Friday, April 24, 2020

RIP - Bob Oliver

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 obituary

Monday, April 13, 2020

RIP - Glenn Beckert

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

RIP - Bob Lee

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

RIP - Al Kaline

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 page

Detroit Free Press obituary

ESPN obituary

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Inter-American League

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.