Sunday, October 22, 2017

John O'Donoghue (#127)

John O'Donoghue is the oldest living player from the 1966-70 era that I have not blogged about yet.

I think of him as a Cleveland Indian, but he played more games for the Pilots/Brewers and Athletics than he did with the Tribe. After 2 seasons as a front-line starter with Kansas City, he became a supporting player for the remainder of his career.

John was signed by the Athletics in 1959, and made his major-league debut in 1963 (on Sept 29th!)

O’Donoghue was a starter for the Athletics for the next 2 seasons. In 1964 he won 10 games as a 24-year-old rookie, and was the youngest of the 3 primary starters (after Orlando Pena and Diego Segui) on the staff. (In 1965, 19-year-old rookie Catfish Hunter claimed that title.)

Meanwhile, in '65 John led the AL with 18 losses. He did have 9 wins, which was 1 less than the leader for this bad Kansas City team. He also made the All-Star team, despite his eventual 9-18 record.

John got a reprieve in 1966 as he was traded to the Indians in early-April for pitcher Ralph Terry. During his 2 seasons with the Indians he was the infrequently-used #5 starter, behind a strong rotation of Sam McDowell, Sonny Siebert, Steve Hargan, and Gary Bell / Luis Tiant.

After the 1967 season he moved on to the Orioles, in exchange for knuckle-baller Eddie Fisher. After leaving the Indians, John was used almost exclusively in relief for the remainder of his career.

He played for triple-A Rochester in August 1968 and April 1969, then was traded to the expansion Pilots in late-April, where he joined his old teammates Segui, Bell, and Fred Talbot in Seattle. John appeared in 55 games for the Pilots, and another 25 games for the Brewers in 1970, before his mid-June trade to the Expos.

He split the 2nd half of the 1970 season between Montreal and their AAA team. After 13 appearances in 1971, the Expos released him at the end of June, ending his 9-year career.

His son (also named John) pitched for the Orioles in 1993.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bob Priddy (#26)

Bob Priddy is one of the very few players who I always forget is in the 1967 Topps set. (The others are ….. oops, I forgot !) *

Priddy was traded to the Senators (along with Cap Peterson) for pitcher Mike McCormick in December 1966 – too late for Topps to correct the first-series cards for Priddy and McCormick (see below), but still time to include a “traded” note on the back of the 2 cards.

Actually there are 2 versions of these 2 cards – with and without the note on the back. (I think the “with” cards are more common.) Peterson’s card was in the 5th series, so there was time to portray him as a Washington Senator.

Bob was signed by the Pirates before the 1958 season as a 3rd baseman. He played in 46 games at the hot corner, and a dozen each at shortstop and the outfield (but no pitching).

In 1959 he became a pitcher exclusively, and for the next 5 seasons (1959-63) he pitched his way up the Bucs’ minor-league ladder. Priddy also had a 2-game cup of coffee with the Pirates in September 1962.

He split the 1964 season between the Pirates (19 games from mid-June to mid-July) and triple-A (21 games).

In February 1965 Bob and 1st base prospect Bob Burda were traded to the Giants for catcher Del Crandall. Priddy pitched most of the ’65 season in the minors, except for 2 early-season games and 6 in the final month.

1966 was Bob’s first full season in the majors, and also his last with the Giants. He appeared in 31 games (all but 3 in relief), slotted behind rookie closer Frank Linzy and the veteran Lindy McDaniel in the bullpen. Those 3 righthanders were joined by veteran southpaws Bill Henry and Joe Gibbon. (Take a moment to click on those other 4 relievers' names.  There sure was a lot of blue sky at the Giants' training camp!)

Priddy moved on to the Senators in 1967, picking up 4 saves in 110 innings over 46 games.

After just 1 season in Washington, it was on to the White Sox, joining pitcher Buster Narum and shortstop Tim Cullen in exchange for shortstop Ron Hansen and pitchers Dennis Higgins and Steve Jones. Priddy reached career highs in starts (18) and innings (110), but also fashioned a 3-11 ERA in 1968.

The following May he was shipped off to the Angels (with 2nd baseman Sandy Alomar) for 2nd baseman Bobby Knoop.

Bob’s stay with the Angels was the shortest of his career. Less than 4 months after arriving, he was flipped to the Braves (with 47-year-old Hoyt Wilhelm) for outfield prospect Mickey Rivers. He only played 1 game with the Braves in 1969, but relieved in 40 games for each of the next 2 seasons.

Priddy retired after the 1971 season, finishing up with 249 games in a 9-year career played for 6 teams.

*The others tend to be Dennis Higgins, Chico Salmon, Marcelino Lopez, Sandy Alomar, and (surprisingly enough) Mike Cuellar.