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.

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