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

Friday, October 27, 2017

RIP - Ed Barnowski

Ed Barnowski, an Orioles' prospect who had a few cups of coffee in '65 and '66 but who could not crack the excellent Baltimore pitching staffs of that era, passed away on October 17, 2017 at age 74.

Barnowski pitched for Syracuse University, then was a starting pitcher in the Orioles' minor leagues every season from 1963 to 1969, but only saw big-league action in 6 games, all in relief (4 in Sept '65, 2 in Sept '66).

After his playing career, he was the general manager for the Orioles' AAA Rochester Red Wings for a few seasons.

(Schenectady, NY) Daily Gazette obituary

Minneapolis Star-Tribune obituary

Monday, October 23, 2017

RIP - Don Lock

Don Lock, a center fielder for the Senators and Phillies in the 1960s, passed away on October 8, 2017 at age 81.

Lock debuted with the Senators in 1962 and was their regular center fielder from 1963-66. He led the Senators in home runs during '63 and '64, and was right behind the newly-acquired Frank Howard in the '65 and '66 seasons.

Traded to the Phillies after 1966, Lock spent 2 seasons platooning in Philly, then finished his career with the Red Sox in 1969. obituary

Wichita Eagle obituary

Saturday, October 21, 2017

RIP - Jim Landis

Long-time White Sox' center fielder Jim Landis passed away on October 7, 2017 at age 83.

Jim played for the White Sox for 8 seasons, and was an All-Star in 1962. He won a Gold Glove award in each of his last 5 seasons in Chicago.

An 8-player, 3-team trade before the 1965 season sent him to the Athletics. After 1 season with Kansas City, he played for the Indians in 1966, then finished his career with 3 different teams in 1967.

Chicago Sun-Times obituary

Chicago Tribune obituary

New York Times obituary

Thursday, October 19, 2017

RIP - John Herrnstein

John Herrnstein, who played briefly for the Phillies in the mid-1960s, passed away on October 3, 2017 at age 79.

Herrnstein was the Phillies' starting first baseman for much of their ill-fated 1964 season, then was relegated to the bench for the final 2 months when veteran Frank Thomas was acquired from the Mets.

Herrnstein played sparingly in 1965, because the Phillies traded for another veteran first-sacker (Dick Stuart) in the off-season.

In early 1966, John was included in the trade that sent Ferguson Jenkins to the Cubs.   Herrnstein retired after the 1966 season.

Herrnstein has one of the longest Wikipedia pages I have seen for someone with such a short, unremarkable baseball career.

Chillicothe Gazette obituary

another Chillicothe Gazette obituary

Herrnstein (and many others) screwed out of a MLB pension, thanks to the players' union greed

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Trades: Dodgers and Twins (Nov. 1967)

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

On November 28, 1967 the Dodgers gutted their bullpen and starting catching in an attempt to land a front-line shortstop. They failed miserably.

The Dodgers' top 2 relievers (Ron Perranoski and Bob Miller) along with John Roseboro (their starting catcher since 1958) were sent to the Twins in exchange for shortstop Zoilo Versalles and veteran pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant.

Ron Perranoski played for the Dodgers from 1961-67, and was the leader of the bullpen from 1962-65 and again in 1967. He led the NL in games during the '62 and '63 seasons. His 16-3 record in 1963 was the league's highest winning percentage. He never made an All-Star team, surprising given his stats and having played for the high-profile Dodgers. After the trade, Ron led the AL in saves during the '69 and '70 seasons with Minnesota. He was traded to the Tigers during the 1971 season.

Bob Miller played for the Dodgers from 1963-67.  Although a starter for much of 1963, we was strictly a reliever after that, taking his place right behind Perranoski on the bullpen ladder. Miller put in 2 solid seasons with the Twins (again behind Perranoski), then bounced around to 7 other teams during his final 5 seasons.

John Roseboro was a three-time All-Star with the Dodgers and had been the starter since taking over for the injured Roy Campanella at the start of the 1958 season. After the trade, John played 2 full seasons as the Twins' starting catcher (including making the All-Star team in 1969), then finished his career in 1970 as a backup for the Senators.

So who did the Dodgers get in exchange for those 3 guys who continued playing at a high level? LA was hoping to find a replacement for Maury Wills (who was traded away a year earlier) but got a whole lot of nothing.

Zoilo Versalles was the AL MVP in 1965, but had been declining since then. After batting .249 and .200 in his final 2 seasons with the Twins, he hit a whopping .196 in his only season with the Dodgers. Left unprotected in the expansion draft, he was selected by the Padres, but was quickly flipped to the Indians for 5-time Topps "Rookie Star" Bill Davis. Versalles was sold to the Senators in mid-year, then cut after the season. Verdict: Bust!

Mudcat Grant was a key starting pitcher for the Indians (1958-64) and Twins (1964-67), and won 21 games in 1965. He pitched mostly in relief for the Dodgers in 1968, then was selected by the Expos in the expansion draft.

(Roseboro's 1st-series card still shows him as a Dodger.)

ADVANTAGE: Twins! The Dodgers got only 1 season each from Grant and Versalles (both sub-par), while Perranoski and Roseboro (and to a lesser extent Miller) put in multiple solid seasons for the Twins.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

1960s Blog Hall of Fame Results (#9)

Billy Williams was the lone inductee this time, joining the 28 others shown below.

Williams was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1961, and a 6-time All-Star.  He also finished 2nd in the MVP balloting in 1970 and 1972.

Billy led the NL in hits and runs in 1970, and played in 1117 consecutive games from 9/22/1963 to 9/2/1970.  He joined the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.

Complete results:

12 voters participated this time.  The polls were open for about 5 weeks, but 11 of the votes were cast in the first week, with the final vote coming in the closing hours of the poll, just barely pushing Williams to the required 75%. One player received less that the minimum 15% to be retained for the next ballot.

I think I will have shorter voting periods in the future, since most everyone who was interested had voted in the first few days of the poll.

(Click the "hall of fame ballot" label below to see all past results.) 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

RIP - Gene Michael

Former shortstop, manager, and GM Gene Michael passed away on September 7, 2017 at age 79.

"Stick" played mostly for the Yankees (1968-74), but also for the Pirates (1966), Dodgers (1967) and Tigers (1975).

After his playing career, Michael managed the Yankees twice (who hasn't?).  He piloted the team for the split 1981 season, then was brought back midway through 1982 for a short time. He also managed the Cubs for parts of 1986 and 1987.

Michael was also the Yankees' GM twice, from 1980-81 and again from 1990-95. During his 2nd stint, the Yankees acquired many of the players who led them to multiple World Championships. After getting the ax in 1995, he continued to work for the Yankees in scouting positions.

New York Times obituary

ESPN obituary

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

RIP - Paul Schaal

Paul Schaal, who played 3rd base for the Angels in the mid-1960s before becoming a member of the expansion Kansas City Royals in 1969, passed away on September 1, 2017 at age 74.

Schaal became the Angels' everyday 3rd baseman as a rookie in 1965, and remained there through the 1968 season (except for missing the 2nd half of the '67 and '68 seasons with injuries).

He was selected by the Royals prior to 1969, but missed the first half of that season, then was their regular 3rd baseman for the 2nd half, as well as all of 1970-73. (He started every game in 1971.)

With George Brett taking over in May 1974, Schaal returned to the Angels to complete his final season.

Kansas City Star obituary

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Orioles Starting Pitchers of the late 1960s

Oh, have I mentioned that the Orioles were my favorite American League team in the mid/late 1960s?

I recently posted Steve Barber's card on my 1966 blog, and it made me want to do this:

Here are their top 4 starting pitchers from 1965 (making-do with 1966 cards):

In 1966, they traded Milt Pappas to the Reds, and won the World Series without him.

To look at the 1967 card set, you would think this was the Orioles' rotation:

But due to a sore-arm epidemic, it turned out to be this:

By 1968, Dave McNally regained his earlier form (although Jim Palmer was still rehabbing):

Mike Cuellar joined the team in 1969, giving the O's their best rotation since 1966:

This is one of the four multi-player cards in the 1969 set.  Before the season, Palmer's comeback was still considered questionable, so he missed this photo op:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

RIP - Dom Zanni

Just appearing on in the past day or so is the fact that relief pitcher Dom Zanni passed away on July 6, 2017 at age 85.

Zanni was born and raised in New York City, and was signed by his hometown Giants in 1951.

He played for the Giants from 1958-61 and the White Sox from 1962-63, before finishing his career with the Reds from 1963-66. His best season was 1962 with the Sox, when he reached career highs in wins, strikeouts, games, and innings.

No obituary found, but there's this.

Monday, August 14, 2017

RIP - Paul Casanova

1960s' Senators catcher Paul Casanova passed away on August 12, 2017 at age 75.

Casanova was the Senators' starting catcher from 1966-71. His best season was 1967, when he was an All-Star although did not play in the game. That season he also caught an ENTIRE 22-INNING GAME against the White Sox. Although he went 1 or 9 at the plate, he got the game-winning hit.

He was also the Braves' backup catcher from 1972-74, and caught Phil Niekro's no-hitter in 1973.