Wednesday, February 14, 2018

RIP - Tito Francona

Well-traveled Tito Francona passed away on February 13, 2018 at age 84.

Francona began his pro career in the St. Louis Browns' organization. After 2 years in the service, he made the Orioles team in 1956, and was the runner-up for the AL Rookie of the Year award that season (the team's 3rd season in Baltimore), garnering 1 ROY vote (as did Rocky Colavito. Luis Aparicio won the award with 22 votes.)

Tito played 15 seasons, for the Orioles (1956-57), White Sox (1958), Tigers (1958), Indians (1959-64), Cardinals (1965-66), Phillies (1967), Braves (1967-69), Athletics (1969-70), and Brewers (1970).

He was an every-day player as a rookie with the Orioles, and during his time with the Indians (1959-64). He spent his final 6 seasons as a backup 1B-OF for 5 different teams.

After his playing career, he was the director of parks and recreation in New Brighton, PA (a town adjacent to Joe Namath's hometown of Beaver Falls, PA) until retiring 10 years ago.

Francona's son Terry has managed the Phillies, Red Sox, and Indians - winning 2 World Series and another AL Pennant.

Baltimore Sun obituary

New York Times obituary

San Jose Mercury obituary

Sunday, February 11, 2018

RIP - Wally Moon

1954 NL Rookie of the Year Wally Moon passed away on February 9, 2018 at age 87.

Moon played for the Cardinals from 1954-58, and the Dodgers from 1959-65.

I had just blogged about Moon on my 1965 card blog about 5 months ago.

LA Times obituary


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

RIP - Oscar Gamble

Well-traveled outfielder Oscar Gamble passed away today, January 31, 2018 at age 68.

Gamble began his career in the Cubs organization, and was acquired by the Phillies prior to 1970 for Johnny Callison. After 3 seasons as a part-time outfielder with the Phillies, he moved on to Indians, where he was an every-day player from 1973-75.

After quick stops with the Yankees, Padres, White Sox, and Rangers, Gamble returned to the Bronx for his longest stay anywhere (1979-84).

He wrapped up his career in 1985 with the White Sox. Gamble played for 7 teams over his 17-year career.

NY Daily News obituary

Chicago Sun-Times obituary

Sunday, January 28, 2018

RIP - Julio Navarro

Julio Navarro, who pitched for the Angels and Tigers in the 1960s, passed away on January 24, 2018 at age 82.

Navarro pitched in the Giants' farm system from 1955 to 1962, then played for the Angels from 1962-64, and the Tigers from 1964-66.

His best season was 1963, when he saved 12 games in 57 appearances as the Angels' closer.

Oddly enough, shows his 1966 ERA as "infinity", because he gave up 3 earned runs in zero innings in the only game he pitched that season.

Navarro closed out his career with 5 years for the Braves' AAA Richmond team (1967-71), along with 17 games pitched for Atlanta in 1970.

Baseball Happenings blog obituary

Friday, January 26, 2018

RIP - Bob Barton

Former Giants' and Padres' catcher Bob Barton passed away on January 15, 2018 at age 76.

Barton began his career with the Giants, backing up first Tom Haller, then Dick Dietz.

He played for the Padres from 1970 to 1972, and had his only season as a regular player in 1971 (playing 121 games). That apparently spawned this somewhat dubious "In Action" card:

Bob missed most of the 1973 season, playing only 3 games for the Reds, then finished his career in 1974 back with the Padres.

San Diego Union-Tribune obituary

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Stars of the 1960s: Brooks Robinson

7th in a series...

Wow! I haven't had a "Stars of the 1960s" post since last March, so let's revisit the Orioles:

Here are my 4 oldest Brooks' cards. (Actually, the 1967 card is the newest to me, as I only got it 2 years ago.)  In hindsight, I wasn't missing much all those 49 years, since I already had the "reprint" that Topps apparently issued in their 1969 set! :/

Brooks played for 23 seasons - all with the Orioles.  I just recently posted Ed Kranepool's card on my 1966 blog, where I realized he played 18 seasons - all with the Mets.  Sometime I will have to do a study of players from the 1960s who played more than 10 seasons and all with the same team.  (I can only think of Mantle, Gibson, and Yaz off the top of my head.)

Anyway, back to B Robby:  He was an All-Star for 15 consecutive seasons, and won 16 consecutive Gold Glove awards. Surprisingly (to me anyway) he led the AL with 118 RBI in 1964, and was the MVP that year.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

RIP - Bob Bailey

Former Pirates, Dodgers, and Expos 3rd baseman Bob Bailey passed away on January 9, 2018 at age 75.

Bailey played for 17 seasons: 1962-66 with the Pirates, 1967-68 with the Dodgers (exchanged for Maury Wills), and 1969-75 with the Expos. He also played briefly with the Reds and Red Sox from 1976-78.

After his playing career, he was a hitting instructor and minor-league manager from 1979-87.

Montreal Gazette obituary

Dodgers Insider obituary

Long Beach Press-Telegram obituary

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Re-cap

And so, another year is in the books. Here are the players I blogged about in 2017 (not including posts with multiple players):

                        1960s' players who left us in 2017:

            Also: Bob Sadowski (INF), Bob Cerv, Bob Perry, Jerry Kindall.

And from outside the baseball world:
William Christopher (12/31/16)
Buddy Greco
Tony Rosato
Gene Cernan
Mary Tyler Moore
Mike Connors
Irwin Corey
Richard Hatch
Al Jarreau
Bill Paxton
Joseph Wapner
Robert Osborne
Chuck Berry
Chuck Barris
Don Rickles
J. Geils
Erin Moran
Daliah Lavi
Dina Merrill
Roger Moore
Gregg Allman
Roger Smith
Manuel Noriega
Adam West
Anita Pallenberg
Bill Dana
Babe Parilli
Martin Landau
June Foray
Sam Shepard
Ara Parseghian
Ty Hardin
Glen Campbell
Joseph Bologna
Jerry Lewis
Rollie Massimino
Richard Anderson
Bernie Casey
Jake LaMotta
Hugh Hefner
Monty Hall
Tom Petty
Fats Domino
Robert Guillaume
Connie Hawkins
Y.A. Tittle
John Hillerman
Liz Smith
Earle Hyman
Malcolm Young
Charles Manson
Della Reese
Mel Tillis
David Cassidy
Rance Howard
Jim Nabors
Tommy Nobis
Keely Smith
Dick Enberg
Heather Menzies
Rose Marie

Happy New Year to all my readers!

Friday, December 29, 2017

RIP - Al Luplow

Seems like there's been a flurry of passings in the 2nd half of December for the past few years.... :( 

1960s' outfielder Al Luplow passed away on December 28, 2017 at age 78.

Luplow played from 1961 to 1967 for the Indians, Mets, and Pirates. Most of his action came in 1962-63 with the Indians, and in 1966 with the Mets.

He retired following the 1967 season, split between the Mets and Pirates.

Saginaw, MI obituary

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

RIP - Jerry Kindall

Former Cubs, Indians, and Twins 2nd baseman Jerry Kindall passed away on December 24, 2017 at age 82.

Kindall played from 1956 to 1965, but was a regular only during the 1962 (Indians) and 1965 (Twins) seasons.

Kindall made his debut with the Cubs in July 1956, playing sparingly with the Cubs for 2 seasons as a bonus baby. He played parts of 1958-60 with the Cubs, but spent most of that time in the minors.

After playing for the Cubs in 1961, he spent 2 seasons with the Indians, and was their everyday 2nd baseman in 1962.

Kindall wrapped up his career with the Twins from 1964 to 1965. Although he was the teams' regular 2nd baseman for most of the '65 season, Frank Quilici took over at 2nd base in mid-September, including the World Series. Kindall did not appear in the post-season.

After his playing career, he was the head baseball coach at the University of Arizona for 24 years, winning 3 College World Series titles.

Chicago tribune obituary

Baseball America obituary

Friday, December 15, 2017

RIP - Frank Lary

Frank Lary, one of the mainstays of the Tigers' starting rotation in the late 1950s and early 1960s, passed away on December 13, 2017 at age 87.

Lary pitched for the Tigers from 1954 to 1964, and had 7 solid seasons (1955-61) in their starting rotation. He won more than 20 games twice, and was a 2-time All-Star. Lary also led the AL 3 times in complete games.

From mid-1964 to mid-1965 he was traded 3 times - to the Braves, Mets, and White Sox. He retired after the 1965 season.

Detroit News obituary

Tuscaloosa (AL) News obituary

Coincidentally, another sports figure passed on the same day:


Thursday, December 14, 2017

RIP - Manny Jimenez

Early-1960s' Kansas City Athletics' outfielder Manny Jimenez passed away on December 11, 2017 at age 79.

Jimenez started 121 games for the Athletics as a rookie in 1962, batting .301 with 11 homers and 69 RBI, and was named to the Topps All-Rookie team.

The following year he came back to Earth, splitting the season between KC and their triple-A squad. Manny played all of '64 with the A's in a backup role.

After playing all of 1965 in the minors, he was up and down for the next 4 seasons, only playing a handful of games with Athletics, Pirates, and Cubs between 1966 and 1969.

YouTube obituary

Sunday, December 10, 2017

RIP - Tracy Stallard

Tracy Stallard passed away on December 7, 2017 at age 80.

Stallard pitched for the Red Sox (1960-62), Mets (1963-64) and Cardinals (1965-66), and is most famously remembered as the pitcher who gave up Roger Maris' 61st home run on the final day of the 1961 season.

Although Stallard played in the majors for 7 seasons, he spent most of the '60 and '62 seasons in the minors. He played his final big-league game in July 1966. Stallard played in the minors for the remainder of the 1966 season, and also in '67 and '69 before closing out his career with 4 seasons in Mexico.

New York Times obituary

NY Newsday obituary

Bristol (VA) Herald Courier obituary