Friday, February 5, 2010

Final Card: Ken Hamlin

This is the final card for Ken Hamlin (#69). It's also his first card since 1962. Hamlin was a shortstop until 1965, when he switched to second base for his final 2 seasons.

Ken was signed by the Pirates in 1957, and played in their farm system from 1957 to 1959. He had a 2-game cup of coffee with the Pirates in 1957. He also played in the Mexican league for part of 1958.

After the 1959 season, the Pirates traded Hamlin and pitcher Dick Hall to the Athletics for catcher Hal Smith. After only 5 major-league games in the 3 previous years, Hamlin became the Athletics' regular shortstop in 1960, starting 127 of his 139 games there. Oddly enough, after this Cinderella story, Hamlin was left exposed to the expansion draft, and was selected by the Angels.

After sharing the starting shortstop assignments with the likes of Fritz Brickell and Rocky Bridges, Hamlin was traded to the independent Toronto Maple Leafs for second baseman Billy Moran in late June. This was 2 days after the Angels purchased shortstop Joe Koppe from the Cardinals for $1000. (Koppe would start almost all the remaining games at shortstop.)

After the season, Ken was claimed by the Washington Senators in the rule 5 draft, and he was back in the majors in 1962. He shared the shortstop job with journeyman Bob Johnson and rookie Ed Brinkman.

The next 2 seasons were spent in triple-A (presumably on loan, because Rochester was the Orioles' affiliate, and Toronto was the Senators' and Braves' affiliate).

Ken made it back to the majors in 1965, now as a second baseman. He started 63 games at 2nd and 31 games at SS, but was the backup at each position (to Don Blasingame and Ed Brinkman).

His playing time decreased in his final season (1966), as he started only 40 games at second base. By this time, he was the 3rd-stringer behind Bob Saverine and Don Blasingame.

He retired after the 1966 season at age 31.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have an old looking card like this one that I found in the attic of a home I just moved into. At the top left hand side it says: TOPPS 296. I don't see an exact date but the Ken Hamlin close-up looks younger than in the pic that is up on this site. Reach out to me @