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.

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