Wednesday, August 12, 2020

RIP - Horace Clarke

Horace Clarke, the Yankees' 2nd baseman from 1967-1973, passed away on August 5, 2020 at age 81.

Clarke debuted with the Yankees in May 1965, and took over the 2nd base job with the retirement of Bobby Richardson after the 1966 season.

Clarke held that position through the end of the 1973 season, and along with Roy White and Mel Stottlemyre, bridged the gap between the great Yankee teams of the early-1960s and their mid-1970s' resurgence.

Horace lost the starting job at the start of the 1974 season to Gene Michael, who was eventually replaced by Sandy Alomar.

Clarke was shipped out to the Padres at the end of May 1974, and finished his career at the end of that season.

New York Times obituary

New York Post obituary

Thursday, July 16, 2020

RIP - Tony Taylor

Another former Phillie - This time their 1960s' 2nd baseman Tony Taylor passed away today July 16, 2020 at age 84.

Taylor played for the Phillies from 1960-71, and 74-76. He was their starting 2nd baseman from 1960 into the 1966 season.

In 1967 he primarily played 3rd base and 1st base, filling in for the injured Dick Allen and Bill White. In 1968 he manned 3rd base as Allen moved to left field following his late-1967 hand injury.

By 1970 he was primarily a pinch-hitter, as the Phillies had various youngsters playing 2B and 3B. Upon his return from the Tigers in 1974 he became the team's go-to pinch-hitter.

Following his retirement after 1976, Taylor coached for the Phillies and Marlins.

While a Phillie, Taylor lived in the town next to mine. I can remember any time our family drove through his town, I made sure to look out the window, in case Tony should happen to be strolling down the street. (Never saw him though.)

Philadelphia Inquirer obituary

NBC Sports obituary

Sunday, July 12, 2020

RIP - Mike Ryan

Mike Ryan, longtime backup catcher and bullpen coach for the Phillies, passed away on July 7, 2020 at age 78.

Ryan broke in with the Red Sox in May 1965. After 2 seasons (1966-67) as the Sox' primary catcher, he was traded to the Phillies following the 1967 World Series .

Mike platooned with Clay Dalrymple in 1968, then was the team's #1 backstop in 1969.

When the Phillies acquired Tim McCarver after the 1969 season, Ryan headed back to the bench for the next 4 seasons. His final season in Philly (1973) was Bob Boone's rookie year.

After playing for the Pirates in 1974, Ryan returned to the Phillies as a minor-league coach and manager (1975-79) and as their major-league bullpen coach from 1980-95.

Ryan was another long-time ex-Phillie who returned to coach many years for the Phils (along with John Vukovich, Bobby Wine, Tony Taylor, Ruben Amaro Sr, and Larry Bowa).

Philadelphia Inquirer obituary

Mike Ryan story

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Stars of the 1960s: Pete Rose

8th in a series...

NL ROY in 1963.
NL MVP in 1973.
Topped the 200 hit mark 10 times.
Led the NL in hits 7 times.
Led the NL in batting 3 times, including a career-high .348 in 1969.
Led the NL in runs scored 4 times.
Led the NL in games played 4 times.
17-time All-Star (in 24 seasons).
Won the Gold Glove in 1969 and 1970 (surprised?)
Won the Silver Slugger in 1981.
Won 3 World Series ('75, '76, '80).

Thursday, June 18, 2020

RIP - Mike McCormick

Mike McCormick, a starting pitcher for the Giants and others from 1956-71, passed away on June 13, 2020 at age 81.

McCormick began his career with the New York Giants in 1956 at age 17, and pitched for them through their 1962 NL Championship season. He was also selected to both All-Star teams in 1960 and 1961 (4 games).

After 2 seasons each with the Orioles and Senators, he returned to the Giants in 1967, winning 22 games, the Cy Young award, and the Comeback Player of the Year award. He was in the Giants' rotation for 3 1/2 years the second time around.

McCormick also played the 2nd half of 1970 with the Yankees, and the first half of 1971 with the Royals.

New York Post obituary

San Francisco Chronicle obituary

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

RIP - John Miller

John Miller, a pitcher for the Orioles in the mid-1960s, passed away on June 5, 2020 at age 79.

Miller pitched for the Birds from mid-1965 through the end of the 1966 season, although he didn't play in the '66 World Series. (With 3 complete game shutouts in their 4-game sweep, the O's only needed 4 pitchers.)

He was the Orioles' 5th starter in 1966, but when the first four are named McNally, Palmer, Bunker, and Barber, there's not much for you to do.

He also played a few games in the '62, '63, and '67 seasons. Miller retired after playing the 1968 season in single-A ball.


Sunday, June 7, 2020

RIP - Bobby Locke

Bobby Locke, a relief pitcher for several teams in the 1960s. passed away on June 4, 2020 at age 86.

Locke pitched in the minors every season from 1953-69, except for 1957-58 (military service) and 1961 (the only year he stuck with the parent club all season).

With the Indians from 1959-61 he was a reliever and starter, but worked only out of the bullpen in later years.

After 1 game with the Cardinals in 1962, he pitched parts of '62, '63, and '64 for the Phillies, and the Reds in 1965.

His final stop was the Angels (1967-68).


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

RIP - Ken Retzer

Ken Retzer, a catcher for the Washington Senators from 1961-64, passed away on May 17, 2020 at age 86.

Never a regular starter, in both 1962 and 1963 he started slightly more games than the team's other catcher. In 1963 he played in MLB's 100,000th game.

He also played in the minors from 1954 to 1967, except for the '62 and '63 seasons.

Sun City (AZ) Telegraph obituary

Monday, May 18, 2020

RIP - Bob Watson

Bob Watson, the 1B-LF for the Astros and others from 1966 to 1984, passed away on May 14, 2020 at age 74.

After brief cups of coffee in September '66 and '67, Watson made the Astros team in May 1968. Although his rookie card (above) shows his position as C-OF, he didn't catch any games in 1968 and only 1 in 1969. (He did catch 74 games during a mid-season trip to the minors in 1969).

Watson played for the Astros until June 1979, when he was traded to the Red Sox for 2 minor-leaguers (wow!)

The following season he began a 2-year stint as the Yankees' 1st baseman. He appeared in the post-season both years, and hit 2 homers and 7 RBI in the '81 World Series.

He finished up his career with 3 seasons (1982-84) in Atlanta, backing up Chris Chambliss (the player he replaced in New York).

Later, he was the general manager for the Astros and Yankees from 1993-1998, and was a MLB executive from 2002-2010.

Friday, April 24, 2020

RIP - Bob Oliver

Bob Oliver, an original member of the Kansas City Royals, passed away on April 19, 2020 at age 77.

Oliver debuted with the Pirates in 1965, then returned to the minors until getting a chance with the expansion Royals in 1969. He was a regular for them from Day 1 in 1969 until his trade to the Angels in May 1972, splitting his time between the outfield, 1st base, and 3rd base.

He continued playing regularly at the same 3 positions for the Angels from 1972-74.

Oliver also played briefly for the Orioles in September 1974 and the Yankees during the first half of 1975.

Kansas City Star obituary obituary

Monday, April 13, 2020

RIP - Glenn Beckert

Former Cubs' 2nd baseman Glenn Beckert passed away on April 12, 2020 at age 79.

Beckert was the Cubs' regular 2nd baseman from Opening Day in 1965 until early-August 1973. His double-play partner was Don Kessinger for that entire time.

He won the Gold Glove award in 1968, and was an All-Star every season from 1969-72, and in the starting lineup in '70 and '71.

After the 1973 season he was traded to the Padres, and was a bench player there until he was released in late-April 1975.

Friday, April 10, 2020

RIP - Bob Lee

Bob Lee, a mid-1960s relief pitcher for 3 teams, passed away on March 25, 2020 at age 82.

Lee pitched for the Angels from 1964 to 1966. In 1965 he collected 23 saves in 69 games. Along with a 1.92 ERA, that earned him a trip to the All-Star game.

He also played the first 2 months of 1967 with the Dodgers, and the rest of '67 and all of 1968 with the Reds.

RIP Baseball obituary

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

RIP - Al Kaline

A second 1960s' All-Star outfielder has passed away in as many weeks.

Al Kaline, who played for the Tigers from 1953 to 1974 passed away on April 6, 2020 at age 85.

Kaline was a rarity, in that he played his entire career for just one team, and also that he never played in the minor leagues.

He was a 15-time All-Star and a 10-time Gold Glove winner. He finished 3rd in the 1954 AL Rookie of the Year balloting, and the following year led the league with a .340 batting average.

Kaline only appeared in one World Series (1968), but it was a good one. He hit .379 with 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 8 RBI as the Tigers beat the Cardinals in 7 games.

Kaline's page

Detroit Free Press obituary

ESPN obituary