Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pat Corrales (#137)

Pat Corrales was the Topps All-Rookie catcher 1n 1965, although he accomplished that as a member of the Phillies.

Pat was signed by the Phillies in 1959, and played 6 and a half seasons in the minors before getting his big break. Although Corrales played 2 games with the Phillies near the end of the 1964 season, and one in early May 1965, it was mid-June when things began to take off.

The Phillies began the 1965 season with a strict platoon of veterans Clay Dalrymple and Gus Triandos behind the plate. On June 14th, Triandos was sold to the Astros, and Pat was called up to the Phillies. He started most of the games for the next month, then settled back into a platoon with the lefthanded Dalrymple. Clay continued to start only against righthanders, while Corrales started against all southpaws, and some righties.

After the season, he was traded to the Cardinals (with outfielder Alex Johnson and pitcher Art Mahaffey) for 1st baseman Bill White, shortstop Dick Groat, and catcher Bob Uecker.

Corrales was with the Cardinals for all of 1966, but only started 24 games, with Tim McCarver starting 138 games. Pat was in the minors for all of 1967, then was traded to the Reds the following spring for catcher Johnny Edwards.

Corrales began the 1968 season in the minors, but was called up in mid-July, and spent the next 3 1/2 years backing up Johnny Bench (which is to say, he didn't play much).

Pat was back in the minors to start the 1972 season, and in mid-July, he was traded to the Padres for catcher Bob Barton. Corrales split the catching duties with Fred Kendall for the rest of the season, then was Kendall's backup for all of 1973, until getting his release in late September.

After his playing career, Corrales became a manager, beginning in the minors in 1975. He managed the Rangers (1978-80), Phillies (1982-83), Indians (1983-87). He is the only manager ever to be fired while his team was in first place (1983 Phillies).

After his stints as manager, Pat was a bench coach for many years with the Braves and Nationals.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Frank Linzy (#78)

Frank Linzy is the starboard pitcher on the Topps 1965 All-Rookie team.

Linzy was signed by the Giants in 1960, and pitched 5 seasons (mostly as a starter) in the Giants' system. He was called up near the end of the 1963 season, appearing in 8 games.

Frank made the big-leagues for good at the start of the 1965 season. After starting 89 of his 128 minor-league games, Linzy went on to pitch 508 games in the majors from 1965 to 1974, while only making 1 start.

As a rookie in '65, Frank led the Giants with 21 saves, and compiled a 1.43 ERA. He also finished 3rd in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

Frank was the ace of the Giants' bullpen from 1965-69. (Funny, I recall that as a kid in 1967, I somehow got the notion that Linzy and Ron Herbel were the scrubs of the Giants' staff.)

Linzy was traded to the Cardinals during the 1970 season, and remained there through the 1971 season, working behind veteran Moe Drabowsky. He spent 2 seasons in Milwaukee's bullpen, bouncing back to his 1960s' form as the Brewers' closer in 1973.

After the 1973 season, Frank was traded to the Phillies for pitcher Billy Wilson. He appeared in 22 games for Philadelphia, and another 20 for their double-A team, before getting his release after the season.

His final season of 1975 found him pitching for the Padres' AAA team in Hawaii (not a bad way to end a career!)