Friday, November 16, 2018

Tommie Reynolds (#487)

Tommie Reynolds was a journeyman outfielder for the Athletics, Mets, and others from 1963-72. Check out the huge gap between his first and last names. I think Topps planned to print "TOMMIE" (like they did on the card back) but changed their mind at the last minute.

It's also odd that his position is listed as "OF-1B", because he only played 2 innings at first base and that was in 1972.  (His first minor-league game at 1st base was in 1968.)

Reynolds was signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1963, and made his major-league debut with 8 games that September. Tommie started the 1964 season with the A’s, but by early-May found himself back in the minors until a September call-up.

In 1965 he was with the team for most of the season (except for May and June) . He was the team’s #3 outfielder (behind Mike Hershberger and Jim Landis), starting 72 games in left field and another 7 games in right. Upon his return from the minors, Tommie started 68 of the final 92 games in left field.

With all that playing time during the 2nd half, it’s puzzling why he spent all of 1966 in the minors. Maybe it was his .237 batting average? Maybe his 1 home run? In any case, he was stuck in triple-A all year, until the Mets picked him up in the Rule 5 draft after the season.

Reynolds played in 101 games in ’67, but only had 136 at bats. As the Mets’ 4th outfielder he only starts 24 games. Repeating recent history, he played all of 1968 back in triple-A.

Almost 2 years from the date of his acquisition by the Mets, the Athletics “Rule-Fived” him again. He was back with the A’s (this time in Oakland) and in 1969 received the most playing time of his career (107 games, 315 at bats). He almost duplicated his playing time from the 1965 A’s, starting 71 games in left and 6 in right as the team’s #3 outfielder.

He was one-and-done in Oakland though. The Angels acquired him in May 1970 and he played parts of the next 2 seasons with California.

After 1 season with the Brewers (1972), he played for their triple-A team from 1973-77 before retiring.

Reynolds was a coach for the Athletics and Cardinals from 1989-96.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Ed Brinkman (#311)

Ed Brinkman was a light-hitting shortstop for the Senators in the 1960s and Tigers in the early-1970s. Together with Tigers’ shortstop Ray Oyler, they set the lowest of bars for hitting prowess, in the days before Mario Mendoza established the “Mendoza Line”.  (Fittingly, Brinkman eventually replaced Oyler in Detroit.)

Brinkman was signed by the Senators in 1961, and made his major-league debut with 4 games in September of that year. After splitting the 1962 season between the Senators and their class-B team, he made the big club at the start of the 1963 season.

Despite his weak bat, he was Washington’s starting shortstop from 1963-1970, except for missing 85 games in 1968.

Well, he came from the same high school as Pete Rose, so he's got THAT going for him! 

Notice the spike in his batting average in 1969 and 1970? Those are the 2 seasons when Teddy Ballgame was his manager. After he moved on to the Tigers in 1971, he reverted to his old batting ways.

Ed was traded to the Tigers in October 1970 (with pitchers Joe Coleman and Jim Hannan, and 3rd baseman Aurelio Rodriguez) for pitcher Denny McLain, 3rd baseman Don Wert, and outfielder Elliott Maddox.

Always a good glove man, he won a Gold Glove award in 1972 and surprisingly, made the All-Star team in 1973.

After the 1974 season, Ed was one of 3 players traded to the Padres for 1st baseman Nate Colbert. On the same day, San Diego flipped him to the Cardinals for pitchers Sonny Siebert, Alan Foster, and Rich Folkers. (What a haul!)

In June 1975 he moved on to the Rangers in exchange for outfielder Willie Davis, then was purchased by the Yankees a week later. The Yankees released him the following Spring.

After his playing career, Brinkman was a minor-league manager for the Tigers, and later a coach and scout for the White Sox.

He passed away in 2008 at age 66.

His brother Chuck Brinkman was a catcher for the White Sox in the early-1970s.