Sunday, April 15, 2018

RIP - Larry Miller


Former Mets' pitcher Larry Miller passed away on March 21, 2018 at age 80.


Miller pitched in the Dodgers' farm system from 1959 to 1964, and also with the Dodgers in 1964. He also played for the Mets in 1965 and 1966.

Miller's record shows he played for the Giants' AAA team from 1967-69, and was never in the Orioles' organization. Having not been in the majors since 1966, I'm not sure why Topps made a card for him in the 1969 set, least of all as an Oriole.

Obituary

Blog post from CenterfieldMaz
 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Topps! Pay Attention!


Normally, a player "graduates" from a Rookie Stars card to his own card the next year (or in the case of Lou Piniella, 6 years down the road!)

But Topps was in reverse gear for these 3 players. After already appearing on their own card, they later found themselves on the baseball card equivalent of "the childrens' table".

1965:
1966:


1965:
1966:


1967:
1969:

There can be only one explanation!
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Thursday, March 29, 2018

RIP - Rusty Staub


Rusty Staub - "Le Grande Orange" - has passed away today (Opening Day) March 29, 2018 at age 73.


Staub had been in failing health in recent months.

Rusty played for the Astros (1963-68), Expos (1969-71), Mets (1972-75), Tigers (1976-79), the Expos again (1979), Rangers (1980), and the Mets again (1981-85).

He was a 6-time All-Star (1967-71, 76), and led the NL with 44 doubles in 1967. He was the first start for the Montreal Expos, and remained popular there, even though he only played 3 seasons for Montreal. Staub was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1986.


In 2009, I posted about the Expos' Jarry Park on this blog, and one commenter offered the following story about Rusty Staub:

"Not only was the lighting bad, but the fences were deteriorating. During a foggy night game against the Cubs, Ernie Banks tagged what appeared to be a home run over the right-field fence, but the umpires could not see it due to the fog. 

So they went to Expo right-fielder Rusty Staub, who, knowing what was about to happen, resourcfully kicked a hole in the bottom of the fence. Upon inquiry, Staub said he saw the ball bounce into the hole. With only Staub's word to go on, the umps waved off Banks' homer, and ruled it a ground-rule double. 

Talk about knowing your position!" 


WABC (New York) obituary

New York Daily News obituary

RIP - Jerry Moses


Former Red Sox catcher Jerry Moses passed away on March 27, 2018 at age 71.


Moses played for the Red Sox in 1969 and 1970. He was the team's starting catcher in 1970, and made his only All-Star team that year.

Traded to the Angels (along with Tony Conigliaro) after the 1970 season, he played for 6 teams over the next 5 seasons.

Boston Patriot-Ledger obituary
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Saturday, March 17, 2018

RIP - Ed Charles


Former Athletics' and Mets' 3rd baseman Ed Charles passed away on March 15, 2018 at age 84.


Charles was signed by the Boston Braves in 1952, but didn't make it to the majors until 1962. Ed was the regular 3rd baseman for Kansas City from 1962-1966. When Sal Bando joined the team at the start of 1967, Charles was traded to the Mets in mid-May.

He shared the Mets' 3rd base job until Ken Boyer was traded away in mid-season, then was the every day 3rd sacker for the rest of 1967, and just over half on 1968.

In the Miracle Mets season of 1969, Ed shared the job with various youngsters, and appeared in the 1969 World Series.

He was released after the season, and later scouted for the Mets.

New York Times obituary

New York Newsday obituary

SABR story
 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

RIP - Jack Hamilton


Jack Hamilton, who pitched for 6 teams in 8 years, passed away on February 22, 2018 at age 79.


Hamilton began his career in 1962 with the Phillies. Initially a starter, by mid-season he found himself in the bullpen, where he stayed for the bulk of his career, except for 1967 with the Angels.

After 2 seasons with the Phillies, he was traded to the Tigers as part of the Jim Bunning deal. Then it was on to the Mets (1966-67) and Angels (1967-68), before splitting his final 1969 season between the Indians and White Sox.

Hamilton retired after pitching in AAA ball in 1970, and went into the restaurant business.

New York Daily News obituary
 

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
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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
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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, Baseball-Reference.com 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
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