Friday, April 18, 2014

RIP - Bill Henry


Bill Henry, who had a 16-year career (1952-69) as a relief pitcher for 6 teams, passed away on April 11, 2014 at age 86.


Henry began his pro career in 1948, and pitched for the Red Sox from 1952-55. After 2 full seasons in the minors, he returned to the majors in 1958 with the Cubs.

Traded to Cincinnati before the 1960 season, he pitched for the Reds for 5+ years until moving to the Giants in May 1965. He was with the Giants for several seasons, and pitched for the Pirates at the end of the 1968 season.

Bill was in training camp with the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969, but retired briefly until coming back with the Astros for a few months later that season.

Reports that Henry had passed away in 2007 were later attributed to identity theft.


Obituary

 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Vintage child's baseball jacket


Who among you readers had one of these back in the 1960s? My brother and I had jackets similar to this one back in the early 1960s. One of us had a red jacket, while the other's was dark blue.

That jacket was probably my first clue about which teams were in the major leagues, since I had it for several years before collecting baseball cards. What ever happened to it?  I dunno, chances are I left it outside until the weather and insects made it unwearable.

I found this photo on the internet a few weeks ago. This particular jacket has 2 Mets patches on it, which seems unusual since not all teams are represented. Just like with my jacket, this one has a 'Red Legs' patch (since a team simply called the 'Reds' must surely be communist!)

                             (photo mis-appropriated from the interwebs)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wheelin' and Dealin' (Jan. 1965)


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

On January 20, 1965, the White Sox, Indians, and Athletics completed an 8-player, 3-team trade.


Going from Cleveland to Chicago were Tommy John, Johnny Romano, and outfield prospect Tommie Agee.

Chicago sent Fred Talbot, Mike Hershberger, and Jim Landis to the Athletics. The White Sox also sent Camilo Carreon to the Indians.

The Athletics only gave up one player, sending Rocky Colavito to the Indians.

It's easy to assume that Colavito was the biggest name in this deal, since Kansas City got 3 players in return for one. The Chisox gave up 4 players to get 3, while the Indians gave up 3 players to get two.

Although Colavito was the biggest name at the time, Tommy John was the long-term star, playing an additional TWENTY-FOUR seasons for the White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, and Angels. Tommie Agee was a starting outfielder for the White Sox and Mets from 1966-1973, and starred in the 1969 World Series for the Mets. John Romano was Chicago's starting catcher in '65 and '66, before wrapping up his career in 1967 as a reserve with the Cardinals.


The Indians and Athletics didn't fare as well in this deal:

Colavito was washed up by the end of 1966, and finished his career bouncing to the White Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees from 1967-69. Camilo Carreon spent most of '65 and '66, and all of 1967 in the minors before retiring.

Longtime White Sox' center fielder Jim Landis was an A's regular in 1965, then spent 1966 in Cleveland before ending his career in 1967 with several teams. Mike Hershberger played several seasons with the A's before returning to the White Sox for his final season in 1971. Fred Talbot pitched briefly for Kansas City, before moving to the Yankees for several seasons, and popping up on the Seattle Pilots in 1969 (much to Jim Bouton's dismay).


Advantage: White Sox

Saturday, February 22, 2014

1960s Blog Hall of Fame Results (#5)


Congratulations to Lou Brock, on his induction into the 1960s Blog Hall of Fame. He joins the 21 players and 1 manager shown below.




There were 18 votes this time. Former Braves teammates Eddie Mathews and Warren Spahn each missed induction by 1 vote.  Yankees' pitcher Whitey Ford missed induction by 2 votes. Frankly, I'm surprised that these 3 players were not slam-dunks on their first ballot. Still, this is the highest percentage each has received in their 4 times on the ballot.


First-timers Frank Howard and Boog Powell each received 38% of the votes. Jim Bunning, Orlando Cepeda, Roger Maris, and Ron Santo increased their percentage slightly, while Rod Carew stayed the same, and Billy Williams lost ground since last time.

Nobody received less that the minimum 15% to be retained for the next ballot, so they will all be back for another try.



Friday, February 14, 2014

RIP - Jim Fregosi


Former major-league shortstop and manager Jim Fregosi passed away February 14, 2014 at age 71, after suffering a massive stroke while on a MLB Alumni Caribbean cruise. He also suffered subsequent strokes while in a Miami hospital.


Fregosi began his major-league career as a shortstop for the expansion Los Angeles Angels in 1961, although he was not on the team from the start of their inaugural season. He was the Angels' starting shortstop from 1962 to 1971, and was a 6-time all-star while an Angel.

After 1971, he was infamously traded to the Mets for Nolan Ryan, and played 3B/1B for the Mets and Rangers from 1972-1977.

He began the 1978 season as a utility infielder for the Pirates, but retired midway through the season to accept the Angels' manager's job. Fregosi managed the Angels from 1978 to 1981, the White Sox from 1986 to 1988, the Phillies from 1991 to 1996, and the Blue Jays from 1999 to 2000. His Phillies won the NL pennant in 1993.

After his managerial career, Fregosi scouted for the Braves.

ESPN obituary

Statement from Los Angeles Angels

AP obituary



UPDATE:
As of 6pm today, there are a number of tributes to Jim Fregosi, as shown on my 1967 sidebar. This doesn't include a great post by WhiteSoxCards, who had since moved on to another post.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Latest Card Haul


I was planning on this next post being another episode in my quest for 1964 Topps Giant baseball cards, as I was returning to the same store where I made 3 previous purchases. Alas, when I started looking through the display case, only Pete Ward (who I already have) was there, so I turned my attention to other 1960s-vintage cards.

I always keep a small want list of 1966 and 1970 cards in my wallet, because I never know when I'll need it. Today it came in handy, as I scored a high-numbered 1966 Senators Rookies card that I needed. I also upgraded my '66 Dave McNally, which I had posted to my 1966 blog a few weeks ago.


I only wish I had a portable want list for the '64 and '65 cards, because I had no idea who I needed (especially the '64s). I didn't really intend to work on those 2 sets, but these excellent-condition cards were dirt-cheap, so I couldn't pass them up. I just selected a bunch of guys that I never heard of before, plus Dick Williams, Birdie Tebbetts, and the trophy-laden Al Weis, which I knew I didn't have. For the '65s, I was pretty sure I didn't have Farrell, Pinson, and Demeter.

On the football side, there were too many to pick from, so I chose two 1965 Philadelphia Gum Cards: Tony Liscio (Rayfield Wright's predecessor at offensive tackle), and Ben Wilson. I knew of Wilson from watching Super Bowl II highlights on cable. He had a monster day moving the chains for the Packers that day, on their way to a 2nd consecutive SB championship. Almost all of my pre-1967 football cards are Philadelphia Eagles, so this is a new direction for my football card collecting.

This represents the first base-set baseball cards I've purchased since November 2010 (except for the 1970 Seattle Pilots team card, shown in this recent post on the 1969 Pilots). Since then, I've only been getting '64 giant cards, coins, and early-1960s Philadelphia Eagles' cards.

Maybe this will push me to expand my '65 and '64 baseball sets.

Friday, January 10, 2014

1960s Blog Hall of Fame (#5)


Time again for the semi-annual 1960s Blog Hall of Fame Election!


Last time, Dick Allen was the only player inducted, joining the other 21 members in the Hall. Candidates receiving less than 15% of the vote (Maury Wills, Joe Torre) were dropped from the ballot.

The following 9 players are the holdovers from the last ballot:
Jim Bunning
Rod Carew
Orlando Cepeda
Whitey Ford
Roger Maris
Eddie Mathews
Ron Santo
Warren Spahn
Billy Williams


A write-in feature was added last time, but only one of the 16 voters used it, so I am removing it from the ballot.  Instead, 7 players have been added to the ballot this time.

These 4 are returning, after being dropped following the first ballot:
Lou Brock
Norm Cash
Ferguson Jenkins
Tony Oliva

Also added to the ballot for the first time are:
Frank Howard
Dave McNally
Boog Powell


You can vote for up to 8 of the 16 players on the ballot. Candidates selected by 75% of the voters will be inducted.  Those receiving less than 15% will be removed from the next ballot.


Here is the voting history for all the current candidates:
I have brought back some of the players who were dropped after the first ballot, since that ballot had different voting rules than all subsequent ballots.  The first time around, the top vote-getter at each position was inducted, regardless of percentage, and all candidates had to compete with the likes of Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, etc. (Players dropped after ballot #2 and later will probably not return on a future ballot, since their low percentage was achieved under the current voting rules.)


Click on the "hall of fame ballot" label below to see the results of all previous elections.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye to 2013


Several unusual events happened this year:



After 51 seasons in the National League, the Houston Astros moved to the American League in 2013. The good news: they improved from 6th place in 2012 to 5th place in 2013. The bad news: that’s because the AL West only has 5 teams. The Astros were in last place both seasons, and actually regressed (51-111 this year, 55-107 last year).



Candlestick Park in San Francisco and the Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome in Minnesota were retired this year. The Giants played in Candlestick from 1960-1999, and the 49ers from 1971-2013. (The Beatles last concert was at Candlestick Park in August 1966.) The Twins played in the Metrodome from 1982-2009, and the Vikings from 1982-2013.


Bud Selig finally gave a definite date for his long-awaited retirement. He will step down after the 2014 season. All I can say is “It’s about time!”

***


Hall of Famer Stan Musial passed away on January 19th, at age 92. Musial played from 1941 to 1963 (except missing 1945 while in military service), and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.


Other 1960s-era folks leaving us in 2013 were:

.

Friday, December 27, 2013

RIP - Paul Blair


It's been said that bad news comes in threes. Let's hope that's it for awhile... 

Former Baltimore Orioles' centerfielder Paul Blair passed away on December 26, 2013 in Baltimore at age 69. He collapsed after playing a round of golf earlier in the day.


Blair played from 1964-1980, and was the Orioles' centerfielder from 1965 to 1976, including the glory years of 1966, 1969-71, and 1973-74. He also played for the Yankees and Reds from 1977-80. Blair won 8 Gold Glove awards, and was an all-star in 1969 and 1973.

After his playing career, he was an outfield instructor for the Yankees and Astros, and a college baseball coach.

ESPN obituary

Sports Illustrated obituary

Thursday, December 26, 2013

RIP - Mike Hegan


Last week, I thought we'd get through the year without any more of these, but now two in one day...


Mike Hegan, a 1B/OF for the Yankees, Pilots, Brewers, and Athletics passed away on December 25, 2013, from heart failure at age 71.


Mike's career spanned 1964-1977. He broke in with the Yankees, but didn't get significant playing time until 1969, with the Seattle Pilots. After several seasons with Seattle/Milwaukee and Oakland, he returned to the Yankees for parts of 1973 and 1974. Hegan finished up his career with the Brewers from 1974-77.

After his playing career, he was a broadcaster for the Brewers (12 seasons) and Indians (23 seasons).


Milwaukee obituary
 
San Jose, CA obituary
 
2011 article about his impending retirement