Wednesday, December 12, 2018

10-year vets playing for only one team

Earlier this year, I pondered the question of "Who played the longest, and with just one team?"

As far as I can tell, these are the 30 players who played for only one team, and for at least 10 seasons. (Also that their career intersected the 1960s. I'm not including Ted Williams, because only 1 of his 19 seasons was in the 1960s - 5% of his career.)

23 - Brooks Robinson
23 - Carl Yastrzemski
22 - Stan Musial
22 - Al Kaline
21 - Willie Stargell
19 - Ernie Banks
19 - Jim Palmer
18 - Roberto Clemente
18 - Mickey Mantle

18 - Ed Kranepool
17 - Johnny Bench
17 - Bob Gibson
17 - Bill Mazeroski
16 - Whitey Ford
16 - Vern Law
15 - Bill Freehan
15 - Mickey Stanley
15 - Tony Oliva

14 - Don Drysdale
14 - Jim Gilliam
13 - Bob Allison
13 - Gates Brown
13 - Jim Davenport
13 - Rico Petrocelli
12 - Dick Green
12 - Sandy Koufax
12 - Bobby Richardson 

11 - Gene Alley
11 - Mel Stottlemyre
10 - Steve Blass

The top half of the list is all Hall of Famers except for Ed Kranepool. (How did The Krane stick around so long?)  Mickey Stanley is another surprise.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Magic Valley Cowboys

Last week I posted Ken Henderson's card on my 1966 blog. One of the minor league teams he played for was "Magic Valley". That jogged my memory of seeing that team listed on the back of some Phillies' cards in the mid-1960s. so I decided to investigate this magical place.

Magic Valley is an area in south-central Idaho. The Magic Valley Cowboys were a minor-league franchise off-and-on from 1952-71. (On a few of the players' cards below, the team's location is referred to as "Twin Falls" instead of "Magic Valley".)

From 1952-58 it was a Cubs' class-C team, where the likes of John Buzhardt, Bob Will, and Bill Pleis passed through.

From 1961 to 1963 it was a Phillies' outpost.
In 1961 Dick Allen and Adolfo Phillips played class-C ball there. The following year, Phillips returned, and was joined by Hank Allen and Johnny Morris.
In 1963 it was reorganized as a class-A team, featuring Alex Johnson, Jeff James, Al Raffo, and Mike Marshall. (Yes, Marshall was once Phillies' property!)

The Cowboys became a Giants' rookie-league affiliate from 1964 to 1966, featuring future major-leaguers Ken Henderson, Bob Schroeder, Ron Bryant, Chris Arnold, Don Hahn, and Bob Reynolds.

Next, the Braves took over the team from 1968-70, and it became home to Mike McQueen and Grady Little ('68), Mickey Rivers and Larvell Blanks ('69), and Adrian Devine and Rod Gilbreath ('70).

1971 was the last year for the Magic Valley Cowboys. Now unaffiliated, it included future big-leaguers Jerry Remy and Butch Metzger.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

RIP - Willie McCovey

Popular San Francisco Giants' slugger Willie McCovey passed away today, October 31, 2018 at age 80.

Along with Willie Mays, McCovey gave the Giants a great 1-2 punch throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.

(It seemed so weird to see him in a Padres' uniform for a few years in the mid-1970s.)

McCovey retired in 1980, having collected 521 home runs. He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1959 and the NL MVP in 1969.

I remember back in the late-1960s/early-1970s, it seemed the most common response by pitchers to the question "Who is the toughest batter you've faced" was Willie McCovey.

San Francisco Chronicle obituary

New York Times obituary

ESPN obituary

Saturday, October 6, 2018

RIP - Marty Pattin

Marty Pattin, who broke in with the Angels, but had his first baseball card in 1969 as a member of the Seattle Pilots, passed away on October 3, 2018 at age 75.

Pattin appeared in 52 games for the Angels as a rookie in 1968, but as I mentioned here, Topps did a bad job of including the Angels' young pitchers in the late 1960s' sets. He was a starter for the expansion Pilots in 1969, and remained with the team for 2 more years.

After 2 seasons with the Red Sox, Marty finished up his career with 7 seasons in Kansas City.

Kansas City Star obituary


Monday, September 24, 2018

RIP - Lee Stange

Lee Stange, who pitched for the Twins, Indians, and Red Sox in the 1960s, passed away on September 21, 2018 at age 81.

Stange signed with the old Washington Senators in 1957, and pitched for the Twins from 1961 until his trade to Cleveland in June 1964. His best season was 1963, when he compiled a 12-5 records and a 2.62 ERA.

After 2 calendar years with the Tribe, he was traded to the Red Sox in June 1966 and played in the 1967 World Series.

Stange moved on to the White Sox in June 1970, and finished his career that season.

He was also a pitching coach for the Red Sox, Twins, and Athletics in the 1970s and 1980s.

Boston Globe obituary

Reuters obituary

Monday, September 17, 2018

1960s Blog Hall of Fame Results (#10)

Jim Bunning and Roger Maris are the latest inductees, joining the 29 others shown below.

Bunning was a 7-time All-Star (5 in the 1960s), and 150 of his 224 career wins came during the 1960s. During the decade, he collected 19 wins 4 times, and 17 wins twice. In 1967, he finished 2nd in the Cy Young voting, while leading the NL in strikeouts (253), shutouts (6) and innings pitched (302).

Maris was a 2-time AL MVP during the 1960s ('60, '61).  Frank Robinson was the only other player to win the award twice in that decade. Roger hit 217 of his 275 career homers during the 1960s, with 133 of them from 1960-62. Besides leading the AL with 61 home runs in 1961, he led the league in RBI in both 1960 (112) and 1961 (141). (He "dropped" to 100 RBI in 1962.) He was also an All-Star from 1960-62, and won a Gold Glove award in 1960.

Complete results:

I'm really surprised that no one but me voted this time. Had all the "good" candidates already been inducted? Or did nobody want to vote because it wasn't an anonymous poll?

Is this an "asterisk situation"? Nah, there was almost 2 weeks allowed for voting, and nothing was said about what happens if only 1 person voted, so...

With only 1 person voting, candidates received either 100% or 0%. Since the other 6 received less than 15% of the vote, they will be dropped from the ballot.

I don't think there will be another ballot after this anyway.  1) There was no interest this time. 2) With those 6 candidates dropped, and all other "names" rejected on previous ballots, there is really no one left from the 1960s to consider.  I suppose Johnny Bench could be proposed, but Tom Seaver got no votes, and Bench played less in the 1960s than Seaver.

(Click the "hall of fame ballot" label below to see all past results.

Friday, September 14, 2018

RIP - Billy O'Dell

Former Orioles and Giants pitcher Billy O'Dell passed away on September 12, 2018 at age 85.

O'Dell joined the 1st-year Baltimore Orioles in 1954 as a bonus baby, and never played in the minor leagues.

After missing the 1955 season due to military service, he returned to the Orioles from 1956-59 (making the All-Star team in '58 and '59).

He also played for the Giants from 1960-64, winning 19 games during their NL Pennant season of 1962.

He later played for the Braves (1965-66) and Pirates (1966-67).

Baltimore Sun obituary

The Sentinel obituary

ESPN obituary

Sunday, September 2, 2018

1960s Blog Hall of Fame (#10)

It's time for another 1960s Blog Hall of Fame Election.

Last year Billy Williams was the lone inductee, joining the other 28 members in the Hall. One player received less than 15% of the vote and was dropped from the ballot, leaving 6 returning candidates this time:

Jim Bunning
Rod Carew
Curt Flood
Ferguson Jenkins
Roger Maris
Denny McLain

Added to the ballot this time are:
Tom Seaver (12-time All-Star, 3 Cy Youngs, 1967 ROY, won 25 in 1969)
Earl Battey (4-time All-Star, 3-time GG in 8 seasons (7 as starter)

Here is the voting history for all the current candidates:

Since Blogger has done away with the polls widget, please use the comments to vote. (Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Also any spammers commenting as an excuse to post their links to gambling sites, etc will be deleted, as always.)

Vote for up to half (this time 4) of the players on the ballot. The voting will close on 9/15, at which time comments will be disabled. Those receiving at least 75% of the votes will be inducted.

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

Thursday, August 23, 2018

RIP - Doc Edwards

1960s' catcher Doc Edwards (who later managed the Cleveland Indians from 1987-89) passed away on August 20, 2018 at age 81.

Edwards' career included stops with the Indians, Athletics, and Yankees. Although mostly a backup catcher, Doc was the Athletics' primary starting catcher in 1963 and 1964, even though he played less than half of the games (due to having 4 catchers).

I first became aware of Edwards when he was the bullpen coach for the Phillies from 1970-72. Doc had been catching for the Phillies' AAA teams in '68 and '69, then was named to new manager Frank Lucchesi's staff in 1970.

In one early-season game that year, both Phillies' catchers (Tim McCarver and Mike Ryan) broke their hands in the SAME INNING. The team recalled their 2 AAA backstops the next day, and at some point activated Edwards, who appeared in 35 games, five seasons after his last big-league action.

In 1973 he began his 33-year managing career, which although was mostly in the minors, he did pilot the Indians from 1987-89. obituary

Washington Post obituary

Monday, August 13, 2018

RIP - John Kennedy

Former Red Sox', Dodgers', and Senators' 3rd baseman John Kennedy passed away on August 9, 2018 at age 77.

Kennedy broke in with the Washington Senators in September 1962, also playing there for part of 1963. His only year as a full-time regular was 1964 with the Senators.

After that season, he was traded to the Dodgers in the Frank Howard deal. He played 2 years in LA, and 1 season with the Yankees, then spent all of 1968 in the minors.

Kennedy resurfaced in 1969 with the Seattle Pilots, and played part of 1970 with the Brewers. He played his last 4 1/2 seasons with the Red Sox, retiring after the 1974 season. obituary

The Salem News obituary

SABR biography

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

RIP - Don Mason

Former Giants and Padres backup 2nd baseman Don Mason passed away on June 19, 2018 at age 73.

Mason played minor-league ball for the Senators, Giants, and Padres from 1964 to 1974.

He also played for the Giants briefly from 1966-68, and for all of 1969 and 1970.

Traded to the Padres after the 1970 season, he played a full season with San Diego in 1971, but was up and down for the next 2 seasons.

The majority of his big-league playing time came in 1969 and 1971.

Cape Cod Times obituary

Sunday, August 5, 2018

RIP - Johnny Lewis

1960s' Mets outfielder Johnny Lewis passed away on July 29, 2018 at age 78.

Lewis played minor-league ball for the Cardinals (1959-64), Mets (1966-67), and Phillies (1968). He played in the majors for the Cardinals in 1964, and for the Mets from 1965-67.

His big break came before the 1965 season, when the Cardinals traded him to the Mets for pitcher Tracy Stallard. 1965 was his only full season in the majors, and the only time he was a regular starter. He started 126 games that season, and appeared in 22 others.

After his playing career, Lewis coached for the Cardinals from 1973-89.

Pensacola News Journal obituary

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

RIP - Tony Cloninger

Former Braves' pitching ace Tony Cloninger passed away on July 24, 2018 at age 77.

Cloninger was the Braves' ace for the few years between the Warren Spahn and Phil Niekro eras, but may be most remembered for hitting 2 grand slams in the same game on July 3, 1966.

He played for the Braves from 1961-68, then was traded to the Reds in the June 1968 deal that sent Milt Pappas to the Braves. After 3 1/2 seasons with the Reds, Cloninger pitched briefly for the Cardinals in 1972.

After his playing career, Cloninger coached for the Yankees for 9 seasons during the Joe Torre regime, and then worked for the Red Sox for the past 15 years.

New York Times obituary

WLOS-13 obituary