Saturday, October 3, 2015

RIP - Tom Kelley

Former Indians' and Braves' pitcher Tom Kelley passed away on September 25, 2015 at age 71.

Kelley was a reliever for the Indians from 1964-67 (with '66 as his only full-season), then after 3 seasons in the minors, he resurfaced as a starting pitcher for the Braves from 1971-73. After 3 more seasons in the minors, he retired after the 1976 season.

He was inducted into his hometown Manchester Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

RIP - Bobby Etheridge

Former Giants' 3rd baseman Bobby Etheridge passed away on September 17, 2015 at age 73.

Etheridge played minor-league ball from 1964-68 with the Giants, and with several other teams from 1970-73.

He was a member of the San Francisco Giants for part of 1967 and all of 1969, playing 3rd base behind Jim Ray Hart and Jim Davenport.


Monday, September 28, 2015

RIP - 2014-2015

You've probably heard about all of these, but in the interest of continuity... 

The following members of 1960s Major League Baseball Alumni passed away in the previous 12 months.

I feel bad that for all he contributed to the Cubs' team and fan base, Mr. Cub never got to see a world championship - as a player or team ambassador.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

RIP - Yogi Berra

Former Yankees' catcher and manager Yogi Berra died of natural causes on September 22, 2015 at age 90.

Berra played for the Yankees from 1947 to 1963, then managed the Yankees in 1964, and in 1984-85. A 3-time AL MVP, he won 10 World Championships as a player, and played in 14 World Series in his 18 seasons, both career records.

Yogi also was a player-coach for the Mets in 1965, as shown on his final player card above. He also managed the Mets from 1972-75, winning the pennant in 1973.

I enjoyed watching a TV show (twice!) on the MLB Network last year, with Bob Costas following Yogi around his boyhood neighborhood in St. Louis, and in New York/New Jersey.

New York Times obituary

New York Post obituary

Monday, September 22, 2014

Who's Who in Baseball - 1967

I found this magazine recently at an antique store in Avalon, NJ. I collected several of these back in the 1960s, including (I’m sure) this one. I may still have them stashed in my house somewhere, but for $1.00 I couldn’t pass up this one.

I briefly leafed through the magazine in the store, and although you can find the stats and trades on, this mag also notes the dates of players’ trips to the disabled list, which is a plus.

I examined each page a few days ago, and discovered that every player (except Athletics’ pitcher Bill Edgerton) has a thumbnail pic next to his stats. (This surprised me, because I recalled that many rookies did not have photos in some years.) For some reason, EVERY photo showed the player in a blacked-out cap.

The mag has the career major and minor league stats for every major-league player active at press time (which seemed to be sometime in December 1966, because the off-season trades of Maury Wills to the Pirates and Mike McCormick to the Giants are noted).

Almost every player that had a card (and about 3 dozen players on "Rookie Stars" cards) in the 1967 Topps set was included in this magazine, but I was also surprised to see the following players without 1967 cards included (maybe they were not released or retired by press time):

Robin Roberts (includes “released by Cubs 10/4/66”)
Joey Jay
Jim Duckworth
Bill Edgerton
Sandy Koufax (includes “announced retirement 11/18/66”)
Joe Adcock (includes “appointed Indians manager 10/3/66”)
Junior Gilliam
Harvey Kuenn
Bob Lillis
Roy McMillan
Al Spangler
Dick Stuart

At the back of the book is a list of “10-year veterans who played in 1966 who are not on a major-league roster in 1967”:

Ed Bailey
Don Blasingame
Frank Bolling
Smoky Burgess (later re-signed by the White Sox, and given a ’67 card)
Wes Covington
Del Crandall
Joe Cunningham
Gene Freese
Lenny Green (later re-signed by the Tigers, but no ’67 card)
Eddie Kasko
Marty Keough
Hector Lopez
Jerry Lynch
Frank Malzone
Felix Mantilla (later re-signed by the Cubs, and given a ’67 card)
Bobby Richardson
Andre Rogers (later re-signed by the Pirates, and given a ’67 card)
Bob Skinner
Frank Thomas
Roger Craig
Bob Friend
Ray Herbert
Billy Hoeft
Johnny Klippstein (later re-signed by the Tigers, and given a ’67 card)
Jim Owens (later re-signed by the Astros, and given a ’67 card)
Bob Purkey
Steve Ridzik
Ed Roebuck

On the back cover, and inside the 2 covers are full-page photos of Juan Marichal, Gary Peters, and Matty Alou.  I didn't scan any inside pages, because I don't want to flatten the magazine on my scanner, fearing the pages will detach.

A nice little reference guide for roster geeks from back in the day!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

RIP - Frank Torre

Frank Torre, former 1st baseman for the Braves and Phillies, and older brother of Joe Torre, passed away on September 13, 2014 of a heart attack at age 82.

Frank played for the Milwaukee Braves from 1956 to 1960, and played in the World Series in both 1957 and 1958. The Braves met the Yankees both times, winning in '57 but losing in '58. Torre played every game in both Series, and was a key contributor in the '57 Series, batting .300 with 2 homers and 3 RBI.

Although Frank and Joe were both in the Braves' organization at the same time, they were never teammates.

After spending 1961 in the minors, he resurfaced with the Phillies in 1962 and 1963.

Following his baseball career, Torre worked for the Rawlings sporting goods company, and was an executive for the Baseball Assistance Team.

Torre had been in failing health in recent decades, receiving a heart transplant in 1996 and a kidney transplant in 2007.

New York Times obituary

New York Daily News obituary

ESPN obituary

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

RIP - Jerry Lumpe

Former American League 2nd baseman Jerry Lumpe succumbed to cancer on August 16, 2014, at age 81 in Springfield, MO.

Lumpe was a bench player for the Yankees from 1956 to early 1959, then after his late-May trade to the Athletics, he was Kansas City's starting 2nd baseman through the 1963 season.

Jerry was traded to the Tigers prior to the 1964 season, and manned 2nd base for them from 1964-66. He wrapped up his career in 1967 as a bench player for Detroit, missing the World Championship team by one season.

Springfield, MO obituary

New York Times obituary

Friday, August 1, 2014

1955 Granny Hamner Red Man Tobacco Card

Wow! After having none of the 1955 Red Man Tobacco cards for the first 59 years of their existence, I now have my 2nd card in three months. Now that's progress!

A few weeks ago, I returned to the same Pennsylvania Dutch-area antique store where I found this card, and snared another Phillie: the Whiz Kids' SS/2B Granny Hamner.

(The card back is identical to the Simmons card.) 

Hamner's major-league career spanned from 1944 to 1962, and he was the Phillies' regular shortstop (and later their 2nd baseman) from 1949 to 1957. Traded to the Indians during the 1959 season, he played in the minors from 1960-62 before retiring.

Friday, July 25, 2014

1960s Blog Hall of Fame Results (#6)

Congratulations to veteran starting pitchers Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn on their induction into the 1960s Blog Hall of Fame. They join the 23 others shown below.

After receiving 66% of the vote last time, Ford leapfrogged over Spahn and 3rd baseman Eddie Mathews, and became the first inductee to receive 100% of the vote.

Only 6 people voted this time (down from 18 last time) with all voting occurring in the first 2 days of the voting period. (Have all the good players already been elected?)

After 4 votes, Mathews and outfielder Roger Maris were still in the running, but first Maris, and then Mathews, dropped below the 75% mark, each missing induction by 1 vote. Twins' 2nd baseman Rod Carew finished strong to match their 67%.

Complete results:

Four players received less that the minimum 15% to be retained for the next ballot.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1960s Blog Hall of Fame (#6)

Time again for the semi-annual 1960s Blog Hall of Fame Election!

Last time, Lou Brock was the only player inducted, joining the other 22 members in the Hall. Nobody received less than 15% of the vote, so all other candidates are returning this time:

Jim Bunning
Rod Carew
Orlando Cepeda
Whitey Ford
Roger Maris
Eddie Mathews
Ron Santo
Warren Spahn
Billy Williams
Norm Cash
Ferguson Jenkins
Tony Oliva
Frank Howard
Dave McNally
Boog Powell

Added to the ballot this time is pitcher Ted Abernathy, who missed the cut on the inaugural ballot.

Because of the recent failures of the Google Blogger poll widget, this Hall of Fame voting will take place in the comments section below (similar to what is going on over at the "$30 a Week Habit" blog). I know it's a bit cumbersome to type in up to 8 names, but I don't want to lose votes if the poll goes on the fritz again.

You can vote for up to 8 of the 16 people on the ballot. Candidates selected by 75% of the voters will be inducted. Those receiving less than 15% will be removed from the next ballot. The poll will be open until next Friday 7/25.

Here is the voting history for all the current candidates:

Click on the "hall of fame ballot" label below to see the results of all previous elections.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

RIP - Earl Robinson

Former Orioles' outfielder Earl Robinson passed away on July 4, 2014 at age 77.

He was a standout college baseball and basketball player at the University of California - Berkeley in the 1950s.

Long before Frank Robinson (no relation) was patrolling right field for the Orioles, Earl was out there, sharing the starting job with the veteran Whitey Herzog as a rookie in 1961. Earl appeared briefly with the Dodgers in 1958, then played all of '61 and most of '62 with the Orioles.

Robinson was back in the minors for all of 1963, then split the 1964 season between the Orioles and their triple-A team. He retired after playing the 1965 season with the Cubs' triple-A team.

Cal Berkeley obituary

(1961 card appropriated from the $30 a Week Habit blog) 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Jim Bunning Hall of Fame Poster

With all the recent hoopla about Jim Bunning's perfect game on Fathers' Day 50 years ago, I was reminded of a poster I picked up a few years ago.

I found this tonight, and remembered that I got it at a yard sale. They had a whole stack of them for sale, so I picked up one for me and one for my brother.

This poster is from 1996, when Bunning was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The poster is 8 1/2" x 11", with a very high gloss on the front. Surrounding Bunning's portrait are all his Topps individual baseball cards from 1957 to 1971, plus the NL Strikeout Leaders card from the 1967 set. At the bottom is the ticket from the perfect game against the Mets in June 1964.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

RIP - Bill McCool

Former left-handed reliever Bill McCool passed away on June 8, 2014 at age 69.

Signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 1963, he made his major-league debut at age 19 in April 1964, and was named to the Topps All-Rookie Team that season. McCool pitched for the Reds from 1964 to 1968. He led the team in saves in both 1965 and 1966, and made the all-star team in 1966.

Selected by the San Diego Padres in the October 1968 expansion draft, Bill pitched one season for the Padres, before finishing his major-league career with the Cardinals in 1970. In 1971, he pitched in triple-A ball for the Royals and Twins before retiring.

In 2013 he was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame, where he pitched in high school in 1962.