Friday, February 15, 2019

Rene Lachemann (#157)

This is Rene Lachemann’s first solo card. It’s one of a handful of 1966 cards that appear to have been painted, rather than photographed. It’s also the same picture Topps used on the 4-player Athletics Rookies card in the 1965 set.

I much prefer his 1967 card (below), but this 1966 blog was short on Athletics, so here he is.

Wow, I am REALLY surprised to see how little major-league playing time Lachemann had! 92 games in 1965, only 7 games in 1966, NO games in 1967, and 19 games in 1968. Even having 4 new expansion teams in 1969 couldn’t keep him in the majors.

After working as the Dodgers' batboy from 1959-63, Rene was signed by the Athletics in 1964, and played in the minors every season from 1964-72. Early on, he was mostly a catcher, but during his 1969-72 stint with Oakland’s AAA club in Iowa, he was primarily a 1st baseman while also playing 3B, outfield, and a few games behind the plate.

He started 54 games as a rookie in 1965 (playing behind Bill Bryan), but it was all downhill after that. Was it his .227 batting average? His 57 strikeouts in 216 at-bats? Still, he hit 9 homers and collected 29 RBI – not bad for a part-time rookie catcher.

Lachemann began his managing career in 1973. After stints in the minors with the Athletics and Mariners from 1973-80, he managed the Mariners from 1981-83, the Brewers in 1984, and the Marlins from 1993-96. He also managed the Cubs for 1 game in 2002. His final skipper’s job was with the Rockies’ AAA team in 2009.

Lachemann’s brother Marcel was a pitcher for the Athletics from 1969-71, and managed the Angels from 1994-96.


Old Cards said...

Remember him as one of the many cards I had back then, but never noticed his playing time. Never liked those painted cards. I don't remember any painted cards in the 67 set, but I know you are an authority on this set and you may prove me wrong.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Hi Bill,

I only remember seeing painted cards in the '65 and '66 sets. (I don't have many cards prior to 1965.)

The Topps airbrushing of the 1970s probably qualifies as painting, (some of those were REALLY bad), but those were done for a reason (however questionable their talents were).

These early-60 paint jobs seem to be done in an attempt to "make art". (Or maybe they only had black-and-white photos of some players?)

Old Cards said...

Hey Jim,

I started collecting in 61. The painted card that stands out in the early 60's era is the 1962 rookie card of Gaylord Perry.

Your points of making art or no color picture available make sense to me. Whatever the reason, I'm glad there weren't very many of them.