Marty Pattin, who broke in with the Angels, but had his first baseball card in 1969 as a member of the Seattle Pilots, passed away on October 3, 2018 at age 75.
Pattin appeared in 52 games for the Angels as a rookie in 1968, but as I mentioned here, Topps did a bad job of including the Angels' young pitchers in the late 1960s' sets.
He was a starter for the expansion Pilots in 1969, and remained with the team for 2 more years.
After 2 seasons with the Red Sox, Marty finished up his career with 7 seasons in Kansas City.
Lee Stange, who pitched for the Twins, Indians, and Red Sox in the 1960s, passed away on September 21, 2018 at age 81.
Stange signed with the old Washington Senators in 1957, and pitched for the Twins from 1961 until his trade to Cleveland in June 1964. His best season was 1963, when he compiled a 12-5 records and a 2.62 ERA.
After 2 calendar years with the Tribe, he was traded to the Red Sox in June 1966 and played in the 1967 World Series.
Stange moved on to the White Sox in June 1970, and finished his career that season.
He was also a pitching coach for the Red Sox, Twins, and Athletics in the 1970s and 1980s.
Bunning was a 7-time All-Star (5 in the 1960s), and 150 of his 224 career wins came during the 1960s. During the decade, he collected 19 wins 4 times, and 17 wins twice. In 1967, he finished 2nd in the Cy Young voting, while leading the NL in strikeouts (253), shutouts (6) and innings pitched (302).
Maris was a 2-time AL MVP during the 1960s ('60, '61). Frank Robinson was the only other player to win the award twice in that decade. Roger hit 217 of his 275 career homers during the 1960s, with 133 of them from 1960-62. Besides leading the AL with 61 home runs in 1961, he led the league in RBI in both 1960 (112) and 1961 (141). (He "dropped" to 100 RBI in 1962.) He was also an All-Star from 1960-62, and won a Gold Glove award in 1960.
I'm really surprised that no one but me voted this time. Had all the "good" candidates already been inducted? Or did nobody want to vote because it wasn't an anonymous poll?
Is this an "asterisk situation"? Nah, there was almost 2 weeks allowed for voting, and nothing was said about what happens if only 1 person voted, so...
With only 1 person voting, candidates received either 100% or 0%. Since the other 6 received less than 15% of the vote, they will be dropped from the ballot.
I don't think there will be another ballot after this anyway. 1) There was no interest this time. 2) With those 6 candidates dropped, and all other "names" rejected on previous ballots, there is really no one left from the 1960s to consider. I suppose Johnny Bench could be proposed, but Tom Seaver got no votes, and Bench played less in the 1960s than Seaver.
(Click the "hall of fame ballot" label below to see all past results.
It's time for another 1960s Blog Hall of Fame Election.
Last year Billy Williams was the lone inductee, joining the other 28 members in the Hall. One player received less than 15% of the vote and was dropped from the ballot, leaving 6 returning candidates this time:
Added to the ballot this time are:
Tom Seaver (12-time All-Star, 3 Cy Youngs, 1967 ROY, won 25 in 1969) Earl Battey (4-time All-Star, 3-time GG in 8 seasons (7 as starter)
Here is the voting history for all the current candidates:
Since Blogger has done away with the polls widget, please use the comments to vote. (Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Also any spammers commenting as an excuse to post their links to gambling sites, etc will be deleted, as always.)
Vote for up to half (this time 4) of the players on the ballot. The voting will close on 9/15, at which time comments will be disabled. Those receiving at least 75% of the votes will be inducted.
Click on the "hall of fame ballot" label below to see the results of all previous elections.
1960s' catcher Doc Edwards (who later managed the Cleveland Indians from 1987-89) passed away on August 20, 2018 at age 81.
Edwards' career included stops with the Indians, Athletics, and Yankees. Although mostly a backup catcher, Doc was the Athletics' primary starting catcher in 1963 and 1964, even though he played less than half of the games (due to having 4 catchers).
I first became aware of Edwards when he was the bullpen coach for the Phillies from 1970-72. Doc had been catching for the Phillies' AAA teams in '68 and '69, then was named to new manager Frank Lucchesi's staff in 1970.
In one early-season game that year, both Phillies' catchers (Tim McCarver and Mike Ryan) broke their hands in the SAME INNING.
The team recalled their 2 AAA backstops the next day, and at some point activated Edwards, who appeared in 35 games, five seasons after his last big-league action.
In 1973 he began his 33-year managing career, which although was mostly in the minors, he did pilot the Indians from 1987-89.
1960s' Mets outfielder Johnny Lewis passed away on July 29, 2018 at age 78.
Lewis played minor-league ball for the Cardinals (1959-64), Mets (1966-67), and Phillies (1968). He played in the majors for the Cardinals in 1964, and for the Mets from 1965-67.
His big break came before the 1965 season, when the Cardinals traded him to the Mets for pitcher Tracy Stallard. 1965 was his only full season in the majors, and the only time he was a regular starter. He started 126 games that season, and appeared in 22 others.
After his playing career, Lewis coached for the Cardinals from 1973-89.
Former Braves' pitching ace Tony Cloninger passed away on July 24, 2018 at age 77.
Cloninger was the Braves' ace for the few years between the Warren Spahn and Phil Niekro eras, but may be most remembered for hitting 2 grand slams in the same game on July 3, 1966.
He played for the Braves from 1961-68, then was traded to the Reds in the June 1968 deal that sent Milt Pappas to the Braves. After 3 1/2 seasons with the Reds, Cloninger pitched briefly for the Cardinals in 1972.
After his playing career, Cloninger coached for the Yankees for 9 seasons during the Joe Torre regime, and then worked for the Red Sox for the past 15 years.
Billy Connors, the long-time pitching coach for the Cubs, Yankees, and others, passed away on June 18, 2018 at age 76.
Connors played on a team from Schenectady, NY that won the Little League World Series in 1954. His teammate on that squad was 1966 Dodgers' outfielder Jim Barbieri. (Barbieri was the first player to play in the Little League AND Major League World Series.)
Connors was signed by the Cubs in 1961, and played in their farm system from 1961-67, and in the Mets' organization from 1967-69. He played 11 games for the Cubs in 1966 and 15 games for the Mets from 1968-69.
After his playing career, he was a minor-league pitching instructor from 1972-79 for the Mets and Phillies, then a pitching coach from 1980-95 for the Royals, Cubs, Mariners, and Yankees. From 1996-2012 he worked in the Yankees' player development office.
With the recent passing of long-time Cardinal Red Schoendienst, it was said that he was the oldest living member of the Hall of Fame. Bringing that idea closer to this blogosphere, I wondered “Who are the oldest living players with baseball cards in the Topps sets that I am following?”
Pirates’ reliever Elroy Face is at the top of the list for the 1966-69 sets, at age 90. One would think Willie Mays (at age 87) is up there too, but there are 13 living players older than Mays in the 1966 set. That number drops off to 7 in the 1967 set, as 6 players had their final card in the ’66 set.
In the ’68 set, only 3 players are older than Mays. In the 1969 and 1970 sets, there is only one player older than Mays – Face (’69) and Hall (’70). (Elroy Face’s final card was in 1969. Dick Hall was not in the ’66 or ‘69 sets, but was in the ’67, ’68, and ‘70 sets.)
Here are the 5 oldest living players per set that I follow:
Whitey Ford Don Mossi
Career Cardinals' player, manager, coach, and executive Red Schoendienst passed away on June 6, 2018 at age 95. He was the oldest living member of the Hall of Fame.
Schoendienst was signed by the Cardinals in 1942. After some minor-league time (and missing most of 1944 while in the Army), he made his major-league debut as their left fielder in 1945, then was their regular 2nd baseman from 1946-55.
After stints with the Giants and Braves, Red returned to the Cardinals in a supporting role from 1961-63 (including player-coach in his final 2 seasons).
He managed the Cards from 1965-76 (including 2 World Series appearances). Red was also a coach and special assistant for the Cardinals from 1979-2017, including 2 turns as interim manager for parts of 1980 and 1990.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989, and the Cardinals retired his #2 in 1996.
(Schoendienst just made an appearance on this blog last week.)
Early-1960s backup first baseman Ray Barker passed away on May 29, 2018 at age 82.
Barker played in the minors from 1955-64 and 1967. He also played for the Yankees from 1965-67, along with a few games for the Orioles in 1960 and Indians in 1965.
Most of his big-league playing time came with the Yankees in 1965, when he started 43 games at first base behind Joe Pepitone.
Although with the Yankees for all of 1966, his playing time was diminished, and by September his role was filled by rookie call-up Mike Hegan.
Barker was traded to the Orioles in mid-1967 for pitcher Steve Barber (with Barber essentially taking the retired Whitey Ford's spot in the starting rotation).
Barker's final card (in the 1967 high-number series) is pictured above.
Former Twins' utility infielder and manager Frank Quilici passed away on May 14, 2018 at age 79.
Quilici was a Twins' farmhand from 1961-67, and also played for Minnesota during the 2nd half of 1965, 2 dozen games in 1967, and all of 1968-70. In 1965 he took over the starting 2nd base job in mid-September, and played in all 7 World Series games that year.
After retiring following the 1970 season, he became a major-league coach for the Twins in 1971, and by mid-1972 was promoted to manager - less than 2 years after his playing career. He managed the team through the 1975 season, his teams finishing in 3rd place 3 times and 4th place once. It was his only stint as a big-league manager.
He was also a Twins' broadcaster in the 1970s and 1980s.
Al Stanek, a pitcher for the 1963 Giants, passed away on May 8, 2018 at age 74.
Stanek's career consisted of 11 games for the Giants in 1963 (as a 20-year-old). He pitched for various Giants' farm teams from 1962-1967, and despite not pitching for San Francisco after September 1963, he managed to score cards in the '64, '65, and '66 Topps sets.
A high school baseball star from western Massachusetts, he compiled a 37-5 record as a high school pitcher, and was also quite a hitter, collecting 29 RBI in 21 games as a senior. He was inducted into the Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
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.
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 star 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.
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.
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.