Monday, September 30, 2013

Tony Cloninger (#10)

Looking at the Vintage Year Blogs in the sidebar below, it seems that this is Tony Cloninger week, so...

As with 99% of the lavender-colored cards (Braves, Angels), Tony Cloninger appears capless. Those teams had just changed their names, and being card #10, Tony had no shot at having an updated photo.

Cloninger was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1958, and made his big-league debut in June 1961, essentially replacing Bob Buhl in the rotation.

After a few seasons pitching behind aging veterans Warren Spahn and Lou Burdette (and a stint in the bullpen during 1963), Tony was the ace of the Braves' staff from 1964-66. He won 19 games in 1964 and 24 in 1965, but his most famous moment was hitting 2 grand slams in a game against the Giants in 1966. His career began to fade in 1967, just as Phil Niekro established himself as Atlanta's new ace.

Cloninger was traded to the Reds in June 1968 (along with pitcher Clay Carroll and infielder Woody Woodward) for pitchers Milt Pappas and Ted Davidson, and infielder Bob Johnson. In his 3 full seasons with Cincinnati, Cloninger posted records of 11-17, 9-7, and 3-6.

During spring training in 1972, he was traded to the Cardinals for 2nd baseman Julian Javier. Tony was released by St. Louis in late July, and was re-signed by the Braves, although he spent the remainder of the season in triple-A, before retiring.

Also check out Cloninger's 1967 card.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

I feel responsible for Tony taking over the internet...