Saturday, December 31, 2016

RIP - 2016 Re-cap

Summarizing the players from the 1960s who left us in 2016:

And a very long list of celebrities in general:
Pat Harrington
David Bowie
Noreen Corcoran
Glenn Frey
Abe Vigoda
Paul Kantner
George Kennedy
Nancy Reagan
George Martin
Frank Sinatra Jr
Keith Emerson
Ken Howard
Joe Garagiola
Garry Shandling
Patty Duke
Doris Roberts
Billy Paul
William Schallert
Alan Young
Morley Safer
Muhammad Ali
Gordie Howe
Garry Marshall
Gene Wilder
Hugh O'Brian
Arnold Palmer
Janet Reno
Robert Vaughn
Leon Russell
Florence Henderson
Ron Glass
Fidel Castro
Greg Lake
John Glenn
Alan Thicke
Zsa Zsa Gabor
George Michael
Carrie Fisher
Debbie Reynolds

Hello 2017! 

RIP - Chris Cannizzaro

Catcher Chris Cannizzaro, a member of both the 1962 expansion Mets and the 1969 expansion Padres, passed away on December 30, 2016 at age 78.

Cannizzaro played from 1960 to 1974. After a few games with the Cardinals in '60 and '61, he played for the Mets from 1962-65.

After 2 seasons back in the minors, he played briefly with the Pirates in 1968, then was the Padres' #1 catcher in 1969 and 1970. He made the All-Star team in 1969, the first Padre to be an All-Star.

He was later a backup for the Cubs and Dodgers.

San Diego Union-Tribune obituary

New York daily News obituary

Monday, December 26, 2016

Stars of the 1960s: Mickey Mantle

Continuing with my "Stars of the 1960s" series, today's batter is Mickey Mantle.

Unlike with Willie Mays, Topps saw fit to use a new photo each year for Mantle's cards.  You'll notice that the '66 card is a recent reprint.  The 1967 card was my first Mantle card, and I can still recall the feeling I had that day "Look!  A Mickey Mantle card!"  I was never a Yankees fan, but always a Mantle fan. (Who wasn't?)

In the summer of 2009, my son and I were driving from Pennsylvania to Arizona. While in Missouri and Oklahoma, we would occasionally get off the interstate and check out some sights on old Route 66. As we entered the extreme northeast corner of Oklahoma, we decided to get off the interstate and drive the half-mile up into Kansas (just to say we were in Kansas).

When we picked up Route 66 and drove back into Oklahoma, the first town we entered was Commerce. Driving down the main street, they have banners hanging from the street lights proclaiming it as the hometown of Mickey Mantle. What an unexpected treat, and completely by accident!

Friday, December 23, 2016

RIP - Phil Gagliano

Phil Gagliano, a utility infielder for the Cardinals in the 1960s, passed away on December 19, 2016 at age 74.

Gagliano was the Cardinals' backup 2nd and 3rd baseman from 1964 to 1970. His best season was 1965, when he hit 8 home runs in 411 plate appearances. He appeared in the '67 and '68 World Series for St. Louis.

He also played for the Cubs, Red Sox, and Reds from 1970-74.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituary

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Utility Schmoes Abound!

I think I've figured out why the Cubs were so bad in the mid-1960s (well, besides that they didn't employ a manager). Their roster was clogged with utility players!

All 3 of these players had cards in the 1965 set as Cubs. Leo Burke and Jim Stewart were both on the team from 1963-65, and Harry Bright came on board in 1965.

Look at Bright - I wonder if he felt superior to the other two. ("I'll SEE your INF-OF, and raise you a Catcher!")