Sunday, September 10, 2017

RIP - Gene Michael


Former shortstop, manager, and GM Gene Michael passed away on September 7, 2017 at age 79.


"Stick" played mostly for the Yankees (1968-74), but also for the Pirates (1966), Dodgers (1967) and Tigers (1975).

After his playing career, Michael managed the Yankees twice (who hasn't?).  He piloted the team for the split 1981 season, then was brought back midway through 1982 for a short time. He also managed the Cubs for parts of 1986 and 1987.

Michael was also the Yankees' GM twice, from 1980-81 and again from 1990-95. During his 2nd stint, the Yankees acquired many of the players who led them to multiple World Championships. After getting the ax in 1995, he continued to work for the Yankees in scouting positions.

New York Times obituary

ESPN obituary
 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

RIP - Paul Schaal


Paul Schaal, who played 3rd base for the Angels in the mid-1960s before becoming a member of the expansion Kansas City Royals in 1969, passed away on September 1, 2017 at age 74.


Schaal became the Angels' everyday 3rd baseman as a rookie in 1965, and remained there through the 1968 season (except for missing the 2nd half of the '67 and '68 seasons with injuries).

He was selected by the Royals prior to 1969, but missed the first half of that season, then was their regular 3rd baseman for the 2nd half, as well as all of 1970-73. (He started every game in 1971.)

With George Brett taking over in May 1974, Schaal returned to the Angels to complete his final season.

Kansas City Star obituary

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Orioles Starting Pitchers of the late 1960s


Oh, have I mentioned that the Orioles were my favorite American League team in the mid/late 1960s?

I recently posted Steve Barber's card on my 1966 blog, and it made me want to do this:


Here are their top 4 starting pitchers from 1965 (making-do with 1966 cards):


In 1966, they traded Milt Pappas to the Reds, and won the World Series without him.


To look at the 1967 card set, you would think this was the Orioles' rotation:

But due to a sore-arm epidemic, it turned out to be this:


By 1968, Dave McNally regained his earlier form (although Jim Palmer was still rehabbing):


Mike Cuellar joined the team in 1969, giving the O's their best rotation since 1966:

This is one of the four multi-player cards in the 1969 set.  Before the season, Palmer's comeback was still considered questionable, so he missed this photo op:
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Saturday, August 19, 2017

RIP - Dom Zanni


Just appearing on Baseball-Almanac.com in the past day or so is the fact that relief pitcher Dom Zanni passed away on July 6, 2017 at age 85.


Zanni was born and raised in New York City, and was signed by his hometown Giants in 1951.

He played for the Giants from 1958-61 and the White Sox from 1962-63, before finishing his career with the Reds from 1963-66. His best season was 1962 with the Sox, when he reached career highs in wins, strikeouts, games, and innings.

No obituary found, but there's this.
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Monday, August 14, 2017

RIP - Paul Casanova


1960s' Senators catcher Paul Casanova passed away on August 12, 2017 at age 75.


Casanova was the Senators' starting catcher from 1966-71. His best season was 1967, when he was an All-Star although did not play in the game. That season he also caught an ENTIRE 22-INNING GAME against the White Sox. Although he went 1 or 9 at the plate, he got the game-winning hit.

He was also the Braves' backup catcher from 1972-74, and caught Phil Niekro's no-hitter in 1973.

Retrospective
 

Monday, August 7, 2017

RIP - Darren Daulton


Phillies' catcher of the 1990s Darren Daulton passed away on August 6, 2017 after battling cancer for several years. He was 55.


Daulton made his debut with the Phillies in September 1983, then after a year back in the minors he rejoined the Phils in 1985.

"Dutch" was the Phillies' fulltime catcher from 1989 to 1995. He was the team's leader during the early 1990s which included an NL Championship in 1993, and led the NL with 109 RBI in 1992. Daulton was an All-Star in '92, '93, and '95.

After missing most of the 1996 season, he returned to the Phillies in 1997 as an outfielder. Later that season he was traded to the Marlins, and helped them get to, and win the World Series. It was Daulton's only ring, and his final season.

Philly.com obituary
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Friday, August 4, 2017

RIP - Lee May


Lee May, the slugging 1st baseman for the Reds, Astros, and Orioles in the 1960s and 1970s, passed away on July 29, 2017 at age 74.




After getting his feet wet in '65 and '66, May began his fulltime major-league career with the Reds in 1967, soon taking over the starting 1st base job from veteran Deron Johnson, and was named to the Topps All-Rookie team that season. He also made the All-Star team in '69 and '71.

May missed out on the Big Red Machine era, as he was famously traded to the Astros after 1971 in a deal that saw the Reds acquire 2nd baseman Joe Morgan. Lee was the starting All-Star 1st baseman in 1972, his first of 3 seasons with the Astros.

He played the 2nd half of his 18-year career with the Orioles (1975-80) and Royals (1981-82). In all, he made 3 trips to the post-season ('70, '79, '81).

Birmingham, AL obituary

New York Times obituary
 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

1960s Blog Hall of Fame (#9)


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



Last year Orlando Cepeda was the lone inductee, joining the other 27 members in the Hall. Two players received less than 15% of the vote and were dropped from the ballot, leaving 7 returning candidates this time:

Jim Bunning
Rod Carew
Curt Flood
Jim Fregosi
Ferguson Jenkins
Roger Maris
Billy Williams

Added to the ballot this time is Tigers' pitcher Denny McLain, 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 4) of the players on the ballot. The poll will close on August 31st, and those receiving at least 75% of the votes 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.


* 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.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

RIP - Bob Perry


Bob Perry, a short-time outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels in the mid-1960s, passed away on July 2, 2017 at age 82 in his birthplace of New Bern, NC.


Perry played minor-league ball for the Giants (1953-63), Angels (1963-64), Pirates (1965-66), Reds (1966-68), Twins (1969), and Brewers (1970).

His only major-league action came with the Angels, where he spent most of '63 and '64, starting 99 games over those 2 seasons.

 Hometown obituary
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Friday, July 21, 2017

Phillies 1967 Yearbook


A few months ago, I found the box containing all my Phillies' yearbooks from 1967 to 1980-something. I bought this yearbook on my first trip to a Phillies game, back in May 1967.

Fifty-six pages of Phillies' facts and photos for only ONE DOLLAR! Most major-league players got a full page to themselves, while some of the younger or marginal players shared a page with another player. (No one had more than a single page.)

I'm not going to scan and post every page (at least not all at once!), but I have already posted Jim Bunning's page here, and here are a few more:


If the yearbook was a dollar, I'm guessing that hot dog was a quarter!


Here's "Rich" (not Richie) Allen.


Johnny Callison was a fan favorite, and lived year-round in the Philadelphia suburbs.


In his lower-right photo, Bob Uecker seems to be thinking "There must be a better way to make a living!"


This page is interesting in that it is evidence that veteran Braves' and Reds' starter Joey Jay was given a spring training invite to Phillies' camp in 1967. He didn't make the team, but spent the year pitching for their single-A team before retiring.


After the player pages and center-spread color team photo, there's a section for minor-league managers, prospects, scouts, etc. Here are the Phillies pitching prospects that season. Both Steve Arlin and Mike Wegener were lost in the expansion draft after the 1968 season.


And the position-player prospects. Sutherland, Harmon, Hisle, and Doyle all had long careers in the majors. (Hmm... surprising that Larry Bowa is not here.)  Dick Allen's brother Ron had a cup of coffee with the Mets a few years later.


Inside the back cover is a shot of the infamous "spite wall" in the outfield. Connie Mack put that up years earlier to prevent the residents across the street from viewing the games for free.
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Saturday, July 15, 2017

1967 Scrapbook - Larry Jackson


Wait, what? A non-obituary post? 

Here's another installment in an occasional series called "1967 Scrapbook". In 2011 I found a baseball scrapbook I had made in 1967, containing photos that I clipped from the Philadelphia sports pages that summer.


Unfortunately, Larry Jackson's Phillies' career is often summed-up by 2 stories:

1. He was one of 2 veteran pitchers obtained from the Cubs for a young Ferguson Jenkins ('nuff said).
2. He was selected by the Expos in the post-1968 expansion draft, but retired rather than start over with a new team.


Here are some "Larry Jackson moments" from the 1967 season:

On June 2oth, Jackson shutout the Mets 4-0 on a 1-hitter (Tommy Davis getting a leadoff double in the 2nd inning).



On July 7th, Jackson took a throw to the nose in the 6th inning against the Cardinals, while backing up home plate.




On the back of the 3rd photo above, there is a story about Reds' manager Dave Bristol fining batters for not driving in a man on 3rd with less than 2 outs. Pete Rose was the first one fined. There's a hilarious comment about Rose trying to pay his fine with trading stamps!!!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

RIP - Herm Starrette


Ex-Orioles' pitcher and long-time pitching coach Herm Starrette passed away on June 2, 2017 at age 80.


Starrette pitched for the Orioles in 1963 (and also briefly in '64 and '65), but was better known as a pitching coach for many teams.

He coached in the Orioles' farm system from 1966-71, contributing to the development of the young arms coming up through that system.

Herm moved up to the majors in 1974, and spent 28 years coaching and/or instructing for the Braves, Orioles, Giants, Phillies, Brewers, Cubs, Expos, and Red Sox.

I first became aware of Starrette when Dallas Green tabbed him as his pitching coach for the 1979-81 Phillies.

Hometown obituary
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Sunday, June 4, 2017

RIP - Jim Piersall


Former American League outfielder Jim Piersall passed away on June 3, 2017 at age 87.


Piersall played 17 seasons, for the Red Sox (1950-58), Indians (1959-61), Senators (1962-63), Mets (1963), and Angels (1963-67). He was an All-Star in '54 and '56, and led the AL with 40 doubles in 1956.

He played only 5 games in his final season, retiring in May to work in the Angels' front office. Piersall later was a broadcaster for the Rangers and White Sox.

He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2010.

ESPN obituary

KCRA TV3 (Sacremento) obituary
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