Friday, June 10, 2011

RIP - Jose Pagan and Jim Northrup

I had planned for my next post on this blog to be a review of the 1969 Seattle Pilots (as I've done with several teams on my 1967 card blog), but yesterday I learned of the passing this week of 2 well-known players from the 1960s. So, at the risk of turning this blog into an obituary column...

The 1960s baseball alumni association lost 2 members this week. Former Giants, Pirates, and Phillies infielder Jose Pagan passed away on June 7th at age 76. The next day, former Tigers' outfielder Jim Northrup passed away at age 71.

I'm not going to re-hash their obituaries or career details here, as there are many other places to find that. Instead, I wanted to make a brief observation from each one's career.

Jose Pagan was the Giants' regular shortstop from 1961-64, then went on to become the Pirates' ace utility infielder from 1965-72. He played his last season (1973) with the Phillies, who acquired Jose to serve as a veteran influence / insurance policy for rookie 3rd baseman Mike Schmidt.

Jim Northrup was an outfielder for 11 seasons with the Tigers before finishing his career in 1975 with the Orioles. He hit a 2-run triple in game 7 of the 1968 World Series, allowing the Tigers to claim the championship.


Anonymous said...

Mayo Smith would have kept the #3 RBI man in the AL for 1968 on the bench to play the light hitting Mickey Stanley in centerfield?

Jim from Downingtown said...

Light-hitting? Ray Oyler was light-hitting. Stanley had as many hits as Northrup, along with a similar batting average.

RBI totals are mostly a result of who's on base ahead of you. Stanley bat in the 2nd slot most of the season, and led off the rest of the time. Northrup mainly hit 3rd, so naturally he had more opportunities for RBI.

Also, Stanley was better defensively, winning gold gloves from 1968-70.

We could probably agree that the aging Kaline should have been the odd man out, but that probably wouldn't have sit well with the Tiger fan base after all those years.

Anonymous said...

Heh, Oyler wasn't light-hitting, he was NONEXISTANT hitting.