Sunday, June 22, 2014

Russ Snyder (#405)

A few months ago, I found a page on listing the 100 oldest living ex-players. Within the scope of the 1966 to 1970 card sets, the only names listed there were 3 managers. Last week I decided to find out who were the oldest living ex-players from that time period that I haven’t yet featured on my blogs.

As best as I can determine, they are pitchers Orlando Pena and Camilo Pascual, and outfielder Russ Snyder (all age 80), 1B-OF Felipe Alou (79), and pitchers Bob Humphreys and Jim Perry (both 78). Nine others are 77, with Fred Gladding, Vic Davalillo, and J.C. Martin turning 78 later this year. 

Happy 80th birthday today to Russ Snyder! Russ played outfield for 12 seasons from 1959 to 1970, and is best remembered as the Baltimore Orioles’ 4th outfielder from 1961 to 1967.

Snyder was signed by the Yankees in 1953, and played in their farm system through the 1958 season. Three days into the 1959 season, he was part of yet another trade between the Yankees and the Kansas City Athletics.

Snyder made his big-league debut as a pinch-hitter in mid-April 1959, then was sent to the minors. He was recalled in mid-July, and became the Athletics’ starting left fielder from late-July to mid-August, before moving over to center field for most of September.

In 1960, Russ was part of a 3-way tandem in right field (along with Hank Bauer and Whitey Herzog) who replaced the departed Roger Maris.

After the 1960 season, Snyder and Herzog were traded to the Orioles for 4 players, including infielder Wayne Causey and catcher Clint Courtney. Except for being limited to 56 games in 1964, Snyder was the Orioles’ 4th outfielder and got the most at-bats of the non-regulars every season from 1961 to 1967.

Russ bounced around in his last 3 seasons. Traded to the White Sox with Luis Aparicio for Don Buford and others in November 1967, Snyder was flipped to the Indians in mid-season for outfielder Leon Wagner.

After a year and a half in Cleveland, he played his final season (1970) with the Brewers. Snyder was released by the Brewers during spring training in 1971.


Commishbob said...

Hard to fathom Russ Snyder being 80. Likely a '65 or '66 photo so Russ may be looking up at my ol' man and me. We usually sat just off the 1st base side of home plate at the Stadium. And we always got there early enough for batting practice. Hey, you never know, right?

Douglas said...

Bob, I take it you are talking about Memorial Stadium? I think the pic is at Yankee Stadium because it appears to be 3 tiers rather than Memorial's two.

Speaking of stadiums, I see Snyder's home run total jumped from 1 to 13 in New Orleans. I think it is when they changed ballparks from Pelican Park (a baseball stadium) to a local
football stadium. (I used to do a lot research on minor league stadiums of the 50's)

Commishbob said...

No, I grew up in Brooklyn and New Jersey. My Dad took me to Yankee Stadium and we almost always sat up there.