Sunday, January 22, 2012

Final Card: Nick Willhite

This is the 4th and final card for Nick Willhite (249). He also appeared on a Dodgers Rookies card in 1964, in the 1965 set as a Senator, and in the 1966 set as a Dodger.

Nick was signed by the Dodgers in the Fall of 1959. He played in the minors every season from 1960 to 1970, and in the majors every season from 1963 to 1967. Only in '65 and '67 would he spend more of his time up top.

Willhite made his major-league debut with the Dodgers on June 16, 1963. During his first stint with LA (1963-64) he was a starting pitcher, but was #6 on the depth chart for both seasons.

After the 1964 season, he was purchased by the Senators, who sold him back to the Dodgers in mid-May the following season. Besides playing for both teams in '65, he also spent some time with the Dodgers' AAA team in Spokane, Washington. Willhite played most of the 1966 season in the minors, and a few games with the Dodgers.

After the 1966 season, Nick was traded to the Angels for reliever Bob Lee (a steal for the Dodgers, considering that Lee was the ace of the Angels' bullpen that season, and Willhite was pretty much minor-league filler for the Dodgers). Nick appeared in 10 games (7 starts) for the Angels in 1967 before he was sent over to the Mets on June 10th for pitcher Jack Hamilton.

Willhite's stay in New York only lasted about 5 weeks. After 4 appearances (his last on June 23rd), he spent the rest of the season with the Tulsa Oilers (the Cardinals' AAA team). The 1968-70 seasons saw him bouncing around the minor-league organizations of the Mets, Cubs, Twins, and Royals.

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