Thursday, December 31, 2020
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Saturday, December 26, 2020
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020
1960s' Dodgers' fireman Ron Perranoski passed away on October 2, 2020 at age 84. (The same day as Bob Gibson.)
Friday, October 23, 2020
Lou Johnson, an outfielder for the Dodgers and others in the 1960s, passed away on October 1, 2020 at age 86.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Owens pitched for the Phillies from 1955-1962, and was one of the infamous "Dalton Gang" members (with Turk Farrell and others).
He was traded to the Reds after the 1962 season for 2nd baseman Cookie Rojas. Working in the Phillies' starting rotation from 1959-1962, he was primarily a reliever after leaving Philadelphia.
Owens wrapped up his career with a stint in the Astros' bullpen from 1964-1967, reunited with his old pal Farrell.
He retired in early-July 1967, and became the Astros' pitching coach through the 1972 season.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
(Ahh, I shouldn't criticize other bloggers. Underperforming baseball players, yes. Topps, yes. Bloggers, no.)
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Ford still holds the record for most wins by a Yankees' pitcher (236). He also holds the major-league record for most World Series wins (10) and strikeouts (94).
Saturday, October 3, 2020
Gibby played for the Cardinals for 17 years - from 1959 to 1975. He won the MVP in 1968 and the Cy Young Award in 1968 and 1970.
Rather than list all his accomplishments again, here is a link to a previous blog post where I listed those. He was also a pretty good hitter for a pitcher, hitting 24 career home runs.
In 1967, en route to the Cardinals' 2nd NL pennant in 4 seasons, Gibson's leg was broken by a line drive off the bat of Roberto Clemente. He stayed in the game for a few more batters until reluctantly coming out! He missed 7 weeks from mid-July to early-September, but the Cards clinched the pennant anyway in the first half of September.
Monday, September 28, 2020
Jay Johnstone, who played outfield for the Angels, Phillies, and other clubs from 1966-1985, passed away on September 26, 2020 at age 74, a victim of COVID-19.
Johnstone began his career with the Angels in 1966. For the first 3 years he was up and down between the Angels and their AAA club, but in 1969 Jay was the Angels' everyday center fielder.
After the 1970 season he was traded to the White Sox, and played 2 seasons before he was released during spring training in 1973. The Athletics picked him up but he spent much of 1973 in the minors.
The Phillies acquired him in April 1974 and finally recalled him to the majors in early-July. During the 2nd half of the season he became the Phils' regular right fielder, a job he would hold until they traded for Bake McBride in June 1977.
During a game against the Pirates in 1975, Johnstone was playing right field. With Bucs' shortstop Frank Taveras taking a large lead off 1st base, Jay ran in and took a snap throw from catcher Johnny Oates to pick Taveras off FIRST BASE! The RIGHT FIELDER!
Johnstone's last 8 seasons were spent with the Yankees, Padres, Dodgers, and Cubs. He saw post-season action with the Phillies (1976-77), Yankees (1978), and Dodgers (1981, 85).
He was also a broadcaster for the Yankees (1989-90) and Phillies (1992-93).
Monday, September 7, 2020
Lou Brock, speedy outfielder for the Cardinals who led the NL in stolen bases 8 times, passed away on September 6, 2020 at age 81.
Brock was a starting outfielder for the Cubs in 1962 (CF) and 1963 (RF), then 50 games into the 1964 season he was traded to the Cardinals.
He played for the Cardinals for the next 15 1/2 years (1964-79), and was a starter every year (although he missed about half of the 1978 season). In that span, he played 2161 games in left field, 51 in right, and 4 in center.
He also played in the World Series in '64, '67, and '68.
He was a 6-time All-Star. He was a starter in his first All-Star appearance (in 1967), ending Willie Mays' long streak of starting All-Star games.
Brock led the league in stolen bases 8 times in the 9-year span from 1966-74, including a career-high 118 bases in 1974. He twice led the league in runs scored.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituary
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Tom Seaver, the 1967 NL Rookie of the Year and 3-time Cy Young winner, passed away on August 31, 2020 at age 75.
Seaver played for the Mets from 1967 to 1977, and led the team to a World Championship in 1969, while winning a career-high 25 games.
He pitched for the Reds from 1977-1982, then spent his last 4 years with the Mets, White Sox, and Red Sox.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 with 98.8 percent of the vote.
In 1967, I had cut various photos (mostly Phillies) out of the daily sports pages for a scrapbook. A few years ago, I discovered this on the back of a Willie Mays photo:
New York Post obituary
Monday, August 31, 2020
John McNamara, who managed 6 teams from 1969-96, passed away on July 28, 2020 at age 88.
McNamara never played major-league ball, but was a minor-league catcher from 1951-67. He was also a minor-league manager from 1959-67.
In the majors, he managed the Athletics (1969-70), Padres (1974-77), Reds (1979-82), Angels (1983-84), Red Sox (1985-88), and Indians (1990-91). His Red Sox won the AL pennant in 1986.
He was also an interim manager for the Angels for a short time in 1996.
USA Today obituary
Friday, August 28, 2020
Frank Bolling, a 2nd baseman for the Tigers and Braves, passed away on July 11, 2020 at age 88.
Bolling broke in with the Tigers in 1954, and was their starting 2nd baseman through the 1960 season.
After the season he was traded to the Braves for center fielder Bill Bruton (who had just led the NL in runs and triples), infielder Chuck Cottier, catcher Dick Brown, and pitching prospect Terry Fox.
Frank held down the 2nd base job for Milwaukee from 1961-65. In the final Braves' game in Milwaukee (Sept 1965) he hit a grand slam off of Sandy Koufax. It was the last slam surrendered by Koufax.
When the team moved to Atlanta in 1966, he shared the position with Woody Woodward, then was released after the season.
Over his 12-year career he played 12,983 innings, all at 2nd base.
Monday, August 24, 2020
Angel "Remy" Hermoso passed away on August 21, 2020 at age 72.
He debuted at age 19 with the Braves in September 1967. Hermoso also played for the Expos in 1969 and very briefly in 1970, before resurfacing in the majors one more time with the Indians in 1974.
He played in the minors every season from 1967-73, and also in Mexico in 1975. In 1979 he made a comeback in the Inter-American League.
In 2015 he was inducted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Horace Clarke, the Yankees' 2nd baseman from 1967-1973, passed away on August 5, 2020 at age 81.
Clarke debuted with the Yankees in May 1965, and took over the 2nd base job with the retirement of Bobby Richardson after the 1966 season.
Clarke held that position through the end of the 1973 season, and along with Roy White and Mel Stottlemyre, bridged the gap between the great Yankee teams of the early-1960s and their mid-1970s' resurgence.
Horace lost the starting job at the start of the 1974 season to Gene Michael, who was eventually replaced by Sandy Alomar.
Clarke was shipped out to the Padres at the end of May 1974, and finished his career at the end of that season.
New York Times obituary
New York Post obituary
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Another former Phillie - This time their 1960s' 2nd baseman Tony Taylor passed away today July 16, 2020 at age 84.
Taylor played for the Phillies from 1960-71, and 74-76. He was their starting 2nd baseman from 1960 into the 1966 season.
In 1967 he primarily played 3rd base and 1st base, filling in for the injured Dick Allen and Bill White. In 1968 he manned 3rd base as Allen moved to left field following his late-1967 hand injury.
By 1970 he was primarily a pinch-hitter, as the Phillies had various youngsters playing 2B and 3B. Upon his return from the Tigers in 1974 he became the team's go-to pinch-hitter.
Following his retirement after 1976, Taylor coached for the Phillies and Marlins.
While a Phillie, Taylor lived in the town next to mine. I can remember any time our family drove through his town, I made sure to look out the window, in case Tony should happen to be strolling down the street. (Never saw him though.)
Philadelphia Inquirer obituary
NBC Sports obituary
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Mike Ryan, longtime backup catcher and bullpen coach for the Phillies, passed away on July 7, 2020 at age 78.
Ryan broke in with the Red Sox in May 1965. After 2 seasons (1966-67) as the Sox' primary catcher, he was traded to the Phillies following the 1967 World Series .
Mike platooned with Clay Dalrymple in 1968, then was the team's #1 backstop in 1969.
When the Phillies acquired Tim McCarver after the 1969 season, Ryan headed back to the bench for the next 4 seasons. His final season in Philly (1973) was Bob Boone's rookie year.
After playing for the Pirates in 1974, Ryan returned to the Phillies as a minor-league coach and manager (1975-79) and as their major-league bullpen coach from 1980-95.
Ryan was another long-time ex-Phillie who returned to coach many years for the Phils (along with John Vukovich, Bobby Wine, Tony Taylor, Ruben Amaro Sr, and Larry Bowa).
Philadelphia Inquirer obituary
Mike Ryan story
Saturday, June 27, 2020
8th in a series...
NL ROY in 1963.
NL MVP in 1973.
Topped the 200 hit mark 10 times.
Led the NL in hits 7 times.
Led the NL in batting 3 times, including a career-high .348 in 1969.
Led the NL in runs scored 4 times.
Led the NL in games played 4 times.
17-time All-Star (in 24 seasons).
Won the Gold Glove in 1969 and 1970 (surprised?)
Won the Silver Slugger in 1981.
Won 3 World Series ('75, '76, '80).
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Mike McCormick, a starting pitcher for the Giants and others from 1956-71, passed away on June 13, 2020 at age 81.
McCormick began his career with the New York Giants in 1956 at age 17, and pitched for them through their 1962 NL Championship season. He was also selected to both All-Star teams in 1960 and 1961 (4 games).
After 2 seasons each with the Orioles and Senators, he returned to the Giants in 1967, winning 22 games, the Cy Young award, and the Comeback Player of the Year award. He was in the Giants' rotation for 3 1/2 years the second time around.
McCormick also played the 2nd half of 1970 with the Yankees, and the first half of 1971 with the Royals.
New York Post obituary
San Francisco Chronicle obituary
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
John Miller, a pitcher for the Orioles in the mid-1960s, passed away on June 5, 2020 at age 79.
Miller pitched for the Birds from mid-1965 through the end of the 1966 season, although he didn't play in the '66 World Series. (With 3 complete game shutouts in their 4-game sweep, the O's only needed 4 pitchers.)
He was the Orioles' 5th starter in 1966, but when the first four are named McNally, Palmer, Bunker, and Barber, there's not much for you to do.
He also played a few games in the '62, '63, and '67 seasons. Miller retired after playing the 1968 season in single-A ball.
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Bobby Locke, a relief pitcher for several teams in the 1960s. passed away on June 4, 2020 at age 86.
Locke pitched in the minors every season from 1953-69, except for 1957-58 (military service) and 1961 (the only year he stuck with the parent club all season).
With the Indians from 1959-61 he was a reliever and starter, but worked only out of the bullpen in later years.
After 1 game with the Cardinals in 1962, he pitched parts of '62, '63, and '64 for the Phillies, and the Reds in 1965.
His final stop was the Angels (1967-68).
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Ken Retzer, a catcher for the Washington Senators from 1961-64, passed away on May 17, 2020 at age 86.
Never a regular starter, in both 1962 and 1963 he started slightly more games than the team's other catcher. In 1963 he played in MLB's 100,000th game.
He also played in the minors from 1954 to 1967, except for the '62 and '63 seasons.
Sun City (AZ) Telegraph obituary
Monday, May 18, 2020
Bob Watson, the 1B-LF for the Astros and others from 1966 to 1984, passed away on May 14, 2020 at age 74.
After brief cups of coffee in September '66 and '67, Watson made the Astros team in May 1968. Although his rookie card (above) shows his position as C-OF, he didn't catch any games in 1968 and only 1 in 1969. (He did catch 74 games during a mid-season trip to the minors in 1969).
Watson played for the Astros until June 1979, when he was traded to the Red Sox for 2 minor-leaguers (wow!)
The following season he began a 2-year stint as the Yankees' 1st baseman. He appeared in the post-season both years, and hit 2 homers and 7 RBI in the '81 World Series.
He finished up his career with 3 seasons (1982-84) in Atlanta, backing up Chris Chambliss (the player he replaced in New York).
Later, he was the general manager for the Astros and Yankees from 1993-1998, and was a MLB executive from 2002-2010.
Friday, April 24, 2020
Bob Oliver, an original member of the Kansas City Royals, passed away on April 19, 2020 at age 77.
Oliver debuted with the Pirates in 1965, then returned to the minors until getting a chance with the expansion Royals in 1969. He was a regular for them from Day 1 in 1969 until his trade to the Angels in May 1972, splitting his time between the outfield, 1st base, and 3rd base.
He continued playing regularly at the same 3 positions for the Angels from 1972-74.
Oliver also played briefly for the Orioles in September 1974 and the Yankees during the first half of 1975.
Kansas City Star obituary
Monday, April 13, 2020
Former Cubs' 2nd baseman Glenn Beckert passed away on April 12, 2020 at age 79.
Beckert was the Cubs' regular 2nd baseman from Opening Day in 1965 until early-August 1973. His double-play partner was Don Kessinger for that entire time.
He won the Gold Glove award in 1968, and was an All-Star every season from 1969-72, and in the starting lineup in '70 and '71.
After the 1973 season he was traded to the Padres, and was a bench player there until he was released in late-April 1975.
Friday, April 10, 2020
Bob Lee, a mid-1960s relief pitcher for 3 teams, passed away on March 25, 2020 at age 82.
Lee pitched for the Angels from 1964 to 1966. In 1965 he collected 23 saves in 69 games. Along with a 1.92 ERA, that earned him a trip to the All-Star game.
He also played the first 2 months of 1967 with the Dodgers, and the rest of '67 and all of 1968 with the Reds.
RIP Baseball obituary
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
A second 1960s' All-Star outfielder has passed away in as many weeks.
Al Kaline, who played for the Tigers from 1953 to 1974 passed away on April 6, 2020 at age 85.
Kaline was a rarity, in that he played his entire career for just one team, and also that he never played in the minor leagues.
He was a 15-time All-Star and a 10-time Gold Glove winner. He finished 3rd in the 1954 AL Rookie of the Year balloting, and the following year led the league with a .340 batting average.
Kaline only appeared in one World Series (1968), but it was a good one. He hit .379 with 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 8 RBI as the Tigers beat the Cardinals in 7 games.
Kaline's Baseball-Reference.com page
Detroit Free Press obituary
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
This isn’t a 1960s’ topic, but it isn’t card-related either so I have nowhere else to post it but here.
Recently I posted a few players who wound up their careers in the Inter-American League in 1979, so I decided to dig a little deeper into this short-lived minor league.
The league began play in 1979 as a triple-A league, with teams in Miami and 5 other locations in the Caribbean. The fact that the teams were unaffiliated with major-league teams, plus the Caribbean weather, multi-national air travel (and visas), and just being poorly-funded in general all contributed to the collapse of the league by June 30th.
These were the 6 teams, with their records and position in the standings when the league folded:
1. Miami Amigos (51-21)
2. Caracas Metropolitanos (37-27)
3. Santo Domingo Azucaeros (38-29)
4. Maricaibo Petroleros de Zulia (31-36)
5. Panama Banqueros (15-36)*
6. Puerto Rico Baricuas (16-39)*
*these two dropped out on June 17th
Miami was managed by Davey Johnson, and included major-league alumni Orlando Pena, Hal Breeden, Wayne Granger, Mickey Scott, Mike Wallace, Porfi Altamirano, Bob Reynolds, and Oscar Zamora.
Caracas was managed by Jim Busby, with players such as Cesar Tovar, Tom House, Butch Metzger, and Remy Hermoso.
Santo Domingo was managed by Mike Kekich, and included Cito Gaston, Tito Fuentes, Johnny Jeter, Dave May, Dick Pole, Dave Wallace, and Fred Andrews.
Maracaibo was managed by Pat Dobson, Gus Gil, and hometown guy Luis Aparicio, and included Angel Bravo and Mike Stanton.
Panama was managed by Chico Salmon, with “name” players like Adolfo Phillips, Ramon Webster, and Lee Richard.
Puerto Rico was managed by Jose Santiago, and featured Bobby Tolan, Bobby Brown, Angel Mangual, and Leo Foster.
Friday, March 27, 2020
Long-time Astros' center fielder Jim Wynn passed away on March 26, 2020 at age 78.
Wynn played for the Astros from July 1963 to October 1973. During his rookie season he played in the outfield, as well as at shortstop and 3rd base, before finding a home in center field.
He was also a power hitter, surprising for someone of his small stature (leading to his nickname "The Toy Cannon"). Sometimes lost in the shadows of Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Hank Aaron is the fact that Wynn (and Ron Santo) hit a ton of home runs from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. Wynn hit a career high 37 homers in 1967. His career total would have been more had his home park been more hitter-friendly.
Wynn played for the Dodgers in 1974 and 1975, making the All-Star team in both seasons. He later played for the Braves, Yankees, and Brewers.
ESPN Radio obituary
NBC Sports obituary
Friday, March 13, 2020
Don Pavletich, the Reds' backup catcher from 1963-1967, passed away on March 5, 2020 at age 81.
Pavletich backed up Johnny Edwards from 1963 to 1967, playing a good number of games (surprising, because Edwards was an All-Star from 1963-65 and a Gold Glover in '63 and '64). Don's most playing time came in 1966 (83 games, 235 at-bats).
In 1968, Edwards was traded away, Johnny Bench took over most of the catching, and Pavletich was primarily the backup 1st baseman.
He finished his career with the White Sox (1969) and Red Sox (1970-71).
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Ed Sprague, a pitcher for several teams from 1968-76, passed away on January 10, 2020 at age 74.
Sprague pitched for Oakland from 1968-69, then spent all of '70 and most of '71 in the minors, before resurfacing with the Reds in September 1971. Midway through the 1973 season he joined the Cardinals, but moved on to the Brewers 2 months later.
Sprague was a reliever for his entire career, until joining the Brewers. He was a starter for 2 full seasons ('74, '75) then was released during the 1976 season.
His son (Ed Jr.) was a 3rd baseman for the Blue Jays and others from 1991-2001.
San Francisco Chronicle obituary
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Don Larsen, the only pitcher to pitch a post-season perfect game, passed away on January 1, 2020 at age 90.
An otherwise average pitcher, Larsen is remembered for his feat in game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
He played for 14 seasons (1953-67), mostly for the Yankees (1955-59) and Giants (1962-64). Larsen played in the World Series from 1955-58 and in 1962, and was the Series MVP in 1956.
New York Times obituary
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Here are the players I featured in 2019:
1960s' players who left us in 2019:
And from outside the baseball world:
Bob Einstein Daryl Dragon Carol Channing Kaye Ballard Albert Finney Jan Michael Vincent Lee Radziwill Peter Tork Katherine Helmond Luke Perry Hal Blaine Dan Blankenship Dick Dale Georgia Engel Ken Kercheval John Havlicek Gino Marchetti Peter Mayhew Jim Fowler Peggy Lipton Doris Day Tim Conway Bart Starr Dr. John Gloria Vanderbilt Beth Chapman Lee Iacocca Arte Johnson Rip Torn Ross Perot David Hedison Nick Buoniconti Peter Fonda Valerie Harper Carol Lynley Eddie Money Ric Ocasek Phyllis Newman Sander Vanocur Cokie Roberts Diahann Carroll Ginger Baker Rip Taylor Carroll Spinney Rene Auberjonois Danny Aiello Claudine Auger Sue Lyon Don Imus
Also: football deaths in 2019