, and won the 1960 NL Rookie of the Year award.
After the 1964 season, Howard was traded to the Senators along with pitchers Phil Ortega and Pete Richert, first baseman Dick Nen, and third baseman Ken McMullen for pitcher Claude Osteen and infielder John Kennedy. Although primarily a rightfielder with the Dodgers, Howard would be Washington's regular leftfielder from 1965 to 1971 (although from 1968-71, he would play first base about 25% of the time).
Frank hit 31 homeruns for the Dodgers in 1962, but his big power years were from 1967 to 1970. 1967 was a "warm-up" year for him, as he hit 36 homers. He led the AL with 44 homeruns in 1968 and 1970. In 1969, his HR total increased to 48, but that wasn't enough to lead the league, thanks to Harmon Killebrew's 49 dingers.
In 1972, Howard's playing time diminished, and in late August he was sold to the Tigers, where he finished his career in 1973.
The back of this card notes that his nickname was "The Tower". I have never heard this, but am more familiar with his other nicknames: "Hondo", and the more menacing "Capital Punisher". Howard's late-1960s home run spree, coupled with his size (6'-7" and 255 pounds) made that a perfect nickname.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
He was originally signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1961. In August 1964, the Braves traded Ribant to the Mets for pitcher Frank Lary. (The Mets got Lary back the following March.) Dennis played a dozen or so games for the Mets in each of 1964 and 1965.
Ribant's first full season in the majors was 1966, and he compiled a record of 11-9. This was the first time a Mets' pitcher ever finished with a winning record! As a reward (actually, it was a reward to leave the Mets in those days) he was traded to the Pirates after the season for pitcher Don Cardwell.
(I just noticed that his won-loss records at Denver in '63 and '64 on the back of his card don't match those found on Baseball-Reference.com.)
Ribant's only season in Pittsburgh was 1967, as he was traded to the Tigers after the season for pitcher Dave Wickersham.
This began a hectic final 2 seasons for Ribant. In 1968 he pitched for both the Tigers and the White Sox. After the season, the Tigers purchased his contract back from the White Sox, but two months later they sold him to the Royals. During spring training 1969, the Royals sold him to the Cardinals. In the span of 16 months, he was with 6 teams!
In 1969, he played for the Cardinals and the Reds. This was his last season in the majors.
In February 1970, the Reds sold him back to the Pirates, but he remained in the minors for 1970-1973, playing in the Pirates, Padres, and Phillies organizations.
Also check out Ribant's 1969 card.
Friday, January 1, 2010
After the 1959 season, he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves, and was the Braves' #2 catcher for 2 seasons. In mid-August 1961, Lau was sold to Baltimore, where he started 13 of the final 33 games for the Orioles.
[Lau's name is spelled differently on the front and back of the card. His signature is of no help, since he signed "Charles Lau". Baseball Reference and Wikipedia both list him as "Charley Lau".]
From 1962 to 1965, Lau was used primarily as a pinch-hitter and backup catcher for the Orioles and Athletics. (He spent the 2nd half of 1963, and the 1st half of 1964 with the Athletics, before returning to the Orioles.) Because both teams carried 3 catchers, the backups were used frequently as pinch-hitters.
1965 was the last time Lau played defense. In his final 2 seasons he was strictly a pinch-hitter, making only 18 appearances in 1966, and 63 appearances in 1967. Most of his 1967 action came after being sold to the Braves on May 31st.
Charley was released after the 1967 season, and went on to a 2nd career has a hitting coach for five major league teams.
More on Charley Lau