Sunday, January 17, 2010

Final Card: Jim Landis

By the time I started collecting baseball cards in 1967, Jim Landis (#483) was a part-time player at the end of his career. I remember thinking "He wasn't a starter so he probably wasn't that good." What did I know? Little did I realize that he had been the starting centerfielder for the White Sox from 1958 to 1964, collected 5 gold glove awards, and played in the 1959 World Series!

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).

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