Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Roy Face

How about some good news for a change? Yesterday was Roy Face's 95th birthday!
Face pitched from 1953 to 1969, appearing in 802 games for the Pirates ('53-'68), 2 for the Tigers ('68), and 44 for the Expos ('69). 
Last week, I was at a local antique store, and in one showcase there were a lot of sports items, including 3 baseballs autographed (separately) by Face, Dick Hall, and Dick Groat. Coincidentally, they are each over 90 years old, and all played for the Pirates during their career. (I am not near Pittsburgh.) 
The Face ball was a steal at $25, while the other two were over $50, if I recall correctly. I just may go back and get that Roy Face ball. He is currently the oldest living player who was still playing after 1966. 

RIP - Frank Thomas

Frank Thomas, a slugging outfielder for several teams in the 1950s and 1960s, passed away on January 16, 2023 at age 93.
Thomas made his debut with the Pirates in 1951, and was a regular member of their lineup from 1953 to 1958. Initially the center fielder, he moved to 3rd base upon the acquisition of Bill Virdon. 
After the 1958 season, he made several short stops for the remainder of his career: Reds (1959), Cubs ('60-'61), Braves ('61), Mets ('62-'64), Phillies ('64-'65), Astros ('65), Braves ('65), and Cubs ('66).


Monday, February 13, 2023

RIP - Sal Bando

Sal Bando, the 3rd baseman for the championship Oakland Athletics' teams of the early-1970s, passed away on January 20, 2023 at age 78. Today would have been his 79th birthday.
Bando made his major-league debut with 11 games in September 1966, then played 47 games over 2 different stints with the team in 1967. 
When the team moved to Oakland in 1968, Bando became a fixture at the hot corner for the next 9 seasons, leading the league in games played with 162 in '68, '69, and '73, and 160 in 1975. He was also a 4-time All-Star ('69, '72, '73, '74), and played in the post season every year from 1971-75 (winning the World Series from 1972-74). 
After the 1976 season he signed with the Brewers as a free agent, and was their starting 3rd baseman for 3 seasons before becoming a part-time player in '80 and '81. 
After his playing career he worked for the Brewers as a scout until 1991, and as their GM from 1991-99.  

Friday, February 3, 2023

RIP - Ted Savage

Ted Savage, a journeyman outfielder for several teams in the 1960s, passed away on January 15, 2023 at age 85.
Savage started 82 games as a rookie with the Phillies in 1962, sharing left field with Wes Covington. That was the high point of his career in terms of regular playing time. 
He also played for the Pirates, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Reds, Brewers, and Royals, wrapping up his MLB career in 1971. He then played 2 seasons in Mexico before retiring. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

RIP - Bill Davis

Bill Davis, a former Indians' prospect (at least according to Topps), passed away on January 13, 2023 at age 80. 
Davis probably holds the record for most appearances on a Rookie Stars card. (He never did get his own card.)
He played 33 games for the Indians in '65 & '66, and 31 games for the Padres in 1969. Acquired by San Diego after the expansion draft, Davis was their opening day 1st baseman in 1969, but was soon replaced by Nate Colbert
In May '69 he was traded to the Cardinals, who flipped him to the Twins 2 months later. Davis never played for either team, not did he play in the minors after 1969.