Friday, December 30, 2011

'Round, 'Round, Get-Around, I Get Around

Five players saw action with three teams during the 1967 season. For some, it would be the final season of their careers. For others, the moves culminated in a trip to the World Series.

Ken Harrelson began the year with the Washington Senators, but in June was sold to the Kansas City Athletics (where he also played from 1963 to early 1966). In mid-August, the Athletics' owner Charlie Finley fired manager Alvin Dark, and a week later, Harrelson was out the door also.

Three days later, the Red Sox signed Ken to replace Tony Conigliaro (who had been beaned 10 days earlier) in right field. After toiling in Washington and Kansas City (2 perennial cellar-dwellers), Harrelson helped the Red Sox get to the World Series.

Jack Lamabe started the season in the White Sox' bullpen. After only 3 appearances, he was dealt to the lowly Mets on April 26th. Jack's career would take an unexpected upturn, as the Cardinals acquired him on July 16th. (Bob Gibson suffered a broken leg which would sideline him for a month. Reliever Nelson Briles joined the starting rotation, and Lamabe slid into a relief role in St. Louis.) Jack appeared in 3 games against the Red Sox in the World Series, but would move on to the Cubs the following April.

Another White Sox player hits the road. John Buzhardt was the team's opening day starter, but soon fell out of the rotation. By late August he was sold to the Orioles, where he pitched in 11 innings over 7 games. In the season's final week, he was sold to the Astros, where he pitched 2/3 of an inning. John finished his career in 1968 with the Astros.

Jim King began the 1967 season as the Senators' 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. (Wow, the White Sox sure made a lot of trades that year!) 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.

Long-time White Sox' center fielder Jim Landis was traded to the Astros in January 1967 (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, and signed by the Boston Red Sox on August 22nd, just after they lost Tony Conigliaro for the season. After 1 start, they must have decided that Landis was not the answer. He was released 6 days after arriving in Boston, and the Sox brought in Ken Harrelson as their right-fielder. 1967 was the end of Jim's 11-year career.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Final Card: Ray Barker

This is the last of four cards for Ray Barker (#583). Ray's first card appeared in 1961, a solo card with a yellow "rookie" star, as was the custom that year. He also appeared on a 4-man Indians Rookies card in 1965, and his own Yankees card in 1966.

Barker was signed by the Orioles in 1955, and spent ten seasons in the Orioles' and Indians' minor-league organizations. After finally making the Indians at the start of 1965, he was traded to the Yankees in mid-May for 2nd baseman Pedro Gonzalez. Ray was productive in his rookie year, starting 43 games at 1st base (behind Joe Pepitone's 113 starts) and hitting 7 homers.

His stats dipped in 1966, as he made only 82 plate appearances and 14 starts at first base. Rookie 1st baseman Mike Hegan came up in September and started most games at 1B for the last 2 weeks of the season, essentially ending Barker's Yankee career.

With Mickey Mantle moving in to 1st base for the 1967 season, and Hegan getting more playing time, Barker was done in New York, playing his last big-league game on May 21st. He spent most of 1967 in the minors with Syracuse and, after a July 4th trade for Orioles' pitcher Steve Barber, Rochester.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Mysterious Strangers

As I mentioned previously, 1967 was my first year of collecting baseball cards. Other than Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Harmon Killebrew, I had no idea of any MLB players, so those 1967 cards were my introduction. Since the 1967 high-number cards were not sold in my area, players in that 7th series remained unknown to me until I bought their 1968 cards.

Below are the 12 players and 2 managers whose final cards were in that 1967 7th series. As such, (except for John Sullivan, who played for the Phillies in 1968) I had no idea who they were until years later. To me, they existed only as mysterious names on the 7th-series checklist (issued as part of the 6th series) until I acquired their cards in the 1980s.

I have already posted all of these cards individually on this blog. You can follow their labels below to each post.

Click here to see all the players whose final card was in the 1967 set.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bill Heath (#172)

Here is the 2nd of Bill Heath's 3 Topps baseball cards. Bill was signed by the Phillies in 1960, and played 5 seasons at all the Phillies' minor-league outposts of the day (Bakersfield, Chattanooga, Williamsport, Arkansas). Along the way, some of his teammates down on the farm were Dick Allen, Fergie Jenkins, Danny Cater, Ray Culp, Jack Hamilton, and Pat Corrales. Unfortunately for Heath, they all went on to more significant major-league careers than Bill. Always a catcher, Heath spent the 1963 season playing 3B-OF, since his Chattanooga team had phenom Pat Corrales behind the plate.

Bill never made it to Philadelphia. After the 1964 season, he was traded to the White Sox for pitcher Rudy May. He made his major-league debut with the White Sox on OCTOBER THIRD. That was soon followed by a another trade: the Sox sent him and outfielder Dave Nicholson to the Astros for pitcher Jack Lamabe.

1966 was his rookie season, and one of only 2 seasons (with 1969) where Heath spent more time in the majors than in the minors. He appeared in 55 games as the Astros' 2nd-string catcher, narrowly edging out Ron Brand (the backup in 1965 and 1967).

After 9 games in 1967, Bill was sold to the Tigers, where he brought up the rear on the depth chart behind all-star Bill Freehan and rookie Jim Price. He spent most of 1967 and all of 1968 back in the minors, before resurfacing with the Cubs for part of the 1969 season.

That stint may have earned him his final Topps baseball card in the 1970 set, as a member of the Cubs. Someone forgot to tell the Cubs brass, as Heath spent his final season (1970) playing for the Cubs' AAA team in Tacoma.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Final Card: Dwight Siebler

Here is the last card for Dwight Siebler (#164). My card has a severely stubbed top right corner, a casualty found on many of my 1st and 2nd series 1967 cards. I didn't start buying cards until May or June of that year, so the early cards were acquired through the time-honored "tossing cards" method. I didn't start "taking care" of my cards until about the 5th series!

Siebler was signed by the Phillies in 1958, and pitched for 5 seasons (1959-63) in their farm system, the last 3 in triple-A. He was purchased by the Twins in late August 1963, and 2 days later made his big-league debut. Dwight remained with Minnesota to the end of the season, but he spent most of 1964 and 1965 pitching in triple-A, while playing less than 10 games with the Twins in each season.

Siebler was back with the Twins for the entire 1966 season, which would be his only full season in the majors. Dwight started off the 1967 season with the Twins, but after only 2 appearances in late April, he was back in AAA, compiling a 4-10 record primarily as a starter, before retiring after the season.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Final Card: Orlando McFarlane

First, a commercial:

Last week, I signed up on the site, after reading about it on The Phillies Room blog. So far, I've got all my baseball cards from 1952-80, and all my football cards (1964-79) entered. Check it out using the link at the top of my sidebar.

Now, where was I..., oh yeah, Orlando McFarlane.

This is the final card for backup catcher Orlando McFarlane (#496), one of four players named Orlando in the 1967 set. McFarlane was signed by the Pirates in 1958, and toiled in their system though 1963 (although getting an 8-game cup of coffee in 1962). In 1960, he played at 3rd base more than as a catcher, and also saw action at shortstop.

In 1964 he spent the entire season with the Pirates, but only played in 37 games. The following season, he was back in the minors all year, but split his time between the Pirates' and Senators' farm teams.

After the 1965 season, he was selected by the Tigers in the Rule 5 draft. Orlando spent the entire 1966 season in Detroit as Bill Freehan's backup. Just before the 1967 season started, he was traded to the Angels, as we see on the back of this late-series card. (This trade happened so last-minute that Topps only included 1 Tigers' catcher (Freehan) in the 1967 set, while having 4 Angels' catchers!) He was ticketed as the 3rd-string catcher behind Bob Rodgers and Tom Satriano, but he must have been injured in mid-season, because he only played 12 games for the Angels (none after June 3rd) and no games in the minors.

In 1968 McFarlane spent most of the season with the Angels' triple-A team in Seattle, but did play 18 games for the Angels. That would be his last major-league action, as not even the creation of 4 expansion teams could keep him in the majors. During 1969 and 1970, he played for the Angels' and Mets' triple-A teams.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dick Ellsworth (#359)

No Phillies card in over a year! That won't do...

Dick Ellsworth was signed by the Cubs in 1958. He joined their starting rotation in 1960, and was a fixture in the rotation for 7 seasons, winning 22 games in 1963, but losing a league-high 22 games in 1966.

Naturally, the Phillies decided that the time was right to trade for him - another veteran Cubs' starting pitcher on the downside of his career. At least it only cost them Ray Culp this time!

Ellsworth only lasted one season with the Phillies (and was only in the rotation for the first half of the season). In December 1967, he was traded to the Red Sox (with catcher Gene Oliver, whose stay in Philadelphia was shorter than Ellsworth's) for young catcher Mike Ryan.

Dick pitched for the Sox until April 1969, when he was part of a 3-for-3 swap with the Indians. Ellsworth wrapped up his career with the Brewers from August 1970 to June 1971.

Topps was not kind to Dick Ellsworth in the late 1960s. Besides the big-head photo above, he had similarly goofy photos in 1968 and 1969. At least it was him, though. On his 1966 card, Topps used a photo of Ken Hubbs, who had been dead for 2 years!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The 1967 Dodgers

After being swept by the Orioles in the 1966 World Series (including 3 complete game shutouts), Sandy Koufax retired, and the Dodgers embarked on a 3-year tour to oblivion, their only one in the Walter Alston era. In those 23 seasons, the Dodgers finished in first place 7 times, and second place 9 times. From 1967 to 1969 was the only time they finished lower than second place for 3 consecutive seasons.

Based on everyone's games played, it seems that the Dodgers used 9 pitchers and 16 position players in 1967.

The Dodgers went with a 4-man rotation in 1967. These four accounted for 140 starts in 1967. With Koufax retired, Don Drysdale (13-16) was now in charge. Claude Osteen (17-17) was the only southpaw among the starters. Sophomore Don Sutton (11-15) and rookie Bill Singer (12-8) rounded out the rotation.

The bullpen was headed up by veteran lefty Ron Perranoski (16 saves). He was the only pitcher among the top 8 to appear strictly in relief. Righthanders Phil Regan and Bob Miller complemented Perranoski, as did southpaw Jim Brewer. Brewer appeared in about half as many games as the other 3 relievers, and 11 of those were as a starter.

Other pitchers: 30-year-old Dick Egan (who has been in the minors for most of his 10 year career) appeared in 20 games for the Dodgers, all in relief. This was Egan’s last season. Rookie Alan Foster appeared in 4 games, veteran Bob Lee made 4 relief appearances before he was sold to the Reds on May 31, and Joe Moeller (who played all of 1966 with the Dodgers) relieved in 6 games, but spent most of 1967 and 1968 in triple-A.

Except for center fielder Willie Davis, the Dodgers did a lot of shuffling at the 8 positions. These 8 played the most at each position.

John Roseboro started 93 games, and had been the team’s #1 catcher since the days of Roy Campanella. Wes Parker started 94 games at first base, and another 15 in centerfield. Ron Hunt was acquired from the Mets before the season, and started 89 games at 2nd base, pushing last year’s regular over to 3rd base.

Rookie Gene Michael came over from the Pirates in the Maury Wills deal, and shared the shortstop job (66 starts) with veteran Dick Schofield (56). He apparently didn’t impress, because he moved on to the Yankees after the season. Michael would eventually manage and GM the Yankees.

1965 rookie of the year Jim Lefebvre moved over to 3rd base after starting most games at 2B in 1966. He made 89 starts at 3B and another 33 at 2B this season. Lou Johnson was the primary leftfielder, with 73 starts. Willie Davis started 135 games in center, leading the team in starts at any one position. Ron Fairly (63 starts) shared the rightfield duties with Al Ferrara (62). Ron also started 62 games at 1st base.

Here are the subs, in order of their playing time: Al Ferrara was the co-starter in right field, along with backing up Johnson in left. Bob Bailey was acquired from the Pirates in the off-season for Maury Wills. He made 65 starts at 3B and 23 in left field.

Veteran Dick Schofield (like Bailey, seen here in his Pirates uni) started 56 games at shortstop. You may know that Schofield is ex-Phillie Jayson Werth’s grandfather. Len Gabrielson was acquired by the Dodgers on May 10th for infielder John Werhas. He was the team’s 5th outfielder, backing up the corner spots.

Nate Oliver was the middle infield reserve, also starting 23 games at 2B and 29 at short. Jeff Torborg made 63 starts as Roseboro’s backup, and was one of several 1967 Dodgers (along with Lefebvre and Michael) to become managers after their playing careers.

Jim Hickman came from the Mets in the Tommy Davis for Ron Hunt trade, and was used as a pinch-hitter and outfield reserve in his only season with the Dodgers. Jim Campanis was the 3rd-string catcher. He was with the team for the entire season, but played in only 41 games, half of them as a pinch-hitter. He was also the GM’s son.

Other bit players for the Dodgers: In a late-season fact-finding mission, Luis Alcaraz started 17 of the final 18 games at 2nd base, while Tommy Dean started 11 of the final 12 games at shortstop.

Willie Crawford played in 4 games, and was the only one of this foursome to have a decent career. Bruce Brubaker pitched ONE INNING for the Dodgers in 1967, and had no previous major-league experience. How does he get a card?

This was the 3rd and last (partial) season for John Werhas. He was dealt to the Angels for Len Gabrielson. Walter Alston managed the Dodgers from 1954 through 1976, all on one-year contracts!

John Kennedy did not play for the Dodgers in 1967. He shared the 3B position with Jim Gilliam in 1966, but was traded to the Yankees a few days before the start of the ’67 season, and spent the year as backup 3B-SS in the Bronx. Jim Barbieri also did not play in 1967. His big-league career consisted of 82 at-bats in 1966, but he did appear in the 1966 World Series. He also appeared in the Little League World Series in 1954.

Tom Hutton had cups of coffee with the Dodgers in 1966 and 1969. His career was really with the Phillies, Blue Jays, and Expos from 1972-81. This picture of Gene Michael is one of only 4 airbrushed photos in the 1967 set.

Transactions from the end of the 1966 season to the end of 1967:

10/31/66 – Released infielder Jim Gilliam.

11/21/66 – Released Wes Covington and Dick Stuart.

11/29/66 – Traded Tommy Davis and Derrell Griffith to the Mets for Ron Hunt and Jim Hickman.

12/1/66 – Traded Maury Wills to the Pirates for Bob Bailey and Gene Michael.

12/7/66 – Traded pitcher Howie Reed to the Angels for Dick Egan.

12/15/66 – Traded pitcher Nick Willhite to the Angels for Bob Lee.

4/3/67 – Traded John Kennedy to the Yankees for 2 minor leaguers.

4/26/67 – Traded pitcher Dick Calmus to the Cubs for pitcher Fred Norman.

5/10/67 – Traded John Werhas to the Angels for Len Gabrielson.

5/31/67 – Sold Bob Lee to the Reds.

6/6/67 – Drafted catcher Steve Yeager.

11/28/67 – Lost Joe Moeller in the Rule 5 draft to the Astros.

11/28/67 – Traded Ron Perranoski, Bob Miller, and John Roseboro to the Twins for pitcher Jim Grant and shortstop Zoilo Versalles.

11/30/67 – Sold Gene Michael to the Yankees.

11/30/67 – Traded Lou Johnson to the Cubs for infielder Paul Popovich.

12/1/67 – Released Dick Schofield.

Next team review: Baltimore Orioles

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Galen Cisco (#596)

Here is the rare, 7th-series card for Galen Cisco. Galen looks older than his 30 years here.

Cisco was signed by the Red Sox in 1958, and spent 2 seasons in the low minors followed by 1 1/2 seasons in triple-A, all in the Red Sox' organization. He made his major-league debut in June 1961 with the Red Sox.

Galen was with Boston full-time until early September 1962, when he was picked up by the Mets. He spent the next 3 full seasons pitching for the hapless Mets, both as a starter and reliever. Cisco pitched in the minors for the entire 1966 season, first for the Mets, then 2 days after his June 4th release, his old Red Sox team picked him up and assigned him to their AAA Toronto team.

Since this is a late-season card, it includes a note about him making the '67 team as a non-roster spring training invitee. It didn't last long though, as he only pitched 11 games for the Sox that season, and was soon back in the minors. This time, he stayed down until being rescued in 1969 by the expansion Royals. (He was actually purchased by the Royals in August 1968, before they fielded a team. This also happened to Jim Bouton, who was purchased by the Seattle Pilots in 1968 from the Yankees.)

Besides pitching in 15 games for the Royals in 1969, Cisco pitched for their triple-A Omaha team in '69 and '70. His final player card is in the 1969 set.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dick Radatz (#174)

Last month I was about to post Dick Radatz' card on my 1968 card blog, when I realized (43 years late) that he didn't have a card in the 1968 set.

Dick Radatz (nicknamed "The Monster") was signed by the Red Sox in 1959. He spent 3 seasons in Boston's farm system. For a year and a half he was a starter for Class-B teams, then spent his remaining season and a half as a reliever in triple-A. Dick made his major-league debut in April 1962. In 381 games over 7 seasons, not once did Radatz start a game in the major leagues.

Dick was Boston's go-to guy in the bullpen for his 1st 4 seasons. He led the American League in games pitched (62) and saves (24) as a rookie in 1962, and finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting. He also led the league with 29 saves in 1964. Radatz also made the all-star team in '63 and '64.

On June 2, 1966, the 29-year-old Radatz was traded to the Indians for 36-year-old closer Don McMahon and pitcher Lee Stange. Although he led the Indians with 10 saves in 1966, Dick did not pitch as much as he had in any of his seasons in Boston.

The Indians traded Radatz to the Cubs in late-April 1967, and as the last man in the bullpen, appeared in only 20 games for the rest of the season. Released by the Cubs in March 1968, Dick was picked up by the Tigers a month later, but spent the entire 1968 season with their triple-A team in Toledo Ohio (hence no card in the 1968 set).

He began the 1969 season with the Tigers, but was sold to the Expos in June. His last appearance was on August 15, 1969. Two weeks later, the Expos released him, ending his career. Dick's final card is in the 1969 set.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jesse Gonder (#301)

Jesse Gonder was one of 3 Pirates catchers featured in the 1967 set. (Because his was the first one of the three that I got, and because I knew next-to-nothing about major-league baseball prior to 1967, for a while I assumed Gonder was the team's starting catcher.)

Jesse was signed by the Reds before the 1955 season, and spent 5 years in their system as a catcher and sometimes-outfielder. Before the 1960 season, Gonder was dealt to the Yankees, and spent two seasons with their triple-A Richmond, VA club, although he did appear in some games for the Yankees in late 1960 and early 1961. After 1961, Jesse was traded back to the Reds, but spent all season with the Reds' AAA team in San Diego, plus a few September games with Cincinnati.

From 1963 to 1966, Gonder managed to stay out of the minor leagues. He split the 1963 season between the Reds and the Mets. Used mostly as a pinch-hitter by the Reds, he was traded to the Mets in early July, and started 23 of the next 29 games, before settling into the 3rd-string catcher's role.

In 1964 he was the Mets' #1 catcher, starting half the games behind the plate, while Chris Cannizzaro and Hawk Taylor split the remaining games. This was the high point of Jesse's career, as he bat .270, and collected 11 doubles and 35 RBI.

1965 saw Cannizzaro take over the starting job, and with John Stephenson as the backup, Gonder was traded to the Braves in July for Gary Kolb. Jesse settled back into a pinch-hitting role with Milwaukee. After the season, he was selected by the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft.

Gonder started 40 games in 1966 as Jim Pagiaroni's backup, while rookie Jerry May filled the 3rd-string role. 1967 was Gonder's last in the big leagues. Although he started 3 of the Pirates' 1st 5 games, he soon was displaced by Jerry May, and spent most of the season in the minors. His final game was on June 17th.

Gonder spent 1968 and 1969 playing for the triple-A teams in the Braves', Angels', and Giants' organizations. He didn't have a card in the 1968 set, and although he appeared in the 1969 set (as a member of the expansion Padres) he never played for that organization.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Final Card: Pedro Gonzalez

This is the last of 5 consecutive cards for Pedro Gonzalez (#424).

Pedro was signed by the Yankees in 1958, and spent the next 4 full seasons in their farm system, strictly at 2nd base until 1962, when he also played a significant amount of games at 3rd base and shortstop, as well as in the outfield.

Gonzalez made his major-league debut in April 1963 with the Yankees, but with Bobby Richardson starting 150 games at 2nd base, Gonzalez spent most of the season in triple-A. He made 4 starts at 2nd for New York, mostly in September.

In 1964, Pedro spent the entire season with the Yankees, and saw action in 80 games, more than any substitute except Phil Linz and Hector Lopez. He saw more action at 1st base than any other position.

In May 1965, Gonzalez was traded to the Indians for backup 1st baseman Ray Barker. He was the staring 2nd baseman for all but one game between May 30th and September 20th. (Cleveland has started the season with a keystone combo of Larry Brown and Dick Howser. Gonzalez replaced Brown, but by mid-season, Brown moved over to short to replace Howser. To complete this circle, Howser started most of the games at 2B after September 20th.)

Pedro was the regular 2nd baseman again in 1966, but rarely played after August. Howser, Chico Salmon, and rookie Vern Fuller each started a dozen or so games at 2nd base in place of Gonzalez.

His playing time was further reduced in 1967, as he only played in 80 games, while making 55 starts. His regular 2nd base job only lasted from May 9th to June 23rd. Cleveland started the season with rookie Gus Gill at 2B, while fellow rookie Vern Fuller took over the job as of July 19th.

Pedro's last major-league game was on September 27, 1967. He spent the next 4 seasons playing in the minors for the Indians, Cardinals, and Pirates.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Final Card: John Sullivan

This (#568) is the last of John Sullivan's three Topps baseball cards. He first appeared on a Tigers Rookies card in 1965. In 1966, his card portrayed him as a Tigers' catcher. This year, he moves on to the Mets. Coincidently, all three of John's cards were in the rare 7th series (a/k/a high numbers). In my neighborhood, the 7th series was not sold in stores, so my first knowledge of Sullivan was when the Phillies signed him as their 3rd-string catcher during the 1968 season.

Sullivan was primarily a minor-league catcher, logging 1201 games over 13 seasons in the bush leagues, while playing only 116 big-league games over parts of 5 seasons. John was signed by the Tigers in 1959, and moved up their farm system ladder from 1959 to 1965. After a cup of coffee in both 1963 and 1964, he played in 34 games for Detroit in 1965, although spending part of the season at triple-A Syracuse.

1966 is a mystery. The record shows he played the entire season with the Athletics' triple-A team in Vancouver, although still Tigers' property, because after the 1966 season the Mets selected him from the Tigers in the Rule 5 draft.

1967 was the high point of Sullivan's career. Not only was it the only season where he managed to stay out of the minor leagues, but he worked his way up to SECOND string catcher, behind Jerry Grote. (Although Topps printed a card for John Stephenson as a Mets' catcher, Stephenson played only for the Cubs in 1967.) Sullivan played in 65 games in '67, the most of any season.

In February 1968, the Phillies purchased his contract and stashed him at triple-A San Diego. Although playing most of the season in the minors, he did get into 12 games with the Philadelphia. (I guess since the Phillies already had Mike Ryan on board, they didn't need another Irish catcher!) His final major-league game was on August 7th.

During spring training 1969, the Phillies swapped him to the Orioles for another backup catcher - Vic Roznovsky. Sullivan would kick around the minors for 4 more seasons, with the Orioles (1969) and the Royals (1970-72).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ex-players with cards

Many posts ago, I mentioned players who were active during the 1967 season who did not appear on a Topps card.

Today I'm showing the opposite, which is the 11 players who appeared on (full) cards in the 1967 set, even though their last major league appearances were in 1966, either because of retirement, injury, or a permanent minor-league demotion.

Joe Nuxhall is the dean of this group. His major-league debut was at age 15 with the Reds in 1944. He retired following the 1966 season, and went on to a long career as a Reds' broadcaster.

Felix Mantilla's career was spent primarily as a backup for the Milwaukee Braves, and a starter for the Red Sox. Traded to the Cubs prior to 1967, he was injured in spring training, then released after coming off the DL. He was recently featured on the 1965 Topps blog.

Terry Fox' last big-league action was with the Phillies in 1966. He spent the 1967 season with the Phillies' triple-A team in San Diego before retiring.

After 3 seasons with the Tigers, George Smith was traded to the Sox, and was their regular 2nd baseman in 1966. Rookie Mike Andrews took over in 1967, leaving Smith without a job in or out of Boston.

Derrell Griffith spent parts of 4 seasons (1963-66) with the Dodgers. After the 1966 season, he was traded twice (to the Mets and the Astros) but never made the team. The back of his card notes that he was sent to triple-A on March 24, 1967 (never to return).

Larry Elliot had cups of coffee with the Pirates in '62 and '63, then stuck around as a backup outfielder and pinch-hitter for the Mets in 1964 and 1966. That was the extent of his major-league career.

Ron Campbell kicked around for parts of 3 seasons (1964-66) as a utility infielder for the Cubs.

Don Dennis was a reliever for the Cardinals in 1965 and 1966. He was traded to the Sox in the off-season for catcher Johnny Romano, but never played in the majors again. Chicago didn't get gypped, as Romano didn't play much in '67 (his final season) either.
A few months ago, the Dinged Corners blog had a poll for best forehead ever. I think Don Dennis will have to replace Dave "Forehead" Morehead as the clear-cut winner!

Gil Blanco spent all of 1965 with the Yankees, and the last half of 1966 with the Athletics. That is all!

Bill Hepler was a one-year wonder, compiling a 3-3 record in a full season with the Mets in 1966.

Jim Barbieri played 6 1/2 seasons in the minors before finally making it to the majors with the Dodgers for part of 1966. He played in the Little League World Series in 1954.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The 1967 White Sox

And now, the 1967 Chicago White Sox:

The White Sox had a good team in the mid 1960s, but were lost in the hype given to the 1st place clubs. The Sox finished in 2nd place in 1963 (10.5 behind the Yankees), 1964 (1 behind the Yankees), and 1965 (7 behind the Twins). They finished in 4th place in 1966 and 1967, trailing Boston by only 3 games in 1967.

Here are the starting pitchers, in order of starts and innings pitched. Gary Peters was 16-11 with 215 strikeouts, while Joel Horlen was 19-7 with a 2.06 ERA. Tommy John chipped in with 10 wins, while Bruce Howard started 17 of his 30 games, but fashioned a poor 3-10 record.

Here are the 5th starters and long relief men. Surprisingly, the opening day starter was John Buzhardt, but by the end of April, he was out of the loop, replaced by Jim O'Toole, who lasted in the rotation until the beginning of July. After that, Fred Klages and Wilbur Wood took their turns as the 5th starter. Cisco Carlos joined the rotation in late August and took a regular turn for the rest of the season.

Bob Locker appeared only in relief, and led the staff with 77 games. Wilbur Wood came over from the Pirates in the off-season and was used primarily in relief in 1967. (Wood and O'Toole were the only lefties in the bullpen.) Don McMahon was acquired from Boston on June 2nd for Jerry Adair. He pitched 91 innings in 52 games while compiling a 5-0 record. 44-year-old knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm compiled a 1.31 ERA in 89 innings of work.

Others haunting the pitching staff: Dennis Higgins made 9 relief appearances for a total of 12 innings. Rookie Roger Nelson relieved in 5 games, but spent most of the season in triple-A. Jack Lamabe made 3 relief appearances, and was shipped out to the Mets in late April. He later hooked on with the Cardinals and appeared in the World Series. Aurelio Monteagudo was signed on July 15th, made 1 start, and was promptly released on July 22nd.

The White Sox' regular lineup was a collection of mix-and-match players at multiple positions. The only players starting more than 80 games at any one position were Ron Hansen (151 at SS), Tommie Agee (124 in CF), Tom McCraw (112 at 1B), and Don Buford (94 at 3B).

Although rookie Duane Josephson started 16 fewer games at catcher than J.C. Martin, he missed a month in mid-season, so it's safe to assume that he was the #1 catcher. McCraw started most of the games at 1B, except for 2 stretches in late July and late August. Although Jerry Adair started the first 15 games at 2B, Wayne Causey soon replaced him as the regular, with occasional starts by Buford at 2B. Hansen's card designates him as "Infield", but he started 151 games in 1967 (all at shortstop) and played no other position.

Switch-hitting Don Buford started 94 games at third base, and another 39 at 2nd base. Although Pete Ward was the Sox' regular 3rd baseman from 1963-65, he spent 1967 as the primary left fielder (71 starts) and backup 1st baseman. In 1966, Agee was the AL rookie of the year, an all-star, and won a gold glove. He followed that up with another all-star appearance in 1967, but was traded to the Mets following the season. Ken Berry started 125 games in the outfield, primarily in right field.

The White Sox carried 4 catchers, although Smoky Burgess was only used as a pinch-hitter. J.C. Martin caught in 96 games, but only 69 as the starter. Jerry McNertney saw a lot of action as the 3rd string catcher. Ken Boyer was acquired from the Mets on July 22nd, and started 32 games at 3B as well as seeing action at 1B.

Walt Williams played in more games (104) than any of the other non-regulars. He was primarily used as a backup left fielder and pinch-hitter. Ed Stroud began the season with the Sox, then was traded to the Senators on June 15th for Jim King. King was sent to the Indians on July 29th for Rocky Colavito.

Other assorted subs: Jerry Adair began the season as the starting 2B, but was traded to the Red Sox for Don McMahon. Dick Kenworthy was a backup 3rd baseman for the White Sox in 1967 and 1968, and according to, was never in the Mets' organization. Al Weis played less than in any of his previous 4 full seasons with the White Sox, and was traded to the Mets in the off-season.

Bill Voss and Buddy Bradford each appeared in less than 25 games. They shared a rookie card in the 1968 Topps set. Utility man Jimmy Stewart was purchased from the Cubs on May 22nd. (The next day, they returned the favor by selling Lee Elia to the Cubs.) Sandy Alomar joined the Sox on August 15th, as part of the earlier trade for Ken Boyer. SS Rich Morales played in 8 games, but wouldn't become a contributor until 1969.

William "Moose" Skowron Jr was shipped out to the Angels on May 6th, after just 8 pinch-hitting appearances. Future starting catcher Ed Herrmann made his debut on September 1st. Ward and Buford were the team's power hitters (a relative term in Chicago). Eddie Stanky was in the middle of his 3-year stint as the Sox' manager. (He also managed the Cardinals from 1952-55.)

Don Dennis and Jim Hicks spent 1967 at triple-A Indianapolis (as did Elia, until he was sold to the Cubs on May 23rd, who assigned him to AAA Tacoma.)

Finally, the rookie cards. Marv Staehle spent most of 1967 in AAA but appeared in 32 games for the White Sox as a backup 2B-SS. Lou Piniella was never on the White Sox, but in the late 1960s if you had 3 rookie cards in your hand, chances are one of them had Piniella on it!

Transactions from the end of the 1966 season until the end of 1967:

10/12/66 - Traded pitcher Juan Pizarro to Pittsburgh for Wilbur Wood.

12/14/66 - Traded catcher John Romano to St. Louis for Don Dennis and Walt Williams.

12/15/66 - Traded OF Floyd Robinson to Cincinnati for Jim O'Toole.

4/26/67 - Sold Jack Lamabe to the Mets.

5/06/67 - Traded Moose Skowron to California for Cotton Nash.

5/22/67 - Purchased Jimmy Stewart from the Cubs.

5/23/67 - Sold Lee Elia to the Cubs.

6/02/67 - Traded Jerry Adair to Boston for Don McMahon.

6/15/67 - Traded Ed Stroud to Washington for Jim King.

7/15/67 - Signed Aurelio Monteagudo as a free agent.

7/22/67 - Released Aurelio Monteagudo.

7/22/67 - Acquired Ken Boyer and a player to be named from the Mets for a player to be named.

7/29/67 - Traded Jim King and a player to be named to Cleveland for Rocky Colavito.

8/11/67 - Sold John Buzhardt to Baltimore.

8/15/67 - Acquired Sandy Alomar from the Mets as part of the Ken Boyer trade.

10/13/67 - Sold Jim Hicks to St. Louis.

10/16/67 - Released Smoky Burgess.

10/26/67 - Sent Marv Staehle to Cleveland to complete the Rocky Colavito trade.

11/27/67 - Sent J. C. Martin to the Mets to complete the Ken Boyer trade.

11/29/67 - Traded Don Buford, Bruce Howard, and Roger Nelson to Baltimore for SS Luis Aparicio and OF Russ Snyder.

12/15/67 - Traded Tommie Agee and Al Weis to the Mets for OF Tommy Davis and P Jack Fisher.

Next team review: Los Angeles Dodgers