Sunday, October 25, 2020

RIP - Ron Perranoski

1960s' Dodgers' fireman Ron Perranoski passed away on October 2, 2020 at age 84. (The same day as Bob Gibson.)

Perranoski played 7 seasons (1961-67) with the Dodgers, and was the team's top reliever in all but his rookie year. 
He then played 4 seasons for the Twins, leading the AL in saves twice. 
Ron moved on to the Tigers in late-1971, and a year later was back with the Dodgers for the final 2 months of 1972.  He wrapped up his playing career in 1973 with the Angels. 
Perranoski worked for the Dodgers as a minor-league pitching coach (1973-80), and major-league pitching coach (1981-94). He had worked for the Giants since 1995. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

RIP - Lou Johnson

Lou Johnson, an outfielder for the Dodgers and others in the 1960s, passed away on October 1, 2020 at age 86.
Johnson began his major-league career in 1960, playing a handful of games for the Cubs. After playing in one game in 1961 for the Angels, he was with the Milwaukee Braves for the 1962 season. 
Following 2 full seasons in the minors, "Sweet Lou" played 3 solid seasons with the Dodgers from 1965-67, having been called up in mid-May '67 to replace Tommy Davis, who broke an ankle. 
Johnson played for the Cubs, Indians, and Angels in his final 2 seasons (1968-69).  

CBS-LA obituary  

ESPN obituary 


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

RIP - Jim Owens


Catching up, after giving Gibson, Ford, and Morgan their due... 
Jim Owens, who pitched for the Phillies, Reds, and Astros from 1955-67, passed away on September 9, 2020 at age 86.

Owens pitched for the Phillies from 1955-1962, and was one of the infamous "Dalton Gang" members (with Turk Farrell and others). 

He was traded to the Reds after the 1962 season for 2nd baseman Cookie Rojas. Working in the Phillies' starting rotation from 1959-1962, he was primarily a reliever after leaving Philadelphia. 

Owens wrapped up his career with a stint in the Astros' bullpen from 1964-1967, reunited with his old pal Farrell. 

He retired in early-July 1967, and became the Astros' pitching coach through the 1972 season.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

RIP - Joe Morgan

Today I read a couple of half-assed obituary posts by the same baseball card blogger. 
On Eddie Van Halen: 
"Getting the sad news out of the way first. RIP Eddie Van Halen." 
And then he went on to other baseball card topics as usual. 
"Out of the way"? That's your tribute? No personal recollections of being a fan, or maybe of having seen his shows? Why even bother? 
It gets even worse for his Joe Morgan obit: 
"Lost another one today. RIP" 
That's it? Not even a mention of his name? No cursory baseball card from the many that can be found on the internet? Were you a fan of him as a player, or of the Reds? Or did you just know of him as a talking head announcer? 
He didn't even have another topic to dive into. Just 5 lazy words. Show some respect dude, or don't bother. 
(It's not like you are breaking the news for us.) 

(Ahh, I shouldn't criticize other bloggers. Underperforming baseball players, yes. Topps, yes. Bloggers, no.) 


Joe Morgan passed away on October 11, 2020 at age 77.

As everyone knows, he played the majority of his career with the Astros and Reds. What I had forgotten was that he returned to the Astros for one year (1980), when his team met the Phillies in the NLCS. 

He later played for the Giants, Phillies, and Athletics. While with the Phillies in 1983, he was reunited with Pete Rose and Tony Perez. 

I also didn't realize that in recent years he was working for the Reds. 

Cincinnati Enquirer obituary 

New York Times obituary 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

RIP - Whitey Ford

Yankees' great Whitey Ford passed away on October 8, 2020 at age 91.
Ford played for the Yankees from 1950 to 1967. This is his final baseball card. 
He retired on Memorial Day in 1967. Here is a newspaper photo I saved from the day he announced his retirement:

Ford still holds the record for most wins by a Yankees' pitcher (236). He also holds the major-league record for most World Series wins (10) and strikeouts (94).  

New York Post obituary  

ESPN obituary

Saturday, October 3, 2020

RIP - Bob Gibson

Former Cardinals' ace Bob Gibson passed away on October 2, 2020 at age 84.
(Gibson's card from 1968 - The Year of the Pitcher) 


Gibby played for the Cardinals for 17 years - from 1959 to 1975. He won the MVP in 1968 and the Cy Young Award in 1968 and 1970. 

Rather than list all his accomplishments again, here is a link to a previous blog post where I listed those. He was also a pretty good hitter for a pitcher, hitting 24 career home runs. 

In 1967, en route to the Cardinals' 2nd NL pennant in 4 seasons, Gibson's leg was broken by a line drive off the bat of Roberto Clemente. He stayed in the game for a few more batters until reluctantly coming out! He missed 7 weeks from mid-July to early-September, but the Cards clinched the pennant anyway in the first half of September. 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituary  

ESPN obituary


Monday, September 28, 2020

RIP - Jay Johnstone


Jay Johnstone, who played outfield for the Angels, Phillies, and other clubs from 1966-1985, passed away on September 26, 2020 at age 74, a victim of COVID-19.

Johnstone began his career with the Angels in 1966. For the first 3 years he was up and down between the Angels and their AAA club, but in 1969 Jay was the Angels' everyday center fielder. 

After the 1970 season he was traded to the White Sox, and played 2 seasons before he was released during spring training in 1973. The Athletics picked him up but he spent much of 1973 in the minors. 

The Phillies acquired him in April 1974 and finally recalled him to the majors in early-July. During the 2nd half of the season he became the Phils' regular right fielder, a job he would hold until they traded for Bake McBride in June 1977. 

During a game against the Pirates in 1975, Johnstone was playing right field. With Bucs' shortstop Frank Taveras taking a large lead off 1st base, Jay ran in and took a snap throw from catcher Johnny Oates to pick Taveras off FIRST BASE! The RIGHT FIELDER!

Johnstone's last 8 seasons were spent with the Yankees, Padres, Dodgers, and Cubs. He saw post-season action with the Phillies (1976-77), Yankees (1978), and Dodgers (1981, 85). 

He was also a broadcaster for the Yankees (1989-90) and Phillies (1992-93).

Washington Post obituary  

ESPN obituary


Monday, September 7, 2020

RIP - Lou Brock

Lou Brock, speedy outfielder for the Cardinals who led the NL in stolen bases 8 times, passed away on September 6, 2020 at age 81.

Brock was a starting outfielder for the Cubs in 1962 (CF) and 1963 (RF), then 50 games into the 1964 season he was traded to the Cardinals.

He played for the Cardinals for the next 15 1/2 years (1964-79), and was a starter every year (although he missed about half of the 1978 season). In that span, he played 2161 games in left field, 51 in right, and 4 in center.

He also played in the World Series in '64, '67, and '68.

He was a 6-time All-Star. He was a starter in his first All-Star appearance (in 1967), ending Willie Mays' long streak of starting All-Star games.

Brock led the league in stolen bases 8 times in the 9-year span from 1966-74, including a career-high 118 bases in 1974.  He twice led the league in runs scored.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituary

CNN obituary

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

RIP - Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver, the 1967 NL Rookie of the Year and 3-time Cy Young winner, passed away on August 31, 2020 at age 75.

Seaver played for the Mets from 1967 to 1977, and led the team to a World Championship in 1969, while winning a career-high 25 games.

He pitched for the Reds from 1977-1982, then spent his last 4 years with the Mets, White Sox, and Red Sox.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 with 98.8 percent of the vote.

In 1967, I had cut various photos (mostly Phillies) out of the daily sports pages for a scrapbook. A few years ago, I discovered this on the back of a Willie Mays photo:

New York Post obituary

Monday, August 31, 2020

RIP - John McNamara

John McNamara, who managed 6 teams from 1969-96, passed away on July 28, 2020 at age 88.

McNamara never played major-league ball, but was a minor-league catcher from 1951-67. He was also a minor-league manager from 1959-67.

In the majors, he managed the Athletics (1969-70), Padres (1974-77), Reds (1979-82), Angels (1983-84), Red Sox (1985-88), and Indians (1990-91). His Red Sox won the AL pennant in 1986.

He was also an interim manager for the Angels for a short time in 1996.

USA Today obituary

Friday, August 28, 2020

RIP - Frank Bolling

Frank Bolling, a 2nd baseman for the Tigers and Braves, passed away on July 11, 2020 at age 88.

Bolling broke in with the Tigers in 1954, and was their starting 2nd baseman through the 1960 season.

After the season he was traded to the Braves for center fielder Bill Bruton (who had just led the NL in runs and triples), infielder Chuck Cottier, catcher Dick Brown, and pitching prospect Terry Fox.

Frank held down the 2nd base job for Milwaukee from 1961-65. In the final Braves' game in Milwaukee (Sept 1965) he hit a grand slam off of Sandy Koufax. It was the last slam surrendered by Koufax.

When the team moved to Atlanta in 1966, he shared the position with Woody Woodward, then was released after the season.

Over his 12-year career he played 12,983 innings, all at 2nd base.

ESPN obituary

Monday, August 24, 2020

RIP - Angel Hermoso

Angel "Remy" Hermoso passed away on August 21, 2020 at age 72.

He debuted at age 19 with the Braves in September 1967. Hermoso also played for the Expos in 1969 and very briefly in 1970, before resurfacing in the majors one more time with the Indians in 1974.

He played in the minors every season from 1967-73, and also in Mexico in 1975. In 1979 he made a comeback in the Inter-American League.

In 2015 he was inducted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame.

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