Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stars of the 1960s: Willie Mays

Here's the 2nd post in a new series on this blog - "Stars of the 1960s". Unlike the first post (Johnny Callison), going forward these posts will only feature cards from 1966-1969. (I don't have any superstars from the 1965 set, and have very few non-Phillies' cards prior to 1965.)

Today I went through my card binders and identified 18 players for this series. Surprisingly, for EIGHT of those stars Topps re-used a photo in that 4-year span. Wow! I can see not taking the time to snap a new photo of Bob Barton every year, but Willie Mays? Carl Yastrzemski? Ernie Banks? Hank Aaron? Juan Marichal? Al Kaline? (Yeah, why waste time chasing after THOSE guys!)

Here's Willie on the downside of a great career. Like Steve Carlton and some others, Willie hung on too long. I remember watching him in his last season with the Mets, where he would sometimes flip the ball to the right fielder to make the throw back to the infield.

Besides re-using the '66 photo in 1969, the photo on his 1968 card was also used in the 1965 set.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

RIP - Russ Nixon

Russ Nixon, a catcher for the Red Sox and Twins in the 1960s, passed away on November 9, 2016 at age 81 in his birthplace of Cleves, Ohio.

Nixon was signed by the Indians in 1953 and played his first 3 seasons with the Tribe (1957-59). He was Cleveland's #1 backstop in '58 and '59, but would be a backup for the rest of his career.

In March 1960 he was traded to the Red Sox but refused to report. Three months later another deal with the Sox sent him to Boston, where he remained through the 1965 season.

After 2 years with the Twins, Nixon returned to the Red Sox for the 1968 season. He was signed by the White Sox after the '68 season, but was released the following April.

Nixon coached for the Reds, Expos, and Braves from 1970-88, and managed the Reds from 1982-83 and the Braves from 1988-90.

Legacy.com obituary

Cincinnati obituary

Saturday, November 5, 2016

RIP - John Orsino

John Orsino, a catcher for the Orioles and Senators in the 1960s, passed away on November 1, 2016 at age 78.

 Orsino was signed by the New York Giants, and after playing parts of '61 and '62 with the Giants, he was traded to the Orioles (with pitchers Stu Miller and Mike McCormick) for pitchers Jack Fisher and Billy Hoeft, and catcher Jim Coker.

Orsino's best year was 1963, when he hit 19 home runs for the Orioles as their #1 catcher. He played 2 more seasons as the O's backup catcher.

His final big-league stop was the Washington Senators. He spent the next 3 seasons mostly on the DL or in the minors, with a few games with the Nats in '66.

He retired after playing 1969 with the Yankees' and Indians' AAA teams. After baseball he became a golf pro.

Washington Post obituary

Baltimore Sun obituary


Friday, November 4, 2016

Stars of the 1960s: Johnny Callison

Here's the start of a new series on this blog - "Stars of the 1960s". (It's basically a ripoff take-off of Wrigley Wax's "All I Have of Him" series.) 

Johnny Callison was one of my favorite players on my hometown Phillies back in the 1960s. I started following baseball in 1967, so I missed his 1964 All-Star game exploits.

Callison was the one constant in the Phillies' lineup for the entire decade. Even with Richie Allen joining the squad in 1964, Allen was frequently changing positions due to his defensive shortcomings, and controversy was always swirling around him.

So now, just because...

(If I had one less Callison card, I could have squeezed the 1967 "Hurlers Beware" card into this Hollywood Squares matrix!)

CommishBob, enjoy!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Nothin' But Blue Sky

I don't know where the Giants trained in the mid-1960s, but THAT'S some blue sky!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Card Catalog from 1968

Here is a card catalog that's been sitting in a folder in my desk since 1968. It is from Card Collector's Company in Franklin Square NY, dated Jan 15, 1968.  It measures 6" x 9", and is 10 pages.

Page 1:

Page 2:
Complete sets of 1966 and 1967 for $13.95 each!

Page 3:

The left side of page 5, and the right side of page 4:
(These pages are stuck together in a few spots by the gum that oozed out from the order-form envelope between them. The left side of page 4 listed the Fleer baseball sets, while the right side of page 5 included the Philly Gum (1964-67) and Bowman football cards.)

Page 6:

Page 7:

Page 8:

Page 9:

Page 10:  (I'd love to have that cabinet!)
I also have a 1967 catalog from another company, measuring 8 1/2" x 11", which I will post another time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

RIP - Jose Arcia

I just saw a recent entry in Baseball-Almanac.com that 1960s' infielder Jose Arcia passed away on July 30th, 2016 at age 72. (no obituary found)

Originally signed by the expansion Houston Colt .45s in 1962, Arcia made his major-league debut with the Cubs during the 1968 season as a utility infielder.

He then played 2 seasons with the Padres: 1969 as their primary 2nd baseman, and 1970 as one of their two shortstops. He played in the minors for the next 6 seasons, before retiring in 1976.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

1960s Blog Hall of Fame Results (#8)

Orlando Cepeda was the lone inductee this time, joining the 27 others shown below.

Cepeda was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1958, and was an All-Star every season from 1959-64, and again in 1967.  Orlando led the NL in 1961 with 46 home runs and 142 RBI. He topped 30 homers 5 times, and 100 RBI 5 times.

He was the NL MVP in 1967, as the Cardinals were World Series champs that season.  He joined the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

Complete results:
11 voters participated this time. Two players received less that the minimum 15% to be retained for the next ballot.

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

Saturday, August 27, 2016

1967 Phillies Photos

I just found these in my house a few weeks ago. I bought them at the ballpark in 1967, and they have been in a folder in my desk since the 1970s (along with some old baseball card catalogs which I will be posting in the near future).

Here are 6 stars from the 1967 team. I don't know if these were the only ones issued, or if there were photos of all players, which you could collect in packs of 6. (Maybe Jim at The Phillies Room blog has these, or some more info about them.) Each photo is 5" x 7".

Jim Bunning was the ace of the pitching staff, but that didn't induce the team to make sure the negative wasn't reversed before printing these. Chris Short was the left-handed ace, and was just coming off a 20-win season.

Larry Jackson came over from the Cubs in early 1966 in exchange for Ferguson Jenkins, and was the team's #3 starter from 1966-68. Cookie Rojas upgraded from Jack-of-all-trades to starting 2nd baseman by the mid-1960s.

Dick Groat was acquired from the Cardinals along with Bill White and Bob Uecker before the 1966 season. Groat was the regular SS in 1966, but missed the first 2 months of 1967. Upon his return, he was sold to the Giants. Richie Allen was the Phillies' superstar slugger from 1964-69, and returned to the team for 1975-76.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

RIP - Steve Arlin

Steve Arlin, who pitched for the Padres during their first 6 seasons, passed away on August 17, 2016 at age 70.

Arlin was a star at Ohio State University, pitching in the College World Series in 1965 and 1966.  He was the Phillies' #1 draft pick in 1966. After 3 seasons in the minors, he was one of the 6 Phillies' players selected in the NL expansion draft prior to the 1969 season.

Arlin made his major-league debut in June 1969, and pitched for the Padres until June 1974.  His best seasons were 1971 (227 IP, 103 K) and 1972 (250 IP, 122 K).

In June 1974 he was traded to the Indians, and finished out the year with Cleveland.

Arlin retired after the 1974 season and became a dentist.

Columbus, OH obituary

LimaOhio.com obituary

Thursday, August 18, 2016

RIP - Mike Brumley

Mid-1960s Senators' catcher Mike Brumley passed away on August 8, 2016 at age 78.

Brumley played in the Dodgers' farm system from 1957-63.

He was acquired by the Senators prior to the 1964 season and was their #1 catcher that year. Mike split the catching with Doug Camilli in 1965, then spent most of 1966 with Washington's AAA team in Hawaii, but did play 9 games with the Sens in his final MLB season.

After missing the '67 and '68 seasons, he played for the Astros' AAA team from 1969-70.

Brumley retired after 1970 and became a Baptist minister, and was the chaplain for the 1984 US Olympic team.

His son Mike was an infielder for several teams from 1987-95.

Spokane, WA obituary

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

RIP - Choo Choo Coleman

1960s Phillies and Mets catcher Clarence "Choo Choo" Coleman passed away on August 15, 2016 at age 78.

Coleman began his pro career in 1955, and played for 7 seasons in the Senators' and Dodgers' farm systems before making his major-league debut in 1961 with the Phillies.

He was selected by the Mets in the 1962 expansion draft, and played part of '62 and all of '63 with the Mets. 1963 was the high point of his career, making more starts behind the plate that season than any other Mets' catcher.

Choo Choo was back in the minors for all of '64 and 65, and finished his MLB career with 6 games for the Mets in April 1966. He played the remainder of '66 and part of '69 for the Mets' AAA team, and in Mexico during 1970 and 1972.

NY Daily News obit

NY Times obit

Bamberg, SC obit


Friday, July 22, 2016

1960s Blog Hall of Fame (#8)

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

Last year Eddie Mathews and Ron Santo were inducted, joining the other 25 members in the Hall. Three players received less than 15% of the vote and were dropped from the ballot, leaving 7 returning candidates this time:

Jim Bunning
Rod Carew
Orlando Cepeda
Ferguson Jenkins
Roger Maris
Bill Mazeroski
Billy Williams

Added to the ballot this time are three players who are returning for a second chance* after missing the cut on the inaugural ballot:

Curt Flood
Jim Fregosi
Bobby Richardson

Here is the voting history for all the current candidates:

As always, use the sidebar poll to vote for up to half (this time 5) of the players on the ballot. The poll will close on August 31st.  Those with 75% or more 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. (I made an exception for one voter last year, because I didn't specify this up front, and could tell by monitoring the very few total voters in the poll that it was not duplicated.)

* 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.