Friday, July 22, 2016
It's time for another 1960s Blog Hall of Fame Election.
Last year Eddie Mathews and Ron Santo were inducted, joining the other 25 members in the Hall. Three players received less than 15% of the vote and were dropped from the ballot, leaving 7 returning candidates this time:
Added to the ballot this time are three players who are returning for a second chance* after missing the cut on the inaugural ballot:
Here is the voting history for all the current candidates:
As always, use the sidebar poll to vote for up to half (this time 5) of the players on the ballot. The poll will close on August 31st. Those with 75% or more will be inducted. In addition to using the poll, I encourage everyone to leave comments about their selections or thought processes, to hopefully spark some discussion about these players.
But do not use the comments as a means to vote, because I am only counting the votes in the actual poll widget, since there is no way to know if a vote in the comments is instead of, or in addition to, the poll. (I made an exception for one voter last year, because I didn't specify this up front, and could tell by monitoring the very few total voters in the poll that it was not duplicated.)
* Long-time voters may remember that the first election included over 60 names, with only the top vote-getter per position inducted regardless of anyone's voting percentage. With a wide-open field, most voters flocked to the biggest names, leaving many worthy candidates with less than the 15% needed to be retained. For example, Lou Brock received no votes the first time, but was later reinstated to the ballot and inducted into the Hall (as were Al Kaline and Carl Yastrzemski).
The rules were changed after the 1st time, to be in more line with traditional voting rules. No "second chances" will be given to players missing the cut under the new rules applied beginning with ballot #2.
Click on the "hall of fame ballot" label below to see the results of all previous elections.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Another installment in the occasional series about some big trades in the 1960s:
The Phillies closed out the decade with a major housecleaning. In separate deals, they moved sluggers Dick Allen and Johnny Callison, and also said goodbye to Cookie Rojas and Turk Farrell. By the start of the 1970 season, the only players remaining from the 1967 team were Chris Short, Tony Taylor, Johnny Briggs, Rick Wise, and Grant Jackson.
On October 7, 1969 the Phillies finally unloaded disgruntled slugger Dick "Richie" Allen. He and team management had been a thorn in each others' side for several seasons, with the Phillies' managers quitting or being fired during both the 1968 and 1969 seasons.
Allen (who had moved to 1st base for the 1969 season), along with fan favorite (but objectively speaking, serviceable) 2nd baseman Cookie Rojas and 2nd-year pitcher Jerry Johnson were dealt to the Cardinals. In return, the Phillies were getting 7-time Gold Glove center fielder Curt Flood, all-star catcher Tim McCarver, ace lefty reliever Joe Hoerner, and reserve outfielder Byron Browne. Flood and McCarver had played in 3 World Series in the past 6 years, while Hoerner participated in the '67 and '68 World Series.
Famously, Curt Flood refused to report to the Phillies, setting the ball rolling for eventual player free agency. As compensation, the Cardinals sent prospect Willie Montanez to the Phillies. Flood had just won 7 straight Gold Gloves, and was a 3-time All-Star with the Cardinals. He appeared in all 3 World Series for the Cardinals in the 1960s, and led the NL with 211 hits in 1964.
Tim McCarver was the team's starting catcher in the '64, '67, and '68 World Series, and was an All-Star in '66 and '67. In 1967, he finished 2nd in the MVP voting. Curiously, he led the NL with 13 triples in 1966. (I always figured him as a lumbering plodder!)
Joe Hoerner was a Rule 5 pickup from the Astros before the 1966 season, and led the Cardinals in saves for each of his 4 seasons in St. Louis.
Byron Browne made a splash as a rookie with the Cubs in 1966 (hence the trophy), but spent most of 1967-69 in the minors.
Allen was the Phillies top slugger from 1964-69, and was among the league leaders in homers and RBI from 1964-66. He was also the NL Rookie of the Year in 1964.
Cookie Rojas had been with the Phillies since 1963, working his way up from jack-of-all-trades to become the team's regular 2nd baseman for his final 4 seasons in Philly.
Jerry Johnson joined the Phillies during the 1968 season, and was a swing man in both '68 and '69.
So who "won" this deal? On the surface you would think the Cardinals, because the Phillies gave up Allen and didn't get the services of Flood.
However, Allen only lasted 1 season in St. Louis before he was traded to the Dodgers for the punchless Ted Sizemore, and Rojas' stay was even less: by June he was traded to the Royals for a prospect that never panned out. Johnson was traded away a month earlier.
Although Flood never played for the Phillies, his career was done. After sitting out the 1970 season, he had a failed 13-game comeback in 1971 with the Senators. McCarver had 2 1/2 good seasons with the Phils, then returned several years later as Steve Carlton's personal catcher. Hoerner was the Phils' top reliever for 2 seasons, and made his only All-Star team in 1970, compiling a 9-5 record with a 2.65 ERA. The next season his ERA shrank to 1.97. Browne was a reserve in 1970 and spent most of the next 2 seasons in the minors.
Throw-in Willie Montanez made the team in 1971, collecting 99 RBI and finishing 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting. After 3 years as a starting outfielder, he moved in to first base and was eventually flipped to the Giants in early 1975 for center fielder Garry Maddox. The reason the Phillies moved Willie? To make room at 1st base for Dick Allen, who was re-acquired in mid-1975 and helped power the team to the playoffs in 1976.
Click the 'trades' label below to see all the installments in this series.
Monday, June 27, 2016
Former Mets and Cubs outfielder Jim Hickman passed away on June 25, 2016 in his birthplace of Henning, Tennessee at age 79.
Hickman played 13 seasons in the major leagues, with the Mets (1962-66), Dodgers (1967), Cubs (1968-73), and Cardinals (1974).
Often a role player during his career, he was the Mets' regular center fielder for their first 4 seasons (1962-65), and was also a regular for the Cubs from 1969-72, eventually taking over 1st base from Ernie Banks.
Hickman's best season was 1970, reaching career highs in home runs (33), RBI (115), and batting average (.315) for the Cubs, while making his only All-Star team.
New York Times obituary
The (Nashville) Tenneseean obituary
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Former Giants' slugger Jim Ray Hart passed away on May 19, 2016 at age 74.
Hart began his 11-year Giants' tenure in July 1963, and was the team's regular 3rd baseman in 1964-66. In 1964 he finished 2nd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting to the Phillies' Dick Allen, and made his lone All-Star team in 1966.
Jim was also a regular in 1967-68, splitting his time between 3rd base and left field. Hart was in and out of the Giants' lineup from 1969-73, while also spending parts of those seasons in triple-A.
He was the Giants' #3 slugger behind Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, with 5 consecutive seasons of 20+ homers:
Hart finished his MLB career with the Yankees in '73 and '74, then played in Mexico from 1974-76.
San Jose Mercury obituary
LA Times obituary
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
1960s' Tigers' infielder Dick McAuliffe passed away on May 13, 2016 at age 76 (the same day as Reds' pitcher Sammy Ellis).
McAuliffe played for the Tigers from September 1960 through the 1973 season. He was their regular shortstop from 1963-66, before moving over to 2nd base for 1967-73. A three-time All-Star (1965-67), he played in the 1968 World Series and the 1972 ALCS.
Dick finished up his career with the Red Sox from 1974-75.
Detroit Free Press obituary
The Detroit News obituary
Former Cincinnati Reds' hurler Sammy Ellis passed away on May 13, 2016 at age 75.
Ellis pitched for the Reds from 1962 to 1967 and had his best season in 1965, winning 22 games and making the All-Star team. He also pitched for the Angels in 1968 and White Sox in 1969.
After his playing career, Ellis coached for the Yankees, White Sox, Cubs, Seattle, Boston, and Baltimore from 1983-2000.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
I bought these 4 coins sometime in the past 2 years, but only found them in a box of unrelated stuff last week. (I moved last year, and some of the last-minute packing was done randomly.
Topps' 1964 coin set was made up of the "regular coins" and "All-Stars". Some players were featured on both types of coins. I've noticed that the All-Star coins tend to be in much better condition, while all the regular coins have heavily-tarnished edges and backs, as well as some on the front. Maybe different metals were used?
These 4 coins bring my 1964 collection to 9 coins, joining these which I got a few years ago. (I also have the Tony Taylor coin.) I didn't collect Topps' baseball coins back in the day, because I didn't collect baseball cards in either 1964 or 1971.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Wow! Aside from a bunch of 1965 Topps cards, I have bought so little product in the past few years that it's surprising that I could lose track of some of the items I did buy.
Today I found these 5 Topps Giant cards from 1964 in a box with other stuff. I don't remember where or when I bought them, but I do know it was since my last adventure. I already had 13 of these cards, and now I can add 5 more to the set. (Now all I need to get are some pages to put them in. I've seen the correct size at a store I frequent, but only in boxes of 100. No thanks!)
All three of these players were stars for their teams, but by 1967 would be on the downside of their careers. Unfortunately for Phillies' fans, Dick Groat and Dick Ellsworth would do their regressing while with the Phils. Leon Wagner was a slugging outfielder whose power vanished overnight in 1967.
The last two cards are for Ken Johnson and Jim Gentile. Both are wearing soon-to-be-retired uniform styles. In 1965 the Colt .45s became the Astros, and the Kansas City Athletics switched to green/gold/white uniforms about this time. After 1967 they moved to Oakland, so the caps would change again.
My 1964 Giant card scoreboard:
3 - Colt .45s
2 - Athletics, Dodgers, White Sox
1 - Angels, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Indians, Mets, Orioles, Phillies, Twins
0 - Giants, Pirates, Red Sox, Reds, Senators, Tigers, Yankees
I also found four 1964 baseball coins today, which will be a topic for a future post.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Former MLB pitcher Milt Pappas passed away on April 19, 2016 at age 76.
Pappas pitched for 17 seasons, with the Orioles (1957-65), Reds (1966-68), Braves (1968-70), and Cubs (1970-73). After nine seasons with the Orioles, he was traded to the Reds for Frank Robinson after the 1965 season.
Washington Post obituary
Chicago Tribune obituary
Chicago Sun-Times obituary
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Though not a member of MLB's 1960s alumni, Mike Sandlock passed away yesterday at age 100.
A catcher for the Braves (1944), Dodgers (1945-46), and Pirates (1953), Sandlock was the oldest living former player at the time of his death.
USA Today obituary
Sunday, April 3, 2016
1960s Pirates' reliever (and long-time Duke University AD) Tom Butters passed away on Thursday March 31, 2016 at age 77.
Butters pitched in the Pirates' minor league system every season from 1957-64, and played for the Bucs for parts of the 1962-65 seasons, with most of his playing time coming in 1964. He was released in July 1965, ending his career.
After his playing career, he coached the Duke University baseball team from 1968-70, and was their athletic director from 1977-97. He hired Mike Krzyzewski as Duke's basketball coach in 1980.
Raleigh NC News and Observer obituary
Monday, March 21, 2016
1960s Twins' prospect Bill Whitby passed away on March 12, 2016 at age 72.
Whitby appeared in 4 games for the Twins in June 1964. He was a starting pitcher in the Twins' system from 1961-69, and finished up with the Senators' AAA team in 1970.
Charlotte, NC obituary
Whitby story from The Baseball Historian
Friday, March 4, 2016
Who's up for a change of pace from obituaries? I know I am.
Here are 2 of my 3 Danbury Mint models that I unearthed recently. Years ago my uncle gave me one of Yankee Stadium, then I later bought these two.
Connie Mack Stadium (? - 1970):
I went to my first Phillies game in May 1967, sitting in the upper deck bleachers in deep center field (just to the left of the flag in the 2nd photo). They were playing the Reds that day.
This model sizes the center field scoreboard incorrectly. I recall that it was taller than the outfield wall.
Veterans Stadium (1971-2003):
My brother and I went to the first-ever game at Veterans Stadium in April 1971, sitting high in the 700-level in right field.
This model shows the Vet in later years, with the original levels of brown, tan, orange, and yellow seats (which you can see in this 1973 Ron Stone card) replaced by all blue seats. Also new are the external towers with elevators to the retrofitted luxury boxes, and the 2 jumbo screens in center field.