Sunday, November 7, 2010

Joel Horlen (#560)

Joel Horlen was one of the White Sox' "Big Three" starting pitchers in the mid-1960s. (No, the Orioles didn't invent that concept.)

Horlen was signed by the White Sox in 1959, and pitched in the minors for 3 seasons before making his major-league debut in September 1961.

Beginning with his rookie season of 1962, Joel was a fixture in the White Sox' starting rotation for the next 10 seasons, and reached double figures in wins for every season from 1963 to 1969, including 19 wins in 1967. He also led the American League with a 2.06 ERA in 1967.

After 2 sub-par seasons in 1970 (6-16) and 1971 (8-9), he was released at the end of spring training in 1972. Two weeks later, he was picked up by the Athletics, and played his last season in the majors with Oakland in 1972.

1973 was Horlen's last season in professional baseball, where at age 35, he compiled a 6-1 record in 9 games for the Indians' double-A team in San Antonio, TX.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Brooks Robinson (#390)

Recently, I received a surprise package of 1966 and 1970 cards from the folks at Thanks, Dean! Over the past few years, I have purchased many vintage cards from them (usually 'Ex', sometimes 'VG'), and have always been satisfied with the quality of their cards. This is the first of several 1966 cards from that recent package.

Back in the late 1960s, I was somewhat of an Orioles fan (one needs to have an AL team!) Even though I'm not a Brooks Robinson fan, I always like getting his cards (and now have his '66, '68, '69, '70, and '72 cards). I think it's because I was never able to get his 1967 card. Oh well, the '69 card photo is similar to the '67.

Brooks Robinson was signed by the Orioles in 1955, and made his major-league debut in September call-up that season. Robby spent all of 1956, and part of 1957 in the minors, but became the O's full-time 3rd baseman in 1958. He committed 21 errors in 1958, the most of any year in his career.

After spending part of 1959 in the minors, he re-established himself in Baltimore in 1960. He won a gold glove at 3rd base every year from 1960 to 1975, and was an all-star selection every year from 1960 to 1974! He also led the league in games played in '61, '62, '63, '64, and '68, and was the American League MVP in 1964.

The Orioles' exploits in 1966 and the early 1970s are well-documented, and Brooks was a big part of those teams. Robinson played 23 seasons in the majors, all with the Orioles.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Final Card: Howie Koplitz

My 1966 blog resumes with the final card of Senators' pitcher Howie Koplitz (#46). Howie was signed by the Tigers in 1956, and pitched for 6 years (mostly as a starter) before making his major-league debut in September 1961, after compiling a 23-3 record that season at double-A Birmingham.

In 1962, Koplitz appeared in 10 games for the Tigers, compiling a 3-0 record in 6 starts. This wasn't enough to earn a permanent spot on the team, as he spent the entire 1963 season back in the minors.

After the 1963 season, Howie was selected by the Senators in the Rule 5 draft. However, he spent most of the 1964 season in the minors, so I assume the Tigers declined to take him back, allowing the Senators to demote him.

In 1965, Koplitz pitched 9 games for triple-A Hawaii, but returned to the majors with the Senators for 33 games, his longest stretch of big-league service.

Howie's last pro season was 1966. He pitched 1 game for Washington and 3 games for their double-A York club before a shoulder injury ended his career.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Roland Sheldon (#18)

Like Gil Blanco in my recent 1967 post, Roland Sheldon was a former Yankees pitching prospect who rode the Kansas City/New York express (but in the wrong direction).

Sheldon was signed by the Yankees in 1960, and after going 15-1 with their class-D Auburn club that year, he jumped all the way up to the majors to start the 1961 season. Rollie was the Yankees' #4 starter (behind Whitey Ford, Bill Stafford, and Ralph Terry) in his rookie season, starting 21 games and relieving in 14 others.

In 1962, the above-mentioned top 3 starters each made 30-plus starts, while Sheldon and rookie Jim Bouton each started 16 games, and relieved in just as many.

Rollie's ride with the Yankees ended for awhile, as he spent the entire 1963 season and part of 1964 with the Yankees' triple-A Richmond team. He returned to New York and started 12 of his 19 appearances. He also pitched in games 1 and 7 of the World Series.

On May 3, 1965 Sheldon was traded (along with backup catcher Johnny Blanchard) to the Athletics for backup catcher Doc Edwards. How far he had fallen in just 3 years, from being the Yankees' #4 starter to becoming one-half of the players required to obtain the Athletics' backup catcher! But it seems like a good deal for Sheldon, because it kept him in the majors for 2 more seasons.

With Kansas City in 1965, Sheldon and Fred Talbot were the A's top 2 pitchers, each winning 10 games for a bad team.

In 1966, he started 14 games before being traded to the Red Sox in mid-June (with pitcher John Wyatt and OF Jose Tartabull) for pitcher Ken Sanders and outfielder Jim Gosger. Rollie's final major-league game was on September 25, 1966.

After the 1966 season, he was traded to the Reds, and spent the 1967 and 1968 seasons with their triple-A team. In 1969 he played for the triple-A teams of the Tigers, White Sox, and Seattle Pilots, and in 1970 played for the triple-A teams of the Cubs and Padres, before retiring.

Somehow, in spite of being a fulltime minor-leaguer in 1967 and 1968, Topps issued a card for him in 1969:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Final Card: Chuck Schilling

Chuck Schilling (#6) had a short career with the Red Sox in the early 1960s.

Chuck was signed by the Red Sox in 1958, and made his major-league debut in April 1961. His career started off well, as he was Boston's starting 2nd baseman for 157 games, and finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting. He also led the American League with 738 plate appearances.

Schilling was the regular 2nd baseman (133 starts) in 1962, but missed over 40 games due to a wrist injury that would hamper him for the rest of his career. He bounced back in 1963 (137 starts at 2nd base) but then started a downward slide.

In 1964, Schilling dropped to #3 in the pecking order at 2nd base, behind rookie infielder Dalton Jones, and journeyman Felix Mantilla. In 1965, Mantilla took over almost completely, making 120 starts at 2nd base to Schilling's 35 starts.

This was the end of the line for Chuck. In April 1966, he was traded to the Twins, but his 1966 season went like this (from Wikipedia):

Coming out of spring training, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins with catcher Russ Nixon for left-handed pitcher Dick Stigman. Schilling began the season on the Twins' 28-man roster, but he never appeared in any games and retired before the rosters were cut to 25 men on May 15.

After baseball, Schilling became a high school math teacher, and also played competitive softball until the age of 69.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Final Card: Merritt Ranew

Merritt Ranew (#62) first came to my attention as one of the characters in Jim Bouton's book Ball Four. A backup catcher, Ranew began and ended his short career with expansion teams (Houston Colt .45s, Seattle Pilots).

Merritt was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1957. He played 5 seasons in the Braves' farm system, finally reaching triple-A in 1961. After the 1961 season, he was drafted by the expansion Houston Colt .45s as their 17th pick. The #2 catcher behind ex-Pirate Hal Smith, Merritt started 51 games in his rookie season.

Before the 1963 season, he was traded to the Cubs. Although he was the Cubs 3rd-string catcher, this was the only season where he managed to stay out of the minor leagues.

The next few seasons were spent hopping from one team to another, while playing mostly in the minor leagues: to the Braves in June 1964; to the Giants prior to the 1965 season; sold to the Angels in May 1965; sent to the Yankees prior to 1968; sent to the Pilots prior to 1969. He did not play in the major leagues from 1966 to 1968.

Ranew's final major-league season was in 1969, with the expansion Seattle Pilots. He appeared in 54 games, mostly as a pinch-hitter.

After the 1969 season, he was traded to the Senators for infielder Frank Coggins. Ranew continued in the minors for 2 more seasons before retiring.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Multi-player Cards

It's hard to figure out Topps' logic when it came to multi-player cards in the late 1960s.

In 1966, there were 5 such cards, all within the first 300 cards:
White Sox
In the later series, multi-player cards just disappeared.

In 1967, that number grew to 13 cards, but only for 11 teams:
Indians (2)
Orioles (2)
White Sox

In 1968, Topps cut way back to just 3 cards (all in the 6th series):
Stars from multiple teams (2)

In 1969, there were 4 such cards, again all in the 6th series (it's as though Topps waited until they were sure they wouldn't need a 5th Royals Rookies card!)
(I first discovered these baseball card blogs last September, when I stumbled upon PackAddict's 1969 Athletics' card shown in the above link.)

I previously posted the Giants' multi-player card. Here are the rest:

#152 Power Plus - How can they make a card about the Phillies' power hitters and not include Richie Allen?

#99 Buc Belters - Stargell and Clendenon would also appear together on the 1967 Pirates' multi-player card. Hey Topps, where's Roberto Clemente? In 1965, he had 10 homers to Clendenon's 14. (They both had fewer than Jim Pagliaroni's 17.)

#199 Chisox Clubbers - In the land of the Go-Go Sox, "clubbers" is a relative term. Skowron and Romano each had 18 dingers in 1965, Robinson had 14.

#273 Astro Aces - At least the title of this card isn't implying home run power for its featured players!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Final Card: Frank Kreutzer

Frank Kreutzer (#211) pitched for the White Sox and Senators in the early-to-mid 1960s.

He was signed by the Red Sox in 1961. After only one season in their farm system, he was drafted by the White Sox, spending the next 2 seasons in Chicago's farm system, while pitching 1 major-league game each season.

1964 was Frank's first full season in the major leagues. In July, he went to the Senators as part of the Joe Cunningham-for-Bill Skowron trade.

After another full season (1965) with the Senators, Frank resumed his minor-league career. Although he would appear in 9 games for the Senators in 1966, he spent most of that season, and all of '67 and '68 with Washington's triple-A team.

1969 was his final season. After appearing in 4 games with the Senators, he was traded to the Pirates in May, and spent the remainder of the season with Pittsburgh's triple-A team in Columbus.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Final Card: Julio Navarro

Here's a guy I never heard of until I got his 1966 card within the past year. Julio Navarro (#527) began his career in 1955, spending 8 seasons in the Giants' farm system before the Angels purchased him in September 1962. He pitched 9 games in relief for the Angels that season.

In 1963, Julio was a key member of the Angels bullpen, making 57 appearances and leading the team with 12 saves. This was also his only full season in the majors.

In April 1964, he was traded to the Tigers for outfielder "Wonderful" Willie Smith. During his seasons with the Tigers (1964-66), he spent a good deal of time pitching in the minors.

In June 1966, the Tigers traded him to the Red Sox (with outfielder Don Demeter) for starting pitcher Earl Wilson (one of the best pitchers in the AL at the time) and outfielder Joe Christopher. His time in Boston was short, as he was traded to the Braves after the 1966 season.

Julio remained in the minors until briefly resurfacing with the Braves in 1970.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

White Sox Rookies: Tommie Agee / Marv Staehle

This card (#164) is the first of 2 White Sox Rookies cards in the 1966 set.

This is not Tommie Agee's first card, as he previously appeared on an Indians Rookies card in 1965. I don't know who holds the record for most appearances on a "rookie" card, but it isn't Agee. Lou Piniella was on 3 rookie cards (Senators - 1964, Indians - 1968, Pilots - 1969).

Agee was signed by the Indians in 1961, and played in their farm system for 4 seasons before going to the White Sox in a 3-team, 8-player trade in January 1965. He is probably best known for his exploits with the Mets, particularly in their 1969 world championship season. (Topps has spelled his first name incorrectly (twice) on the back of this card.)

Marv Staehle had a less-spectacular career than Agee. He was signed by the White Sox in 1960, and after 7 seasons playing SS and 2B in their farm system, he bounced around to various organizations (Mets, Indians, Pilots) before the Montreal Expos purchased him from the Seattle Pilots late in the 1969 season.

Most of Marv's major-league playing time came during 1970, when the Expos platooned him at 2nd base with Gary Sutherland.

His final major-league season was 1971, with the Braves.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Final Card: Carl Warwick

Here is the final card for outfielder Carl Warwick (#247). Warwick was signed by the Dodgers and played in their minor-league system for 3 seasons (1958-60) before making his major-league debut with the Dodgers on April 11, 1961. A month later, he was traded to the Cardinals, and started 33 games in center field as Curt Flood's backup.

On May 7, 1962, Carl was traded to the Houston Colt .45s for veteran pitcher Bobby Shantz. He immediately became the regular center fielder for the expansion team, starting 104 games in center, including 71 of the next 79 games. In 1963, Warwick moved over to right field, starting 103 games there, while a young Rusty Staub started most of the other games there.

1962 and 1963 were the high points of Warwick's career. Just before the 1964 season, he was traded back to the Cardinals, and faded into a 5th outfielder role. In the '64 World Series, Carl was 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored.

Warwick was sold to the Orioles in late July 1965, but only appeared in 9 games for the rest of the season. Just prior to the 1966 season, he was traded to the Cubs for catcher Vic Roznovsky. Carl appeared in only 16 games for the Cubs that season (the last on June 12th), and spent most of the season in the Cubs' minor-league system.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Who didn't get a card, but shoulda... (re-mix)

I originally posted this on 11/15/2009, but recently I found several more players who were missing 1966 cards, so I'm bumping this to the top.

Here are some players who didn't have a card in 1966, though playing in the majors for some time:

Joe Adcock
Joe was a long-time first baseman for several American League teams in the 1950s and 1960s. His last player card was in 1963, although he continued to play regularly for 3 more full seasons with the Angels. After retiring following the 1966 season, he was immediately hired as the Indians manager, and has a 1967 manager card.

Dick Hall
Hall was a relief pitcher for the Pirates (1955-59), Athletics (1960), Orioles (1961-66, 69-71), and Phillies (1967-68). He had Topps cards in 1955-57, 1960-63, and 1967-71. The missing cards in 1958 and 1959 are to be expected, since he spent most of 1957 and 1959 in the minors, and was either out of baseball or injured during the 1958 season. However, there doesn't appear to be a baseball reason for the missing cards from 1964 to 1966, since he was a full-time major-league player with plenty of appearances from 1960 to 1971.

Maury Wills
Wills didn't have a Topps card until 1967. I read a note from Ted Taylor saying that Wills was under contract to Fleer (he had a Fleer card in 1963) and Fleer would not release him to Topps.

Chris Short
Like Wills, Short's 1st card was in 1967. He had been pitching regularly for the Phillies since 1960.

Tony Horton
Tony was a backup 1B-OF for the Red Sox between 1965 and early 1967. Although he only played 6 major-league games in 1966, in 1965 he appeared in 44 games for the Red Sox, playing 344 innings at 1st base. This should have warranted a card for 1966.

Doug Clemens (added 2/28/10)
Clemens was in the major leagues for parts of every season from 1960 to 1968, and continuously since opening day in 1964. He had 218 at-bats in 1964 and 340 at-bats in 1965, yet his only baseball card was in 1967.

Added 4/20/2010:

None of the players listed below spent any time in the minors in 1965 (normally the reason a veteran is denied a baseball card).

Lou Clinton
Lou played 102 games in 1965 for the Angels, Athletics, and Indians. In 1966, he played 80 games for the Yankees. His last card was in 1967.

Don Blasingame
Don was the Senators' regular 2nd baseman in 1965, and played 80 games in 1966 for the Senators and Athletics. His last card was in 1965.

Frank Bolling
Frank was the Braves' regular 2nd baseman in 1965, and played 75 games in 1966 for the Braves, splitting the 2B duties with Woody Woodward. His last card was in 1965.

Bob Lillis
Bob was the Astros' regular shortstop in 1965, starting 2/3 of the games there. He played 68 games in 1966 for the the Astros. His last card was in 1964.

Eddie Kasko
Eddie got 215 at-bats for the Astros in 1965, starting 1/3 of the games at shortstop. He played 58 games in 1966 for the Red Sox. His last card was in 1963.

Joey Amalfitano
Joey played 67 games (96 at-bats) for the Cubs in 1965 as a utility infielder. He played 41 games in the same role in 1966. His last card was in 1965.

Wes Stock
Wes pitched in 62 games for the Athletics in 1965, and another 35 in 1966. His last card was in 1967.

Jay Ritchie
Jay pitched in 44 games for the Red Sox in 1965, and 22 for the Braves in 1966. His last card was in 1965.

Final Card: George Banks

George Banks (#488) was a utility player who played briefly for the Twins and Indians from 1962-1966. Although he played 3B-OF in the majors, in his 11-year minor league career he was almost exclusively a 3rd baseman.

George began baseball life as a Yankees' farmhand in 1957. After the 1961 season, the Minnesota Twins selected him in the Rule 5 draft, and he spent the entire 1962 season with the Twins. He started 20 games, and appeared in another 40 games strictly as a pinch-hitter.

(The card front shows OF-3B, while the back shows 3B-OF)

In 1963 (free from the Rule 5 restrictions), the Twins sent him back to the minors, which is where he stayed for most of his career. He appeared only briefly with the Twins in 1963 and 1964, before he was traded to the Indians on June 15, 1965 (with pitcher Lee Stange) for pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant.

The Indians used him as the Twins did - mostly playing 3rd base in triple-A, this time in Portland Oregon. His last season in the majors was 1966, when he appeared in 4 games for the Indians (the last on May 7th). George spent most of 1967 playing for the Angels' triple-A team in Seattle.

He wrapped up his pro career in 1968, playing for the Phillies' class-A team in Spartanburg, SC.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Final Card: Billy Herman

Billy Herman (#37) was a 2nd baseman for the Cubs in the 1930s, and the Dodgers in the early 1940s, before finishing up his playing career in 1946 and 1947 with the Braves and Pirates.

He was a player-manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates for one season (1947). After many years as a coach for the Dodgers, Braves, and Red Sox, Billy got his 2nd and final shot as a major-league manager with the Red Sox.

After taking over the team with 2 games remaining in 1964, Billy was at the controls for all of 1965 and most of 1966, until he was fired with 16 games remaining. The Red Sox finished in 9th place in both of Herman's seasons.

It turned out to be a good move, as Boston went on to play in the World Series the following season with Dick Williams as a rookie manager!

Herman coached briefly with the Angels and Padres in the 1960s and 1970s.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Final Card: Bill Faul

Here's the final card for pitcher Bill Faul (#322), who looks like like a guy named Mike that I used to work with.

Faul started his career with the Tigers in 1962. He spent most of the season in class-A ball, and pitched 1 game with the Tigers in late September that season. His baseball card shows a whopping 27.00 ERA for that one game, but says it was 32.40. In any case, he surprisingly remained with the Tigers for all of 1963. In 1964, he spent most of the season in the minors, and was sold to the Cubs during spring training in 1965.

He pitched 17 games for the Cubs in each of 1965 and 1966, but spent a good portion of both seasons in triple-A, as well as the entire 1967 season.

In 1968, Faul was sold to the Indians, who sold him to the Reds, who returned him to the Indians (whew!), all the while remaining in the minors.

Bill continued playing in the minors from 1969-73 for the Royals, Giants, and Cubs, with only a brief 7-game stint in the majors for the Giants in early 1970.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Final Card: Bobby Richardson

Bobby Richardson (#490) was the regular 2nd baseman for the Yankees during the end of their golden era (1959-1966).

After losing back-to-back World Series in 1963 and 1964, the grand old Yankees began dropping parts like a junker losing its transmission: Tony Kubek after 1965, Richardson, Clete Boyer, and Roger Maris after 1966, Whitey Ford retiring in May 1967, Elston Howard later in 1967, and finally, Mickey Mantle after 1968.

Richardson was signed by the Yankees in 1953 and played 4 seasons in their farm system, while also making brief appearances in New York in 1955 and 1956.

Bobby made the Yankees to stay in 1957. After a few starts in April and May, he took over the starting 2nd base job from Billy Martin on June 4th. (2 weeks later, Martin was traded to Kansas City.)

In 1958, Richardson was relegated to a backup 2B-3B role, but bounced back the following season as the #1 second baseman, a job he would hold until retiring after the 1966 season. From 1961 to 1965 he was a workhorse, starting 160, 161, 150, 156, and 157 games at 2nd base.

In his final 1966 season, Bobby played more games (149) than any other player also in their final season that year. (Willie Kirkland (124) and Harvey Kuenn (89) were the closest to him.) Richardson played his last game on October 2, 1966.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Final Card: Robin Roberts

Here is the final baseball card for 19-year veteran pitcher Robin Roberts (#530). I just received this card a few days ago, filling a prominent gap near the top of my list of retiring veterans.

Roberts was signed by the Phillies in 1948, and after only 11 games in the minors, he was brought up to the Phillies on June 18th. He ended up being the #4 starter in his rookie season, and by 1950 he was the team's ace, a position he held through the 1960 season.

Roberts led the Phillies to the 1950 World Series, and won 20 or more games every year from 1950 to 1955. This was quite a feat, since most of those Phillies teams had so-so records.

In Robin's final season with the Phillies (1961), he dropped off to a 1-10 record, and was sold to the Yankees after the season. By the following May, the Yankees released him, but he was picked up by the Orioles.

Roberts was in Baltimore's starting rotation during the years when Wally Bunker and Dave McNally were getting their start.

He was released in July 1965, and picked up by the Astros a week later. Robin started 10 games in 1965 and 12 games in 1966 before getting his release on July 4th, 1966. He played the remainder of that season with the Cubs, and in 1967 with the Phillies' double-A team in Reading, PA before retiring.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mailbox Bonanza!

In the past few days, the following guys have shown up in my mailbox (along with some late-80s/early-90s Phillies in tow):

I have now completed these sets:
1967 NFL Football
1969 Baseball
1969 Deckle-edge insert set
All Phillies from 1964 to 1993 (except Schmidt rookie)
2 key additions to my "1966-was-their-final-card" series on this blog (Roberts, Richardson).

I added the Bart Starr card to my 1967 Packers post a few days ago, and Roberts & Richardson will be the next 2 posts on this blog.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Final Card: Dick Stigman

Dick Stigman (#512) spent 6 season in the Cleveland Indians' farm system before making his major-league debut On April 22, 1960. He made 41 appearances for the Indians that season, mostly in relief.

The following season, his playing time tapered off to 22 games. He was the 9th man on a 10-man staff. Just before the 1962 season, Stigman and Vic Power were traded to the Twins for pitcher Pedro Ramos.

Dick had more success in Minnesota. In 1962, he started 15 games and relieved in 25 others. His 142 innings pitched were 4th-most on the team. With a record of 12-5, his .706 winning percentage was tops in the American League.

In 1963, Stigman's wins (15) and innings pitched (241) were more than all other starters except Camilo Pascual (who went 21-9). 1964 was an off-year for Dick (6-15), as he was passed by Jim Kaat and Jim Grant in the Twins' rotation.

In 1965, Stigman found himself occupying the Twins' bullpen. One week before the start of the 1966 season, he was traded to the Red Sox for catcher Russ Nixon and 2nd baseman Chuck Schilling.

Stigman appeared in 34 games for the Red Sox, mostly in relief. His final major-league game was on September 10, 1966. After the season, he was sent to the Cincinnati Reds to complete an earlier trade. He spent the 1967 season with the Reds' and Phillies' triple-A teams.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Final Card: Tracy Stallard

Here we have the final baseball card for Tracy Stallard (#7), looking very determined, 5 seasons and 2 teams removed from his date with baseball history!

Stallard was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1956, and spent 5 seasons in their farm system, before making his major-league debut on September 14, 1960. He pitched 4 games in relief (a total of 4 innings) for the Sox that year.

In 1961, Tracy was Boston's #5 starter (14 starts), but also pitched 29 games in relief. Stallard's career spanned 7 seasons and 183 games, with a record of 30-57, but he is infamously known for his 1-0 loss on the last day of the 1961 season.

Did that event negatively affect him? He spent the entire 1962 season with Boston's triple-A team in Seattle, except for pitching 1 inning for the Red Sox. After the season, he was traded to the Mets (along with infielder Pumpsie Green) for 2B-SS-3B-OF Felix Mantilla. (I hesitate to label him INF-OF, because that usually means "scrub".)

Stallard spent 2 seasons with the Mets, but because this was the Mets, his winning percentage never rose above .333. After the 1964 season, he was traded to the Cardinals, where he rebounded in 1965 with an 11-8 record, while starting 26 games and relieving in 14 others.

In 1966 he appeared in 20 games, but with a 1-5 record, he was sent to the minors after his last appearance on July 24th. He spent the remainder of 1966 and all of 1967 playing in the minors for the Cardinals and Cubs.  

July 2013 EDIT: After being out of baseball in 1968, Stallard was a non-roster invitee for the expansion Royals in 1969, and spent that season in their farm system. He also played in Mexico from 1971-73.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Final Card: Don Heffner

Don Heffner's (#269) major-league managing career consisted of managing the Reds for the first 83 games of the 1966 season. Prior to this, the picture on his card indicates that he was the coach of the "Blue Team". (Was this a semi-pro team in Flushing, NY?)

At the time of his firing, the Reds were in 8th place with a 37-46 record (15 games back). There didn't seem to be any lineup adjustments made by the new manager (Dave Bristol), and the team finished the season in 7th place (76-84, 18 games back).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Final Card: Dom Zanni

Continuing the all-Cincinnati Reds theme tonight, here we have the final card for Dom Zanni (#233). Zanni had a 7-year career with the Giants, White Sox, and Reds.

He was signed by the New York Giants in 1951, and spent 11 seasons in their minor-league system, with brief call-ups in '58, 59, and '61. After the 1961 season, Dom was traded to the White Sox (along with pitcher Eddie Fisher and 2 others) for pitchers Don Larsen and Billy Pierce.

The next 2 seasons were good ones for Dom. They were the only seasons he stayed out of the minor leagues. With the White Sox in 1962, he appeared in 44 games, all but 2 in relief.

After 5 relief appearances in 1963, Zanni was traded to the Reds on May 5th. He pitched in 31 games for Cincinnati that season.

What happened after that? Maybe an old-school Reds' fan could recall the reasons, but Zanni pitched the 1964-67 seasons with the Reds' triple-A teams, making only a few appearances with the big club in 1965 and 1966.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Final Card: Joe Gaines

Joe Gaines (#122) was a journeyman outfielder for 3 teams in the early-to-mid 1960s. He was signed by the Reds in 1956, and spent 6 seasons with their minor-league teams (although making a few major-league appearances in 1960 and 1961).

In 1962, Joe made the big leagues to stay. Joe had to be content with a pinch-hitting role, because the Reds had Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, and Wally Post starting, along with Jerry Lynch and Marty Keough as the 4th and 5th outfielders.

After the 1962 season, Joe was traded to the Orioles, where he received a little more playing time in 1963 than the previous season, primarily spelling Boog Powell in left field. After infrequent use in early 1964, Gaines was traded to the Colt .45s on June 15th for outfielder Johnny Weekly.

Gaines hit the jackpot in Houston, as he was the starting right fielder for 81 of the 85 games from June 19th to September 15th. During most of this streak (July 4 to September 15) Rusty Staub was absent from the starting lineup, and was playing in triple-A (rehab assignment?). Once Staub returned to Houston, it was to right field (and for several seasons), spelling the end of Joe Gaines' gravy train.

In 1965, Gaines was the team's 4th outfielder, logging most of his playing time as a backup to Lee Maye in left and Rusty Staub in right. In Joe's final season (1966) his playing time decreased significantly, as he spent a good portion of the season (139 games) with the Astros' triple-A team in Oklahoma City. His final major-league game was on October 2, 1966.

He spent the 1967 season with the Athletics' triple-A team in Vancouver, and 1968 with the triple-A teams of the Twins and White Sox.