Wednesday, November 25, 2015

RIP - Ken Johnson

Former 1960s' starting pitcher Ken Johnson passed away on November 21, 2015 at age 82.

Signed by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1952, Johnson pitched from 1958-70 for 7 teams, mostly the Kansas City Athletics, Houston Colt .45s, and the Atlanta Braves.

Johnson was the Colts' top starting pitcher for their first 3 seasons. In 1964 he pitched a no-hitter against the Reds, but lost 1-0. To date, he is the only pitcher to lose a no-hitter.

New York Times obituary

Fox Sports obituary

Sunday, November 8, 2015

RIP - Ed Sukla

Former Angels' relief pitcher Ed Sukla passed away on September 24, 2015 at age 72.

Sukla pitched in the minors every season from 1962 to 1975, and played for the Angels from September 1964 to May 1966.  In 1965 he won the first game in the Angels' new park in Anaheim.


(Sukla's card mate Jim McGlothlin passed away in 1975 from leukemia, 2 years after his final MLB season.)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

RIP - Barney Schultz

Barney Schultz -  a knuckle-balling relief pitcher for the Cubs and Cardinals in the early 1960s - passed away on September 6, 2015 at age 89.

Schultz pitched in 227 games, all in relief. He appeared briefly with the Cardinals (1955) and Tigers (1959), then found steady work in the Cubs' bullpen from 1961 to mid-1963.

His final stop was the Cardinals. Acquired in mid-season 1963, he was a key member of their bullpen in 1964, as the Cardinals passed the Phillies in the season's final week to clinch the NL pennant and win the World Series. Schultz recorded a 1.64 ERA that year.

He retired after the 1965 season, and was the Cardinals' pitching coach for a decade, and then briefly with the Cubs.

KMOX St. Louis obituary

SABR biography

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

RIP - Norm Siebern

Former AL 1st-baseman Norm Siebern passed away on October 30, 2015 in Naples, FL at age 82.

Siebern came up with the Yankees in 1956, and won a Gold Glove in 1958 as their left fielder. Traded to the Kansas City in the Roger Maris trade after the 1959 season, he switched to 1st base with the Athletics, and was a regular there for 4 seasons, making the All-Star game in '62 and '63.

Siebern was traded to the Orioles following the 1963 season, and was the Orioles' 1st-sacker for the next 2 years - also returning to the All-Star game in '64. Norm bounced from the Angels to the Giants to the Red Sox in his final 3 seasons, retiring midway through 1968.

I only caught the tail-end of his career, as a pinch-hitter for the Red Sox during their push to the 1967 World Series. Maybe CommishBob has some stories from Siebern's days with the Orioles.

New York Times obituary

Kansas City Star obituary

SABR biography

He was also on Facebook

Monday, October 26, 2015

RIP - John Tsitouris

Former Athletics' and Reds' pitcher John Tsitouris passed away on October 22, 2015 in his hometown of Monroe, NC at age 79.

Tsitouris played pro ball from 1954 to 1968, and was in the majors for at least parts of  every season from 1957 to 1968 (except 1961).

After breaking in with the Tigers in 1957, he played part of '58 and '59, and all of 1960 with the Kansas City Athletics. Traded to the Reds for pitcher Joe Nuxhall, John spent the entire 1961 season in the minors, then played for the Reds from 1962-68, with most of that work coming in the 1963-65 seasons. He retired after the 1968 season.

Coincidentally, I was just reading through his SABR biography a few days ago (it may have been on the date of his death, but I don't remember).

Charlotte (NC) Observer obituary

SABR biography

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

RIP - Dean Chance

Former Angels' and Twins' pitcher Dean Chance passed away in his hometown of Wooster, OH on October 11, 2015 at age 74.

Chance pitched for 11 seasons (1961-71), and led the AL in wins, ERA, complete games, and shutouts in 1964. He also won the the Cy Young Award that season, at age 23 the youngest winner up to that time.

A member of the 1961 expansion Angels, he threw out the first pitch in the Angels' 50th Anniversary game in 2011, and was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame in August 2015.

 LA Times obituary

Minneapolis Star-Tribune obituary

NY Times obituary


Monday, October 5, 2015

1960s Blog Hall of Fame (#7)

It's time for another 1960s Blog Hall of Fame Election.

Last year, Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn were inducted, joining the other 23 members in the Hall. Four players received less than 15% of the vote and were dropped from the ballot, leaving 10 returning candidates this time:

Jim Bunning
Rod Carew
Orlando Cepeda
Frank Howard
Ferguson Jenkins
Roger Maris
Eddie Mathews
Boog Powell
Ron Santo
Billy Williams

Added to the ballot this time are 2nd baseman Bill Mazeroski (who missed the cut on the inaugural ballot) and outfielder Rocky Colavito.

^------ Use the sidebar poll to vote for up to 6 of the 12 people. The poll will close on Oct 31st.

Here is the voting history for all the current candidates:

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

Saturday, October 3, 2015

RIP - Tom Kelley

Former Indians' and Braves' pitcher Tom Kelley passed away on September 25, 2015 at age 71.

Kelley was a reliever for the Indians from 1964-67 (with '66 as his only full-season), then after 3 seasons in the minors, he resurfaced as a starting pitcher for the Braves from 1971-73. After 3 more seasons in the minors, he retired after the 1976 season.

He was inducted into his hometown Manchester Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

RIP - Bobby Etheridge

Former Giants' 3rd baseman Bobby Etheridge passed away on September 17, 2015 at age 73.

Etheridge played minor-league ball from 1964-68 with the Giants, and with several other teams from 1970-73.

He was a member of the San Francisco Giants for part of 1967 and all of 1969, playing 3rd base behind Jim Ray Hart and Jim Davenport.


Monday, September 28, 2015

RIP - 2014-2015

You've probably heard about all of these, but in the interest of continuity... 

The following members of 1960s Major League Baseball Alumni passed away in the previous 12 months.

I feel bad that for all he contributed to the Cubs' team and fan base, Mr. Cub never got to see a world championship - as a player or team ambassador.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

RIP - Yogi Berra

Former Yankees' catcher and manager Yogi Berra died of natural causes on September 22, 2015 at age 90.

Berra played for the Yankees from 1947 to 1963, then managed the Yankees in 1964, and in 1984-85. A 3-time AL MVP, he won 10 World Championships as a player, and played in 14 World Series in his 18 seasons, both career records.

Yogi also was a player-coach for the Mets in 1965, as shown on his final player card above. He also managed the Mets from 1972-75, winning the pennant in 1973.

I enjoyed watching a TV show (twice!) on the MLB Network last year, with Bob Costas following Yogi around his boyhood neighborhood in St. Louis, and in New York/New Jersey.

New York Times obituary

New York Post obituary

Monday, September 22, 2014

Who's Who in Baseball - 1967

I found this magazine recently at an antique store in Avalon, NJ. I collected several of these back in the 1960s, including (I’m sure) this one. I may still have them stashed in my house somewhere, but for $1.00 I couldn’t pass up this one.

I briefly leafed through the magazine in the store, and although you can find the stats and trades on, this mag also notes the dates of players’ trips to the disabled list, which is a plus.

I examined each page a few days ago, and discovered that every player (except Athletics’ pitcher Bill Edgerton) has a thumbnail pic next to his stats. (This surprised me, because I recalled that many rookies did not have photos in some years.) For some reason, EVERY photo showed the player in a blacked-out cap.

The mag has the career major and minor league stats for every major-league player active at press time (which seemed to be sometime in December 1966, because the off-season trades of Maury Wills to the Pirates and Mike McCormick to the Giants are noted).

Almost every player that had a card (and about 3 dozen players on "Rookie Stars" cards) in the 1967 Topps set was included in this magazine, but I was also surprised to see the following players without 1967 cards included (maybe they were not released or retired by press time):

Robin Roberts (includes “released by Cubs 10/4/66”)
Joey Jay
Jim Duckworth
Bill Edgerton
Sandy Koufax (includes “announced retirement 11/18/66”)
Joe Adcock (includes “appointed Indians manager 10/3/66”)
Junior Gilliam
Harvey Kuenn
Bob Lillis
Roy McMillan
Al Spangler
Dick Stuart

At the back of the book is a list of “10-year veterans who played in 1966 who are not on a major-league roster in 1967”:

Ed Bailey
Don Blasingame
Frank Bolling
Smoky Burgess (later re-signed by the White Sox, and given a ’67 card)
Wes Covington
Del Crandall
Joe Cunningham
Gene Freese
Lenny Green (later re-signed by the Tigers, but no ’67 card)
Eddie Kasko
Marty Keough
Hector Lopez
Jerry Lynch
Frank Malzone
Felix Mantilla (later re-signed by the Cubs, and given a ’67 card)
Bobby Richardson
Andre Rogers (later re-signed by the Pirates, and given a ’67 card)
Bob Skinner
Frank Thomas
Roger Craig
Bob Friend
Ray Herbert
Billy Hoeft
Johnny Klippstein (later re-signed by the Tigers, and given a ’67 card)
Jim Owens (later re-signed by the Astros, and given a ’67 card)
Bob Purkey
Steve Ridzik
Ed Roebuck

On the back cover, and inside the 2 covers are full-page photos of Juan Marichal, Gary Peters, and Matty Alou.  I didn't scan any inside pages, because I don't want to flatten the magazine on my scanner, fearing the pages will detach.

A nice little reference guide for roster geeks from back in the day!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

RIP - Frank Torre

Frank Torre, former 1st baseman for the Braves and Phillies, and older brother of Joe Torre, passed away on September 13, 2014 of a heart attack at age 82.

Frank played for the Milwaukee Braves from 1956 to 1960, and played in the World Series in both 1957 and 1958. The Braves met the Yankees both times, winning in '57 but losing in '58. Torre played every game in both Series, and was a key contributor in the '57 Series, batting .300 with 2 homers and 3 RBI.

Although Frank and Joe were both in the Braves' organization at the same time, they were never teammates.

After spending 1961 in the minors, he resurfaced with the Phillies in 1962 and 1963.

Following his baseball career, Torre worked for the Rawlings sporting goods company, and was an executive for the Baseball Assistance Team.

Torre had been in failing health in recent decades, receiving a heart transplant in 1996 and a kidney transplant in 2007.

New York Times obituary

New York Daily News obituary

ESPN obituary