Tuesday, November 23, 2021

RIP - Jerry Johnson

 
Jerry Johnson, who pitched for the Phillies, Giants, and others from 1968-77, passed away on November 15, 2021 at age 77.
Johnson debuted in mid-1968 with the Phillies, then was included in the Dick Allen for Curt Flood trade after the 1969 season. After only 7 games, the Cardinals dealt him to the Giants. 
 
His best season was 1971, when he posted a 12-9 record for the Giants, and surprisingly (to me anyway) finished 6th in the Cy Young voting. Johnson subsequently pitched for the Indians, Astros, Padres, and Blue Jays.  
 
 

Monday, November 15, 2021

RIP - Billy Moran

 
Billy Moran, the Los Angeles Angels' 2nd baseman for their first few seasons, passed away on October 21, 2021 at age 87.
Moran made his debut with the Indians in 1958, playing 115 games as the backup 2B-SS. He also played a handful of games for the Tribe in 1959, before settling back in the minors until his June 1961 trade to the expansion Angels. 
 
Moran was the regular 2nd baseman for the rest of '61, and started 150+ games there in each of '62 and '63. He was the AL's starting 2nd baseman in both All-Star games in 1962. 
 
With the arrival of Bobby Knoop in 1964, Moran moved over to 3rd base for the first half, then returned to the Indians in June, where he backed up 3rd baseman Max Alvis. He played a few games for Cleveland in 1965 but spent most of the year in triple-A. 
 
 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

RIP - Ray Fosse


Ray Fosse, an Indians' and Athletics' catcher in the 1970s, passed away on October 13, 2021 at age 74.
Fosse was the Indians' starting catcher from 1970-72. Traded to the Athletics for Dave Duncan after the 1972 season, he was Oakland's regular catcher in 1973 and for the first 2 months of 1974, before losing his job to Gene Tenace. 
 
He returned to the Tribe in a limited role for 1976-77. Fosse signed on with the Brewers for 1978, but missed the entire season with leg injuries. He retired after only playing a handful of games in 1979. 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

RIP - Rich Barry

 
Rich Barry, the long-time Yankees' farmhand who finally got a cup of coffee with the Phillies in 1969, passed away on October 9, 2021 at age 81.
Barry (even scarcely remembered among old-school Phillies' fans) played in the Yankees' farm system from 1958 to 1965, often hitting over 20 homers in a season. Still, he could not break in with their big club. 
 
Acquired by the Phillies before the 1966 season, he played for that organization from 1966-69 (the last 3 seasons in triple-A) before finally making his major-league debut at age 28 on July 4th, 1969. After playing 20 games (5 starts), his major-league career was over. 
 
Barry played the next 3 seasons for the triple-A clubs of the Angels, Padres, and Braves before retiring. He finished with 280 homers in the minors, topping 20 homers 7 times. 
 
 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

RIP - Chuck Hartenstein

 
Chuck Hartenstein, a reliever for the Cubs, Pirates, and others passed away on October 2, 2021 at age 79.
Hartenstein broke in with the Cubs in 1967 and led the team in saves as a rookie. 
 
After the 1968 season he was traded to the Pirates, and played for Pittsburgh in 1969 and part of 1970. He also played for the Cardinals and Red Sox in 1970. 
 
After spending the next 6 years in the minors, he resurfaced with the expansion Blue Jays for 13 games in 1977.  
 
 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

RIP - Bill Sudakis

 
Bill Sudakis, one of the many young Dodgers' players from the late-60s/early-70s, passed away on September 15, 2021 at age 75.
Sudakis debuted in September 1968, and was the Dodgers' starting 3rd baseman in 1969, his only season as a regular.
 
In 1970 he was replaced by Bill Grabarkiewitz, who in turn was replaced by Steve Garvey and others the following season. Primarily a third baseman, he also caught quite a few games in 1970 and 1971.
 
Sudakis played for the Dodgers through the 1971 season, then bounced around to the Mets, Rangers, Yankees, Angels, and Indians from 1972-75.  
 
  

Saturday, October 23, 2021

RIP - Bill Freehan

 
Bill Freehan, the Tigers' all-star catcher during the 1960s, passed away on August 19, 2021 at age 79.
Freehan played for Detroit from 1961-1976, and was their starting catcher from 1964-1973, and 1975.  In 1974 he split his time between catcher and 1st base. 
 
Freehan was an 11-time All-Star, and won 5 Gold Glove awards.
 
After his playing career, he was at various times a broadcaster, a catching coach for the Tigers, and head coach for the University of Michigan. 
 
 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

RIP - Scott Reid

 
Scott Reid, an outfielder who played a handful of games for the Phillies from 1969-70, passed away on June 29, 2021 at age 74.
 
Reid was one of the Phillies' late-1960s' prospects, but his career never really got off the ground in the majors. But he sure was a sought-after prospect! Check out his draft history: 
 
- Athletics - Jun 1965 
- Mets - Jan 1966 
- Indians - Jun 1966 
- Mets (again) - Jan 1967 
- Phillies - Jun 1967 
 
He played in the Phillies' farm system from 1967-73, but only appeared in a few dozen games for the Phillies - 13 games in a September '69 call-up, and 12 games in a September '70 call-up. Between those 2 stints, he also played 13 games in late-May/early-June 1970, including starting 5 games in center field during one week.
 
After his playing career he was a scout for the Phillies, Cubs, and Marlins. Later he was a VP for the Marlins and Tigers. 
 
 
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Saturday, June 26, 2021

RIP - Dwight Siebler

 
Dwight Siebler, who pitched briefly for the Twins in the mid-1960s, passed away on June 16, 2021. He was 83.
After playing for the University of Nebraska (where he pitched a no-hitter in 1957) Siebler began his pro career in the Phillies' organization in 1959. 
 
He was acquired by the Twins late in the 1963 season, and pitched in a handful of games each season from 1963-65. 
 
Most of his playing time came during 1966, when he pitched 23 games, mostly in relief. It was the only season he was not also in the minors. 
 
Siebler only pitched 2 games for the Twins in 1967, both in April. They primarily used only 10 pitchers that year: Dean Chance, Dave Boswell, Ron Kline, Al Worthington, and 6 guys named Jim
 
Siebler retired after spending most of 1967 in the minors. 
 
  

Sunday, June 20, 2021

RIP - Mudcat Grant

 
Jim "Mudcat" Grant passed away on June 11, 2021 at age 85.
Grant was a starting pitcher for the Indians (1958-64) and Twins (1964-67), before finishing his career as a relief pitcher for the Dodgers, Expos, Cardinals, Athletics, and Pirates from 1968-71. 
 
In 1965 he had a career year, leading the AL with 21 wins and posting a 2-1 record in the World Series vs. the Dodgers. Two years later he was traded to the Dodgers in the deal that brought John Roseboro and Ron Perranoski to the Twins. 
 
After his playing career he was a broadcaster for the Indians and Athletics. He also wrote a book about the history of black baseball players - focusing specifically on all the black 20-game winners. He was honored for that at the White House in 2007.  
 
 

  

Saturday, June 12, 2021

RIP - Mike Marshall

 
Mike Marshall, a workhorse reliever for several teams in the 1970s, passed away on June 1, 2021 at age 78.
Marshall broke in with the Tigers in 1967. He pitched 59 innings (all in relief), but even though he posted a 1.98 ERA, he was back in the minors for all of 1968. He didn't even get a September call-up, and missed the Tigers'  1968 championship altogether. 
 
In 1969 he was a starting pitcher for the expansion Seattle Pilots, the only season where he was primarily a starter. 
 
After pitching part of 1970 for the Astros, he spent several seasons with the Expos. From 1972-74 he led the league in games pitched, with sixty-five, NINETY-TWO, and ONE HUNDRED SIX!  He also won the Cy Young Award in 1974.

All that wear and tear finally caught up with him, as he only appeared in 16 games in 1977. 
 
Marshall made a comeback with the Twins in 1978, pitching in 54 games. The following season he led the league with NINETY appearances. (Some teams don't learn from history.)
 


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

RIP - Richie Scheinblum

 
Richie Scheinblum, an outfielder for the Indians, Royals, and others, passed away on May 10, 2021 at age 78.
Scheinblum played briefly for the Indians from 1967-69. After spending all of 1970 in the minors, the Senators took a look at him during the 1971 season. 
 
He moved on to the Royals in 1972, where he had his best season (and only season as an every-day player). He also made the All-Star team in '72. 
 
After his career year, he was traded to the Reds and it was back to the bench for his final 2 MLB seasons, playing for 4 teams in those 2 years. He then spent 2 seasons in Japan.  
 

  

Friday, May 14, 2021

RIP - Del Crandall

 
Del Crandall, the Braves' catcher from 1949 to 1963, passed away on May 5th, 2021 at age 91.
He played 2 seasons with the Boston Braves before missing the '51 and '52 seasons for military service. He was the last surviving member of the Boston Braves. 
 
Crandall was one of the five players whose MLB career began in the 1940s and were still playing by 1966 and beyond. 
 
Robin Roberts - last game 9/3/66 
Del Crandall - 9/25/66 
Joe Nuxhall - 10/2/66 
Smoky Burgess - 10/1/67 
Curt Simmons - 10/1/67 
 
Crandall finished 2nd in the 1949 NL Rookie of the Year voting, and was an 11-time All-Star (making both squads in '59, '60, and '62). He probably missed the '61 All-Star games only because injuries limited him to 15 games that season. 
 
After the 1963 season, he played 1 year each with the Giants, Pirates, and Indians.   Crandall also managed the Brewers from 1972-75, and the Mariners from 1983-84. 
 
 

 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Willie Mays is 90 today!

 
Wow! Where has the time gone? Willie Mays is celebrating his 90th birthday today.

Here is a model I made back in the early-1960s. You can read about it here.

 

Friday, April 23, 2021

RIP - Chuck Schilling

 
Early-1960s Red Sox 2nd baseman Chuck Schilling passed away on March 30, 2021 at age 83. 
 
Schilling broke into the Red Sox' lineup in 1961 and finished 3rd in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. 
 
He was their regular 2nd baseman for 3 seasons, before giving way to Dalton Jones in 1964. After 2 seasons on the bench, he was traded to the Twins before the 1966 season but never played for them. 
 
Schilling became a school teacher after his baseball career.