Sunday, May 1, 2016

1964 Topps Giant Cards (Part 4)

Wow! Aside from a bunch of 1965 Topps cards, I have bought so little product in the past few years that it's surprising that I could lose track of some of the items I did buy.

Today I found these 5 Topps Giant cards from 1964 in a box with other stuff. I don't remember where or when I bought them, but I do know it was since my last adventure. I already had 13 of these cards, and now I can add 5 more to the set. (Now all I need to get are some pages to put them in. I've seen the correct size at a store I frequent, but only in boxes of 100. No thanks!)

All three of these players were stars for their teams, but by 1967 would be on the downside of their careers.  Unfortunately for Phillies' fans, Dick Groat and Dick Ellsworth would do their regressing while with the Phils.  Leon Wagner was a slugging outfielder whose power vanished overnight in 1967.

The last two cards are for Ken Johnson and Jim Gentile. Both are wearing soon-to-be-retired uniform styles. In 1965 the Colt .45s became the Astros, and the Kansas City Athletics switched to green/gold/white uniforms about this time. After 1967 they moved to Oakland, so the caps would change again.

My 1964 Giant card scoreboard:
3 - Colt .45s
2 - Athletics, Dodgers, White Sox
1 - Angels, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Indians, Mets, Orioles, Phillies, Twins
0 - Giants, Pirates, Red Sox, Reds, Senators, Tigers, Yankees

I also found four 1964 baseball coins today, which will be a topic for a future post.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

RIP - Milt Pappas

Former MLB pitcher Milt Pappas passed away on April 19, 2016 at age 76.

Pappas pitched for 17 seasons, with the Orioles (1957-65), Reds (1966-68), Braves (1968-70), and Cubs (1970-73). After nine seasons with the Orioles, he was traded to the Reds for Frank Robinson after the 1965 season.

Washington Post obituary

Chicago Tribune obituary

Chicago Sun-Times obituary

ESPN story

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

RIP - Mike Sandlock (1915-2016)

Though not a member of MLB's 1960s alumni, Mike Sandlock passed away yesterday at age 100.

A catcher for the Braves (1944), Dodgers (1945-46), and Pirates (1953),  Sandlock was the oldest living former player at the time of his death.

USA Today obituary


Sunday, April 3, 2016

RIP - Tom Butters

1960s Pirates' reliever (and long-time Duke University AD) Tom Butters passed away on Thursday March 31, 2016 at age 77.

Butters pitched in the Pirates' minor league system every season from 1957-64, and played for the Bucs for parts of the 1962-65 seasons, with most of his playing time coming in 1964. He was released in July 1965, ending his career.

After his playing career, he coached the Duke University baseball team from 1968-70, and was their athletic director from 1977-97. He hired Mike Krzyzewski as Duke's basketball coach in 1980.

Raleigh NC News and Observer obituary


Monday, March 21, 2016

RIP - Bill Whitby

1960s Twins' prospect Bill Whitby passed away on March 12, 2016 at age 72.

Whitby appeared in 4 games for the Twins in June 1964. He was a starting pitcher in the Twins' system from 1961-69, and finished up with the Senators' AAA team in 1970.

 Charlotte, NC obituary

Whitby story from The Baseball Historian

Friday, March 4, 2016

Phillies Stadiums of Old

Who's up for a change of pace from obituaries? I know I am.

Here are 2 of my 3 Danbury Mint models that I unearthed recently. Years ago my uncle gave me one of Yankee Stadium, then I later bought these two.

Connie Mack Stadium (? - 1970): 

I went to my first Phillies game in May 1967, sitting in the upper deck bleachers in deep center field (just to the left of the flag in the 2nd photo). They were playing the Reds that day.

This model sizes the center field scoreboard incorrectly. I recall that it was taller than the outfield wall.

Veterans Stadium (1971-2003): 

My brother and I went to the first-ever game at Veterans Stadium in April 1971, sitting high in the 700-level in right field.

This model shows the Vet in later years, with the original levels of brown, tan, orange, and yellow seats (which you can see in this 1973 Ron Stone card) replaced by all blue seats.  Also new are the external towers with elevators to the retrofitted luxury boxes, and the 2 jumbo screens in center field.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

RIP - Kevin Collins

Former MLB 3rd baseman Kevin Collins passed away on February 20, 2016 at age 69.

Collins played a few games with the Mets in 1965 and 1967, then was recalled to the Mets in late-May 1968 and spent the remainder of that season sharing the 3rd base job with the veteran Ed Charles.

He began the Miracle Mets' 1969 season with New York, but in mid-June was traded to the Expos (along with pitcher Steve Renko) for 1st baseman Donn Clendenon. (Clendenon went on to the the World Series' MVP that year.) Collins spent his final 2 seasons (1970-71) playing for the Tigers.

The Mets Baseball Cards Like They Ought To Be blog broke the news of Collins' passing 2 days later, but it was a full week until it was acknowledged by

I still can't find any online obituaries for Collins.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

RIP - Jim Davenport

Longtime Giants' player, coach, and executive Jim Davenport passed away on February 18, 2016 at age 82.

Davenport played his entire career with the Giants (1958 to 1970). He was the team's regular 3rd baseman from 1958 (their first season in San Francisco) until 1963, and a utility infielder from 1964 until his release in July 1970.

After his playing career he was a Giants' coach from 1976-82 and their manager during the 1985 season. After coaching for other teams from 1988-92, he returned to the Giants in 1993 and remained in their employ in a variety of roles until his death.

 CBS San Francisco obituary

 San Jose Mercury obituary


Friday, January 29, 2016

RIP - Walt Williams

1960s/70s White Sox outfielder Walt Williams passed away on January 23, 2016 at age 72.

Nicknamed "No Neck", Williams debuted with 10 games in early 1964 for the Houston Colt .45s, then passed through the Cardinals' organization before making the majors for good in 1967.

He was a starting outfielder for the ChiSox from 1967-1972, before finishing up his career with the Indians and Yankees from 1973-75.

After his release from the Yankees in early 1976, he played a few seasons in Japan.

Chicago Tribune obituary

New York Times obituary

Friday, January 22, 2016

RIP - Frank Sullivan

Longtime Boston Red Sox pitcher Frank Sullivan passed away on January 19, 2016 at age 85.

Sullivan was a mainstay in the Sox' rotation, pitching from 1953 to 1960, and was a 3-time opening-day starter. In 1955 he led the AL with 18 wins. Sullivan is also a member of the team's Hall of Fame.

Although pitching primarily in the 1950s, he finished his career with the Phillies (1961-62) and Twins (1962-63).

He spent the past 50 years living in Hawaii.

Boston Globe obituary


Sunday, January 10, 2016

RIP - Jay Ritchie

Jay Ritchie, who pitched in the majors for 3 clubs between 1964 and 1968, passed away on January 5, 2016 at age 79.

Ritchie pitched in the minors for 8 1/2 years before making his major-league debut with the Red Sox in August 1964.

Traded to the Braves after 1965, he played part of '66 and all of '67 with Atlanta. He also played for the Reds in 1968.

Despite pitching 44 games in 1965 and 52 games in 1967, this 1965 card was his last.


Friday, January 1, 2016

RIP - 2015 Re-cap

Summarizing the players from the 1960s who left us in 2015:

Also pitchers Hal Brown and Jack Spring.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

RIP - Frank Malzone

Former Red Sox' 3rd baseman Frank Malzone passed away on December 29, 2015 at age 85.

Malzone played for the Red Sox from 1955 to 1965 and was their regular 3rd baseman from '57 to '65. He finished 2nd in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1957, and made the All-Star team 6 times.

Malzone wrapped up his career in 1966 with the California Angels.

After his playing career, Malzone was a scout for the Red Sox for 35 years.

In 1995 he was one of the first players inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Boston Herald obituary

USA Today obituary