Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Sandy Alomar (#561)

It's time for a high-numbered card.

Sandy Alomar was a second baseman who played for 15 seasons (1964-78) for the Braves, Mets, White Sox, Angels, Yankees, and Rangers.  This is his only card as a Met, the team he played the least amount of time for.

Alomar was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1960, and was a shortstop until switching over to 2nd base during the 1965 season. His major-league debut came in September 1964 with the Braves.

Sandy split the 1965 season between Milwaukee and their AAA team in Atlanta.

The Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966, but by early-June Alomar had moved on to Richmond, the new home of their triple-A team.

1967 was an unusual year for Alomar:
 - 2/25: sent to the Astros to complete an earlier deal (Eddie Mathews to Houston for Bob Bruce and Dave Nicholson).
 - 3/24: Traded to the Mets for Derrell Griffith.
 - 8/15: sent to the White Sox to complete an earlier deal (Ken Boyer to Chicago for J.C. Martin).

Sandy was always a bench player until the 2nd half of 1968, when he took over the Sox' 2nd base job.

Following his May 1969 trade to the Angels for Bobby Knoop, Alomar was the Halos' regular 2nd baseman for the next 4 ½ years, that string coming to an end in the closing weeks of 1973. While an Angel, he started 134, 152, 134, 150, and 103 games from 1969-73. He also made the 1970 All-Star team.

The Angels acquired 2nd baseman Denny Doyle from the Phillies in the 73/74 off-season, so Alomar rode the bench in 1974 until his contract was purchased by the Yankees in July. Sandy regained a starting job in the Big Apple for the rest of 1974 and all of 1975.

It was deja-vu all over again for him in 1976. The Yankees traded for Willie Randolph in the 75/76 off-season, so Alomar was back on the bench, although he did start a handful of games in July and Auguist.

Sandy was traded to the Rangers before the 1977 season, and spent his last two years as a bench player. He backed up 2B Bump Wills in '77 but rarely played the field in '78 and was used mostly as a pinch-runner (at age 34!). Alomar was released after the 1978 season.

Later, he was a coach for the Padres (1986-90), Cubs (2000-02), Rockies (2003-04), and Mets (2005-09).

His sons Sandy Jr and Roberto made their major-league debuts with the Padres while he was a coach there.

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