Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Born on the Same Day - 2/18/1939

Another installment in my "Born on the Same Day" series, featuring players who were born on the same day (!) and year.

This is post #10 in the series: Dal Maxvill and Bob Miller - both born on 2/18/1939.

Maxvill played for 14 seasons (1962-75), the first 11 with the Cardinals. After 4 seasons on the bench, he was the Cards' starting shortstop from 1966 to August 1972. He played his final 3+ seasons as a backup with Oakland and Pittsburgh. Dal won a Gold Glove in 1968 and played in 4 World Series ('64, '67, '68, '74).

Miller had a 17-year career (1957, 59-74). Primarily a reliever, he also made quite a few starts from '62-'63 and '69-'70. Bob began with the Cardinals, then played for the 1962 expansion Mets, where he was one of 2 pitchers named Bob Miller on the team. His longest stay with any one team was 5 years with the Dodgers (1963-67). Miller later played for 8 other teams before winding up back with the Mets to close out his career.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Born on the Same Day - 11/7/1938

Another installment in my "Born on the Same Day" series, featuring players who were born on the same day (!) and year.

This is post #9 in the series: Jake Gibbs and Jim Kaat - both born on 11/7/1938.

Gibbs played only for the Yankees during his 10-year career. Some cups of coffee from 1962-64 were followed by full-season work from 1965-71, including the starter's job from 1967-78.

Kaat played for 25 seasons (1959-83) and is one of a handful of players to have played in 4 decades. He also won 16 Gold Glove awards during his career. After playing for the Twins for his first 15 seasons, he made stops with the White Sox, Phillies, Yankees, and Cardinals. He also played in 2 World Series ('65 Twins, '82 Cardinals).

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Chico Cardenas (#325)

Here is Reds’ shortstop Chico Cardenas (not to be confused with another Reds’ middle infielder, Chico Ruiz).

Cardenas was signed by Cincinnati in 1956, and at age 17 began his pro career with the Class C Tucson Cowboys in the Arizona-Mexico league.

After 2 seasons at Class A Savannah, Cardenas was promoted to the Reds’ AAA team in Havana Cuba, his native land. He played there in 1959 and for part of 1960. (Later that season, the team moved out of Cuba, to Jersey City).

Chico made his major-league debut with the Reds on July 25, 1960. Cardenas immediately took over the starting shortstop job for the next 38 games, replacing injured veteran Roy McMillan, who had been the starter for the past decade. McMillan and Cardenas shared the post for the month of September.

In December 1960 McMillan was traded to the Braves, but Cardenas was still the backup, this time to Eddie Kasko. Chico played in 74 games in 1961, starting 43.

Chico took over the starting shortstop job in the 2nd week of the 1962 season, and held onto it through the 1968 season. He made 4 All-Star teams with the Reds, and collected over 600 plate appearances 4 times. In 1966 he showed surprising power with 20 home runs.

After the 1968 season, Cardenas was traded to the Twins for pitcher Jim Merritt, and was their starting SS for the next 2 seasons, while again making the All-Star team in 1971.

Chico played one year with the Angels (1972), which would be his final season as a regular. (Acquiring Cardenas allowed the Angels to trade Jim Fregosi to the Mets for Nolan Ryan.)

He spent the final 3 seasons of his career as a utility player for the Indians (’73) and Rangers (’74-’75).

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Born on the Same Day - 11/17/1933

Another installment in a new series called "Born on the Same Day", featuring players who were born on the same day (!) and year. 

This is post #4 in the series: Dan Osinski and Orlando Pena - both born on 11/17/1933.

Osinski played for 6 teams in 8 seasons, primarily with the Angels and Red Sox. Pena played for 8 teams over 14 seasons (1958-75), the longest stint being 4 seasons with the Kansas City Athletics.

The closest these two came to being teammates was in 1962, when they both played for the Athletics (Osinski in April, Pena in August and September).

For the 3rd time in 4 posts, I found a birth date discrepancy on one of the cards. The back of Pena's card shows his birth date as 11/17/1935, but Baseball-Reference.com and Wikipedia both have 11/17/1933, so I'm once again ignoring Topps' version of the facts.