Saturday, January 23, 2010

Long-time veterans say goodbye (part 3 of 3)

Between 1965 and 1969, 117 players with 10 or more years in the big leagues retired. I previously posted these lists in November: Players with 15+ years in the majors Players with 12 to 14 years in the majors Below is the list of the 10 and 11-year veterans who retired between 1966 and 1969. I have posted the last baseball card (or their 1968 card, if their last card was in '69 or '70) for most of these players on my 1966, 1967, and 1968 blogs already, and will post 6 more of these cards to my 1968 blog in the next week. (click to enlarge) (Updated on Feb 28, 2010)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Last Active St. Louis Browns

Here are the last active players to have played for the St. Louis Browns.

In 1967, the 38-year-old Larsen was called up by the Cubs for 12 days. He hadn't played in the majors since 1965.

Monday, January 11, 2010

MLB Network: Jim Bouton interview; 1967 review

Tuesday night at 9:00, Bob Costas will interview Jim Bouton, former Yankees and Pilots pitcher, and author of Ball Four.

On Wednesday night, the 1967 season is the subject of a Baseball Seasons episode.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

1969 Phillies

Following the abysmal 1968 season, the Phillies embarked on a major housecleaning.

Lost to expansion were pitcher Larry Jackson, all 3 shortstops (Bobby Wine, Roberto Pena, and Gary Sutherland), and centerfielder Tony Gonzalez. Also gone were pitcher Dick Hall, catcher Clay Dalrymple, and first baseman Bill White. Outfielder Don Lock would soon follow in April.

New additions were 1B/3B Deron Johnson, acquired from Atlanta, and top rookies Don Money and Larry Hisle, both of who had flopped a year earlier. This lineup seemed like a mix of rookies and veterans playing out of position. Tony Taylor led the team in at-bats, but didn't play 80 games at any one position. Newly-acquired slugger Deron Johnson also bounced between positions.

Weak-hitting right-handed Mike Ryan (#9) assumed the starting catcher's job, for lack of a better alternative. Rookie Dave Watkins was the backup (in his only major-league season).

Richie Allen (#15) was the regular first baseman, although for less than 120 games (thanks to his suspension). Cookie Rojas (#16) and Tony Taylor (#8) split the second base duties, with Rojas starting more often. With all three of last year's shortstops departing, the starting job was given to rookie Don Money (#5), who was acquired from the Pirates for Jim Bunning following the 1967 season. Lightweight rookie infielder Terry Harmon backed up at SS and 2B. Tony Taylor played about half the games at third base, with the remaining games split between Deron Johnson (#11) and Rick Joseph (#19).

Johnny Callison (#6) the Phillies rightfielder since the early 60's, was back for one last go-round. Rookie Larry Hisle (#4) blossomed as the regular centerfielder. Newcomer Deron Johnson was the primary leftfielder, with John Briggs (#12) getting the call whenever Johnson would move in to third base. Spring-training rookie phenom Ron Stone soon settled back into the scrub role he would play throughout his Phillies career.

Last year's ace Chris Short (#41) missed the whole season due to injury. Filling his shoes was southpaw Grant Jackson (#29), previously a reliever. Woody Fryman (#35) was the other left-handed starter, while the righties were Rick Wise (#38), Jerry Johnson (#33), and rookie Billy Champion (#31).

The closers were veteran Turk Farrell (#32) and rookie Al Raffo, who came out of nowhere, pitched well, then disappeared after the season. The other bullpen suspects were long-time organizational fodder John Boozer, and rookies Billy Wilson and Lowell Palmer. Palmer was notable for always wearing dark glasses (even on his baseball cards!)

This team was worse than the '68 team, and as such, 2nd-year manager Bob Skinner got the boot before the season was over.

On the bright side, Don Money proved to be the real deal at shortstop, and Larry Hisle also had a fine rookie season. They both were selected to the major-league all-rookie team. Hisle's success as a Phillie was to be short-lived, as he faded in 1971 and was traded to the Dodgers. Rick Wise and Grant Jackson were also improving as quality starters. This Phillies team had gotten younger since 1968, but not better. Following the 1969 season, they would get even younger as Callison, Allen, Rojas, and Farrell would leave.

1969 was billed as the "last year at Connie Mack Stadium". However, because of construction delays at Veterans Stadium, they would play one more season at the old park.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Last Active Boston Braves

Here are the last active players to have played for the Boston Braves.

Eddie Mathews went out on top - appearing in the 1968 World Series with the Tigers.