Thursday, November 19, 2009

Final Card: Lenny Green

Here's a card I've been meaning to post since my note about players without 1967 cards, but I got sidetracked - first by the World Series, and then by some cards of long-time veterans. Now, heeerrreeee's Lenny!

Lenny Green (#502) began his pro career in the Orioles organization. His major-league debut with Baltimore came on August 25, 1957. Throughout his career, he was strictly an outfielder, primarily playing in centerfield, with some time in leftfield and a few rare appearances in rightfield.

In early 1959, he was traded to the Senators (who became the Twins) for outfielder Albie Pearson. Lenny was the Twins regular centerfielder in 1961 and 1962, playing alongside rightfielder Bob Allison and leftfielders Harmon Killebrew ('61) and Jim Lemon ('62). In 1963, he began to play less and less as he lost his starting job to rookie Jimmie Hall.

In mid-1964, the Twins traded Green to the Angels in a deal that also involved the Indians, and players Vic Power, Jerry Kindall, Billy Moran, and Frank Kostro. In early September, he was re-acquired by the Orioles, and finished the 1964 season with them.

In March 1965, the Red Sox bought Lenny's contract and put him in a centerfield job-share with Jim Gosger. In 1966, with Boston's acquisition of Don Demeter, centerfield playing time was hard to come by, so Green was used primarily as a pinch-hitter, although he got some playing time at his old position. With Reggie Smith slated to join the Red Sox in 1967, Boston cleaned house of some excess outfielders, giving Green his release in October 1966.

The Tigers signed him before the 1967 season, and used him mainly as Willie Horton's backup in leftfield, and as a pinch-hitter. In both 1967 and 1968, Green also had significant playing time with the Tigers' triple-A team in Toledo. In 1968, he only appeared in 6 games for Detroit before being released in early July, ending his 12-year career just 3 months before the Tigers' World Series appearance.

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