Wednesday, July 4, 2018

RIP - Mike Kilkenny


Mike Kilkenny, a pitcher for the Tigers and 3 other teams from 1969-73, passed away on June 28, 2018 at age 73.


Kilkenny played in the Tigers' farm system from 1964-68, and debuted for Detroit in April 1969. He pitched 106 games for the Tigers between 1969 and May 1972.

In 1972, he played for FOUR teams (Tigers, Athletics, Padres, Indians). Those 3 trades occurred in the span of 32 days!

After pitching the 2nd half of 1972 for the Indians, he appeared in only 5 games the following season, the last coming on May 6, 1973. That was his final pro game.

Detroit News obituary

Canadian Baseball Network obituary
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Friday, June 29, 2018

RIP - Billy Connors


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.

New York Times obituary

Schenectady, NY Daily Gazette obituary

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Oldest living players from 1966-70


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:

1966 
Elroy Face
Whitey Ford
Don Mossi
Al Worthington
Curt Simmons

1967 
Elroy Face
Whitey Ford
Al Worthington
Curt Simmons
Vern Law (10th in the ’66 set)

1968 
Elroy Face
Al Worthington
Dick Hall (6th in the ’67 set)
Willie Mays
Maury Wills

1969 
Elroy Face
Willie Mays
Maury Wills
Al Spangler
Camilo Pascual

1970 
Dick Hall
Willie Mays
Maury Wills
Al Spangler
Camilo Pascual

Friday, June 22, 2018

RIP - Ed Roebuck


1950s/60s reliever Ed Roebuck passed away on June 14, 2018 at age 86.

Roebuck pitched for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955-63, appearing in 322 games, all but one in relief. He also pitched in the '55 and '56 World Series.


In July 1963 he was traded to the Senators, and moved on to the Phillies the following April. He spent his final 3 seasons with the Phillies.

Retiring as a player following a year of AAA ball in 1967, he went on to scout for many teams, finally retiring in 2004.

LA Times obituary

Dodger Insider obituary

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Trades: "Jarvis! Tatum! Jarvis Tatum! You've all been traded!"


Another installment in an occasional series about some big trades in the 1960s: 

Ok, this wasn't in the 1960s, but it only missed the cutoff by one year, and this was just too good to pass up.


In October 1970, the Red Sox traded outfielder Tony Conigliaro to the Angels in a 6-player trade that included Jarvis Tatum and 2 other guys whose name was either Jarvis OR Tatum!
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Sunday, June 10, 2018

RIP - Chuck Taylor


Pitcher Chuck Taylor passed away on June 5, 2018 at age 76.


He was never an All-Star like the OTHER Chuck Taylor(s):
...but he had a decent career as a reliever for 8 years from 1969-76.

Taylor pitched for the Cardinals from 1969-71, then after a season split between the Mets and Brewers, he pitched for the Expos in his final 4 seasons (1973-76).

Middle Tennessee State University obituary

Murfreesboro (TN) Post obituary

WGNS Radio obituary
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

RIP - Red Schoendienst


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.)

New York Times obituary

Fox News obituary

CBS Sports obituary

Hall of Fame page
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Friday, June 1, 2018

RIP - Ray Barker


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.

Obituary
 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day


Earlier today, Wrigley Wax posted a list of the 1365 players, managers, coaches, and umpires who were veterans of World War II.

Thanks to WW's research, here is my small contribution to today's remembrance:  40 of those veterans.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

RIP - Frank Quilici


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.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune obituary

TwinCities.com obituary
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Friday, May 11, 2018

RIP - Al Stanek


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.

MassLive.com obituary
 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

RIP - Dave Nelson


Former Indians', Senators', and Rangers' infielder Dave Nelson passed away on April 22, 2018 at age 73.


Nelson was the Indians' 2nd baseman from 1968-69, and later played for the Senators/Rangers from 1970-75. He also played sparingly for the Royals from 1976-77.

After his playing career, Nelson was a coach for various teams from 1981-2006. More recently, he was a broadcaster for the Milwaukee Brewers.

USA Today obituary

MLB.com obituary

Chicago Tribune obituary

Kansas City Star obituary
 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

RIP - Larry Miller


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.

Obituary

Blog post from CenterfieldMaz