Tuesday, December 27, 2011

1967 Scrapbook - Mantle, Ford, Mays

Today I'm starting a new series called "1967 Scrapbook". A few months ago, I found a baseball scrapbook I had made in 1967, containing photos that I clipped from the Philadelphia sports pages that summer. Most of the photos are from the previous night's Phillies game, with the exception of the two photos in this first installment.



The back of the Willie Mays photo may be more interesting than the front. Here, not only do we see Mets' rookie pitcher Tom Seaver helping his wife with the grocery shopping, but on the far left, there's a picture of Phillies' farmhand Lowell Palmer, for once photographed without his trademark sunglasses.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

1960s Blog Hall of Fame (#1)

Welcome to the first 1960s Hall of Fame balloting. (Yes, I ripped off this idea from White Sox Cards, and tailored it to my blog.)

To jump start the membership, for this first ballot, vote for 1 player at each position (except for 3 outfielders, 4 starting pitchers, 2 relievers, and 2 managers). To keep things organized, there is a separate poll for each position.

Subsequent ballots will have all nominees combined on one ballot, and only those getting a certain percentage of votes will be elected.

Voting will continue until January 15th, at which time the winners will have their plaques (a/k/a baseball cards) featured together in a montage post.

Unlike all other halls of fame, balloting will probably occur more than once a year (mainly because I'm impatient). Use the comments to suggest other nominees for future ballots.

Have at it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

RIP - Matty Alou

Matty Alou left us on November 3rd, at age 72, from complications with diabetes.

Matty came up with the San Francisco Giants in 1961, the 2nd of three Alou brothers to do so. (Felipe arrived in 1958, and Jesus in September 1963.) Felipe left the Giants after the 1963 season, but not before all 3 brothers played in the same outfield.

Matty was traded to the Pirates after the 1965 season, where he immediately became the everyday center fielder. In his first season in Pittsburgh, he led the NL in batting with a .342 batting average. (Brother Felipe, by then with the Braves, was 2nd with a .327 average.)

Alou spent 5 seasons as the Pirates' regular center fielder. In his last 2 years with the Bucs, he led the NL in at-bats, with over 670 in each season. He missed the Pirates' glory years in the early 1970s, as he was traded to the Cardinals after 1970 for pitcher Nelson Briles and outfielder Vic Davalillo.

Matty bounced around to several teams (Athletics, Yankees, Padres) before being released in July 1974. He then played several seasons in Japan.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Retiring in the late 1960s (part 5)

Here's another installment of veteran players who retired in the late 1960s. Previous posts: 15 years and up 12 to 14 10 to 11 8 to 9 Listed below are those players with 5 to 7 years in the majors who retired between 1966 and 1969. The last column indicates if I've posted their last card on one of my other blogs. (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

RIP - Wes Covington and Dick Williams

Former Milwaukee Braves' and Philadelphia Phillies' outfielder Wes Covington passed away on July 4th from cancer at age 79 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Covington was signed by the Boston Braves in 1952, and played for the Braves from 1956 - 1961, including all 14 World Series games against the Yankees in 1957 and 1958. Wes played for 4 teams during the 1961 season (Braves, White Sox, Athletics, Phillies) finally settling in as the Phillies' regular rightfielder on July 22nd. The following season he moved over to left field, and was the primary starter there through the end of 1965.

Covington's slugging ability was such that Topps featured him on the 1966 "Power Plus" card, even though he had been traded to the Cubs in January 1966. After a month with the Cubs, Wes finished out the season with the Dodgers, including another World Series appearance.

After retiring from baseball, Covington moved to Alberta and ran a sporting goods business. He was also involved with Edmonton's minor-league baseball team in the 1980s.

Dick Williams passed away on July 7th, at age 82.

He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers for parts of 1951-56, but his most significant playing time came during his time with the Orioles and Athletics from 1956-1961. Williams finished his playing career with the Red Sox in 1963-64.

His real success came as a manager, beginning with the 1967 Red Sox. In his first season as a big-league skipper, he took the perennial doormats to the World Series. Because of his managerial style, he tended to wear out his welcome, so after 3 seasons in Boston, it was on the Oakland Athletics, where his teams made 3 World Series appearances, winning twice. He also managed the Angels, Expos, Padres, and Mariners, in a career that ended in 1988.

Williams later worked in the front office for the Yankees, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Friday, June 10, 2011

RIP - Jose Pagan and Jim Northrup

I had planned for my next post on this blog to be a review of the 1969 Seattle Pilots (as I've done with several teams on my 1967 card blog), but yesterday I learned of the passing this week of 2 well-known players from the 1960s. So, at the risk of turning this blog into an obituary column...

The 1960s baseball alumni association lost 2 members this week. Former Giants, Pirates, and Phillies infielder Jose Pagan passed away on June 7th at age 76. The next day, former Tigers' outfielder Jim Northrup passed away at age 71.

I'm not going to re-hash their obituaries or career details here, as there are many other places to find that. Instead, I wanted to make a brief observation from each one's career.

Jose Pagan was the Giants' regular shortstop from 1961-64, then went on to become the Pirates' ace utility infielder from 1965-72. He played his last season (1973) with the Phillies, who acquired Jose to serve as a veteran influence / insurance policy for rookie 3rd baseman Mike Schmidt.

Jim Northrup was an outfielder for 11 seasons with the Tigers before finishing his career in 1975 with the Orioles. He hit a 2-run triple in game 7 of the 1968 World Series, allowing the Tigers to claim the championship.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

RIP - Harmon Killebrew

Harmon Killebrew passed away yesterday, from cancer at age 74. Killebrew was the first great star for the Minnesota Twins. I never saw him play in person, but I remember him as one of the top sluggers of the mid-to-late 1960s. Here are all of my Harmon Killebrew cards:

At a time when Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were fading, Killebrew, along with Willie McCovey, Hank Aaron, and Frank Howard seemed to always be at the top of the home run leaders every year.

Tonight, I decided to see how accurate my recollections were. Below are all the top home run hitters I can remember from the 1960s. This may not be a complete list, but I think I included all the big names. I gathered these numbers from each player's baseball-reference page.

Fittingly, Killebrew came out on top. (I suppose I could have looked that up somewhere, but this exercise was fun.)

By all accounts, Killebrew was as great a person as he was a player. He will be greatly missed, not only by Twins fans, but by all who remember that era fondly.

Rest in peace, Killer!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Old-School Umpires

On the way home from work today, I was listening to the start of the Phillies' game on the radio. After giving the lineups, the broadcaster said the names of the 4 umpires, not one of which I recognized!

Immediately, I began recalling some of the names of umpires from back in the day (National League only, as I grew up following the Phillies). Names like Shag Crawford, Harry Wendelstedt, Chris Pellakoudas, "Big" Lee Weyer, and Frank Pulli. The only AL umpire I can recall was Al Barlick (or maybe it was Al Bartlett). Other NL umps from the next generation were Eric Gregg, Joe West, and Jerry Crawford (Shag's son).

How about you all out there? Who are some of the NL or AL umps you can remember from the 60s and 70s?

(Please limit your answers to names from memory only! Looking guys up on the computer or in books detracts from any trivia exercise, in my view. The names above were retrieved from little-used brain cells, not Google.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vintage Phillies tickets

More from the junk drawer...

Here we have a World Series ticket from 1964 (sorta). This ticket is huge - measuring in at 7 1/2" x 2 1/4". I got this on eBay a few years ago.

Ok, not the 1960s, but here's my ticket to the first-ever game at Veterans Stadium. My brother and I rode a charter bus from the 69th Street SEPTA terminal in Upper Darby to the game. We took our seats (high in the 700-level in right field) and marveled at the size of the place. Soon, a helicopter would drop the first ball to the Phillies' catcher.

The picture on the ticket was the standard "artist's rendering" of the stadium used at that time. The actual stadium didn't have quite the overhang shown in the picture, nor was there the elevated walkways across the local streets. Over time, the yellow raincheck stub became detached. On the other end of the ticket, another similar yellow stub was torn off by the ticket-taker upon entry to the stadium.

Here's another ticket from late in the 1980 season. Only $4.50 to see the Phillies on their march toward their 1st championship ever!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Phillies schedules from the 1960s

I found these recently while cleaning out a junk drawer in my house:

Note to Fidelity Bank: The Phillies wear red, not blue.

This is the home schedule only. My 1st Phillies game was one of the late-May games against the Reds.

Here we see the Phillies' broadcast crew from 1963-70. In 1971, the Phillies switched beer sponsors from Ballantine to Schmidts. The Schmidts' people thought that since Bill Campbell had been a Ballantine spokesperson, he would have to go. He was replaced by Harry Kalas at the start of the 1971 season. A few years later, By Saam was replaced by Andy Musser.

The first season at Veterans Stadium.

The Eagles' 1968 schedule. (I wonder about the Eagles' definition of "championship").