Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Andy Kosco (#366)

Andy Kosco was a spare outfielder (and sometime starter) for several teams from 1965-74, most notably the Twins and Yankees.

Kosco was signed by the Tigers in 1959. (I always assumed he started in the Twins' organization.) After 5 ½ seasons, and having flip-flopped between A and AA ball several times, the Tigers released him on June 3, 1964.

Three days later the Twins picked him up, and after spending the remainder of that season in single-A, he jumped to AAA ball in 1965, and by August he made his major-league debut with the Twins.

Andy spent the entire 1966 season with Minnesota, but only saw action in 57 games, as a pinch-hitter and #3 left fielder. He was back in triple-A for most of 1967.

In October 1967 he was purchased by the Athletics, but was lost to the Yankees a month later in the Rule 5 draft. Kosco got regular playing time (131 games) during his one season in the Big Apple, starting 93 games as the primary right fielder and another 23 starts at first base as Mickey Mantle's backup (in the Mick's final season).

Andy was traded to the Dodgers after the season for pitcher Mike Kekich. He played 2 seasons in LA, his best season coming in 1969 with 67 starts as the primary right fielder, and another 36 starts in left field.  He only hit .248, which may have contributed to his fall to #5 outfielder in 1970.

Kosco bounced around for the rest of his career. He spent 1971 with the Brewers (traded for pitcher Al Downing), and split the 1972 season between the Angels and Red Sox.

He was traded to the Reds prior to the 1973 season, and spent the first half in the minors. Andy was a part time player for Cincinnati for the second half of '73 and the first half of '74. In the closing months of the '73 season, he platooned in right field with Ken Griffey Sr.

Kosco’s final MLB game was on July 30, 1974. I wonder if he was injured during the 2nd half, because he has no minor-league record that season, and was released by the Reds in October.

 Kosco retired after playing for the Phillies' AAA team in 1975.