Wednesday, October 12, 2016

RIP - Jose Arcia

I just saw a recent entry in 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 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.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dick Allen for Curt Flood? (Oct. 1969)

Another installment in the occasional series about some big trades in the 1960s: 

The Phillies closed out the decade with a major housecleaning. In separate deals, they moved sluggers Dick Allen and Johnny Callison, and also said goodbye to Cookie Rojas and Turk Farrell. By the start of the 1970 season, the only players remaining from the 1967 team were Chris Short, Tony Taylor, Johnny Briggs, Rick Wise, and Grant Jackson.

On October 7, 1969 the Phillies finally unloaded disgruntled slugger Dick "Richie" Allen. He and team management had been a thorn in each others' side for several seasons, with the Phillies' managers quitting or being fired during both the 1968 and 1969 seasons.

Allen (who had moved to 1st base for the 1969 season), along with fan favorite (but objectively speaking, serviceable) 2nd baseman Cookie Rojas and 2nd-year pitcher Jerry Johnson were dealt to the Cardinals. In return, the Phillies were getting 7-time Gold Glove center fielder Curt Flood, all-star catcher Tim McCarver, ace lefty reliever Joe Hoerner, and reserve outfielder Byron Browne. Flood and McCarver had played in 3 World Series in the past 6 years, while Hoerner participated in the '67 and '68 World Series.

Famously, Curt Flood refused to report to the Phillies, setting the ball rolling for eventual player free agency.  As compensation, the Cardinals sent prospect Willie Montanez to the Phillies. Flood had just won 7 straight Gold Gloves, and was a 3-time All-Star with the Cardinals. He appeared in all 3 World Series for the Cardinals in the 1960s, and led the NL with 211 hits in 1964.

Tim McCarver was the team's starting catcher in the '64, '67, and '68 World Series, and was an All-Star in '66 and '67.  In 1967, he finished 2nd in the MVP voting.  Curiously, he led the NL with 13 triples in 1966.  (I always figured him as a lumbering plodder!)

Joe Hoerner was a Rule 5 pickup from the Astros before the 1966 season, and led the Cardinals in saves for each of his 4 seasons in St. Louis.

Byron Browne made a splash as a rookie with the Cubs in 1966 (hence the trophy), but spent most of 1967-69 in the minors.

Allen was the Phillies top slugger from 1964-69, and was among the league leaders in homers and RBI from 1964-66.  He was also the NL Rookie of the Year in 1964.

Cookie Rojas had been with the Phillies since 1963, working his way up from jack-of-all-trades to become the team's regular 2nd baseman for his final 4 seasons in Philly.

Jerry Johnson joined the Phillies during the 1968 season, and was a swing man in both '68 and '69.

So who "won" this deal?  On the surface you would think the Cardinals, because the Phillies gave up Allen and didn't get the services of Flood.

However, Allen only lasted 1 season in St. Louis before he was traded to the Dodgers for the punchless Ted Sizemore, and Rojas' stay was even less: by June he was traded to the Royals for a prospect that never panned out. Johnson was traded away a month earlier.

Although Flood never played for the Phillies, his career was done.  After sitting out the 1970 season, he had a failed 13-game comeback in 1971 with the Senators. McCarver had 2 1/2 good seasons with the Phils, then returned several years later as Steve Carlton's personal catcher.  Hoerner was the Phils' top reliever for 2 seasons, and made his only All-Star team in 1970, compiling a 9-5 record with a 2.65 ERA.  The next season his ERA shrank to 1.97. Browne was a reserve in 1970 and spent most of the next 2 seasons in the minors.

Throw-in Willie Montanez made the team in 1971, collecting 99 RBI and finishing 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting. After 3 years as a starting outfielder, he moved in to first base and was eventually flipped to the Giants in early 1975 for center fielder Garry Maddox. The reason the Phillies moved Willie?  To make room at 1st base for Dick Allen, who was re-acquired in mid-1975 and helped power the team to the playoffs in 1976.


Click the 'trades' label below to see all the installments in this series.

Monday, June 27, 2016

RIP - Jim Hickman

Former Mets and Cubs outfielder Jim Hickman passed away on June 25, 2016 in his birthplace of Henning, Tennessee at age 79.

Hickman played 13 seasons in the major leagues, with the Mets (1962-66), Dodgers (1967), Cubs (1968-73), and Cardinals (1974).

Often a role player during his career, he was the Mets' regular center fielder for their first 4 seasons (1962-65), and was also a regular for the Cubs from 1969-72, eventually taking over 1st base from Ernie Banks.

Hickman's best season was 1970, reaching career highs in home runs (33), RBI (115), and batting average (.315) for the Cubs, while making his only All-Star team.

New York Times obituary

The (Nashville) Tenneseean obituary

Saturday, May 21, 2016

RIP - Jim Ray Hart

Former Giants' slugger Jim Ray Hart passed away on May 19, 2016 at age 74.

Hart began his 11-year Giants' tenure in July 1963, and was the team's regular 3rd baseman in 1964-66. In 1964 he finished 2nd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting to the Phillies' Dick Allen, and made his lone All-Star team in 1966.

Jim was also a regular in 1967-68, splitting his time between 3rd base and left field. Hart was in and out of the Giants' lineup from 1969-73, while also spending parts of those seasons in triple-A.

He was the Giants' #3 slugger behind Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, with 5 consecutive seasons of 20+ homers:

Hart finished his MLB career with the Yankees in '73 and '74, then played in Mexico from 1974-76. obituary
San Jose Mercury obituary

LA Times obituary


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

RIP - Dick McAuliffe

1960s' Tigers' infielder Dick McAuliffe passed away on May 13, 2016 at age 76 (the same day as Reds' pitcher Sammy Ellis).

McAuliffe played for the Tigers from September 1960 through the 1973 season. He was their regular shortstop from 1963-66, before moving over to 2nd base for 1967-73. A three-time All-Star (1965-67), he played in the 1968 World Series and the 1972 ALCS.

Dick finished up his career with the Red Sox from 1974-75.

Detroit Free Press obituary

The Detroit News obituary

RIP - Sammy Ellis

Former Cincinnati Reds' hurler Sammy Ellis passed away on May 13, 2016 at age 75.

Ellis pitched for the Reds from 1962 to 1967 and had his best season in 1965, winning 22 games and making the All-Star team. He also pitched for the Angels in 1968 and White Sox in 1969.

After his playing career, Ellis coached for the Yankees, White Sox, Cubs, Seattle, Boston, and Baltimore from 1983-2000.

FoxSports obituary

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

1964 Topps Coins (Part 2)

I bought these 4 coins sometime in the past 2 years, but only found them in a box of unrelated stuff last week. (I moved last year, and some of the last-minute packing was done randomly.

Topps' 1964 coin set was made up of the "regular coins" and "All-Stars". Some players were featured on both types of coins. I've noticed that the All-Star coins tend to be in much better condition, while all the regular coins have heavily-tarnished edges and backs, as well as some on the front. Maybe different metals were used?

These 4 coins bring my 1964 collection to 9 coins, joining these which I got a few years ago. (I also have the Tony Taylor coin.) I didn't collect Topps' baseball coins back in the day, because I didn't collect baseball cards in either 1964 or 1971.