Monday, June 16, 2014

Camilo Pascual (#305)

A few months ago, I found a page on listing the 100 oldest living ex-players. Within the scope of the 1966 to 1970 card sets, the only names listed there were 3 managers. I decided yesterday to find out who were the oldest living ex-players from that time period that I haven’t yet featured on my blogs. 

As best as I can determine, they are pitchers Orlando Pena and Camilo Pascual (both 80), outfielder Russ Snyder (turning 80 next week), 1B-OF Felipe Alou (79), and pitchers Bob Humphreys and Jim Perry (both 78). Nine others are 77, with Fred Gladding, Vic Davalillo, and J.C. Martin turning 78 later this year. 

Camilo Pascual had an 18-year career from 1954 to 1971, primarily as a starting pitcher for the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins. Late in his career, he was traded back to the (new) Washington Senators, making him one of a very few who played for both Senators’ franchises.

In 1951, Pascual played for several unaffiliated teams in the low minors, then was signed by the Washington Senators in 1952. He played 2 seasons for their class-B teams, then made his big-league debut in April 1954.

Camilo was primarily a reliever for his first 2 seasons, before becoming a starter for the bulk of his career, before converting back to relief in his final 2 seasons.

After 5 losing seasons, Pascual had a breakout year in 1959, winning 17 games and leading the AL in complete games (17) and shutouts (6). He made his first all-star appearance that season, and would also be an all-star in 4 of the next 5 seasons.

Camilo and the rest of his team moved to Minnesota in 1961, becoming the Twins. He punched out over 200 batters each season from 1961 to 1964, leading the league in the first 3 of those seasons. Pascual also led the AL in shutouts in ’61 and ’62, and in complete games in ’62 and ’63 (18 each season). He also had his only 20-win seasons in ’62 and ’63.

Pascual’s career began to decline after that. After winning 15 games in 1964, he slipped to 9-3 in the Twins’ pennant-winning 1965 season, and missed all of August. In 1966, he missed most of the 2nd half, and finished at 8-6.

After the season he was traded back to Washington (along with 2nd baseman Bernie Allen) for pitcher Ron Kline. Camilo was rejuvenated with his return to Washington, and won in double figures for his first 2 seasons there.

Midway through the 1969 season, he was sold to the Reds. In April 1970, Pascual was released by the Reds and signed by the Dodgers on the same day, only to be released at season’s end.

In his final season (1971), Camilo was signed by the Indians, traded to the Padres, returned to the Indians, and released all in the season’s first 2 months. He finished up with a record of 174-170 (not bad considering the teams he played for), with 2167 strikeouts.

After his playing career he was a pitching coach for a short time, before becoming an international scout for several teams. Among the players he signed were Jose Canseco and Alex Cora.


Mark Hoyle said...

Very underrated pitcher

Jim from Downingtown said...

He sure put up some big numbers in the early 1960s.