Thursday, February 7, 2019

RIP - Frank Robinson


Frank Robinson, the only man to win the MVP in both leagues, passed away today February 7, 2019 at age 83.

(My first Frank Robinson card)

Robinson played for 21 seasons. The first 10 with the Reds, then 6 with the Orioles. He wrapped up his career with brief stops in Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Cleveland.

Some accomplishments: 
1956 NL Rookie of the Year
14-time All-Star
2-time MVP (NL-1961, AL-1966)
1966 Triple Crown winner
Played in 5 World Series (Reds - 1, Orioles - 4)
Led his league in Runs 3 times
Hit 586 career home runs (4th place at time of retirement)
First African-American manager (Cleveland - 1975)
Managed the Indians, Giants, Orioles, and Expos/Nationals, for a total of 16 seasons.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982


When Frank came over from the Reds, he immediately provided veteran leadership for the Orioles, and kept the team loose. One of the first photos I remember seeing of him was holding "Kangaroo Court" in the clubhouse:



WBAL (Baltimore) obituary

WLWT (Cincinnati) obituary
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Monday, February 4, 2019

RIP - Bob Friend


Long-time Pirates' hurler Bob Friend passed away on February 3, 2019 at age 88, in Pittsburgh.


He pitched for the Bucs from 1951 to 1965, and was a 3-time All-Star. He led the NL with 22 wins in 1958 (but also led with 19 losses in '59 and '61).

Friend was 18-12 during the Pirates' 1960 championship season, and made his final All-Star team that year. He continued in the Pirates' starting rotation through his last season in Pittsburgh ('65) at age 34.

After the '65 season, he was traded to the Yankees for reliever Pete Mikkelsen, but by mid-1966 had crossed town to play for the Mets. He retired after that season.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary

WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh) obituary
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Friday, January 18, 2019

RIP - Eli Grba


Eli Grba, who pitched for the Yankees and Angels in the early 1960s. passed away on January 14, 2019 at age 84.


Grba (GUR-bah) was a reliever for the Yankees from 1959-60, then joined the expansion Los Angeles Angels in 1961.

He was the Angels' #1 pick in the expansion draft, and started the first game in franchise history. He was a starter for the Angels for 2 seasons, before finishing up his major-league career in relief in 1963.

Grba continued playing in the minor leagues through the 1967 season.

Orange County Register obituary

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

RIP - Mel Stottlemyre


Mel Stottlemyre, the Yankees' pitching ace after the Whitey Ford era, passed away on January 13, 2019 at age 77.


Stottlemyre joined the Yankees in 1964, and pitched for them through the 1974 season. He was a key starter for them from 1965 through 1973.

Mel won 20 or more games three times ('65, '68, and '69), not an easy task in the late-1960s. He was also an All-Star five times from 1965-70.

After his playing career, Stottlemyre was a minor-league instructor for the Mariners from 1977-81, then spent 10 seasons (1983-92) as the Mets' pitching coach.

He moved uptown in 1996 to be the Yankees' pitching coach, remaining there through the 2005 season. In 2008, he returned to the Mariners as their pitching coach for one season.

New York Times obituary

Fox News obituary

ESPN obituary

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

RIP - Lenny Green


Lenny Green, an outfielder who played for 5 American League teams from 1957-1968, passed away on January 6, 2019, his 86th birthday.

Green's longest stretch with one team was with the Senators/Twins from 1959-1964 - also his most time as a regular player. He was the Twins' first center fielder.

He also played for the Orioles (1957-59 and '64), Angels ('64), Red Sox (1965-66), and Tigers (1967-68). His last stint as a regular player was with the Red Sox, where he started 74 games in center field in 1965.

Green began his final season (1968) in the minors, but was recalled by the Tigers in June. He only played 6 games before he was released in early-July, ending his pro career and missing the World Series by 3 months.

Detroit Free Press obituary

The Detroit News obituary


Custom card courtesy of John Hogan at the Cards That Never Were blog.
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Sunday, January 6, 2019

RIP - Jerry Buchek


Jerry Buchek, an infielder for the Cardinals and Mets in the last half of the 1960s, passed away on January 2, 2019 at age 76.


Buchek was a backup at SS and 2B for the Cardinals in 1961 and again from 1964-66. He was traded to the Mets just before the 1967 season, and started just over half the games at 2nd base that year.

In 1968, he fell to #3 on the 2nd base depth chart, and was traded back to the Cardinals after the season.

The following Spring he was flipped to the Phillies for veteran Bill White, but spent the entire 1969 season in AAA before retiring. (Hmm.. It seems Buchek would have been a better middle-infield option for the 1969 Phillies than rookie Terry Harmon!)

Obituary

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Re-cap



Here are the players I featured in 2018:



1960s' players who left us in 2018:

Unlike in recent years, there was no late-December flurry of departures. Only 1 (Pete Lovrich) occurred after Willie McCovey on 10/31.
 

And from outside the baseball world:
Jerry Van Dyke
Keith Jackson
Bradford Dillman
Dorothy Malone
Dennis Edwards
Vic Damone
Marty Allen
Billy Graham
Nanette Fabray
David Ogden Stiers
Roger Bannister
Stephen Hawking
Susan Anspach
Harry Anderson
Barbara Bush
Bruno Sammartino
Verne Troyer
Margot Kidder
Clint Walker
Anthony Bourdain
Matt "Guitar" Murphy
Tab Hunter
Charlotte Rae
Stan Mikita
Aretha Franklin
Robin Leach
John McCain
Neil Simon
Burt Reynolds
Tommy McDonald
Charles Aznevour
Jim Taylor
Stan Lee
Roy Clark
George H.W. Bush
Ken Berry (Mayberry RFD)
Nancy Wilson (jazz singer)
Penny Marshall


See also: 1965-1975 era football players who passed in 2018